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How to talk with mothers about ACEs

Adverse Childhood Experiences are emerging as major players in adult’s physical and emotional
health. ACE refers to growing up experiencing in the household before age 18:

·       Recurrent physical abuse
·       Recurrent emotional abuse
·       Contact sexual abuse
·       An alcohol and/or drug abuser in the household
·       An incarcerated household member
·       Someone who is chronically depressed, mentally ill, institutionalized, or suicidal
·       Mother is treated violently
·       One or no parents
·       Emotional or physical neglect
Experiences in these categories, and witnessing them, are linked to alcoholism, drug abuse,
depression, and suicide attempt, poor self-rated health, obesity, heart disease, and liver disease.
See previous blogs. Home visitors, case managers, parent educators, social workers and clinical
practitioners are very likely to encounter mothers who struggle with the lifelong effects of ACEs. 
Often the topic is not discussed because no one knows quite how to talk about it.
See how to talk about ACEs.
So today I want to share an excellent webinar that will prepare home visitors to address ACEs in
a respectful reflective way.  It is presented by my colleagues at University of WA Northwest Center
for Public Health Practice through a grant from HRSA. I particularly recommend the second half
(about 25 minutes) as part of a staff meeting. It will jump start your ability to address this issue
that is fundamental in the lives of so many of the families you work with every day.  
Quen Zorrah discusses how public health nurses [and other practitioners] can effectively educate
and screen clients for ACES and plan, with the client, ways to decrease the risk for inter-generational
transmission of these experiences, strengthen the parent-child relationship, and build resiliency for
both the survivor and the child.
The first half of the webinar will be of particular interest to Parents as Teachers parent educators
and others who work with school districts.
What is your ACE score?
A first step to making information on ACES and how to talk about them meaningful might be to determine
your own ACE score. Help me calculate my ACE Score.  How are ACEs impacting your health? 
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