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Blog Posts -- Trauma & the Brain

Why Neuroscience, Positive Feedback Are Transformative in Youth Work []

I am a long-time advocate for how the power of neuroscience can transform the youth-serving profession. When combined with a commitment to putting the needs of youth first and a sizable dose of courageous leadership, the insights and practical guidance provided by brain research can have remarkable results. A prominent example of the transformational application of this “secret recipe” can be found at the Sacramento County (California) Youth Detention Facility (YDF). In 2010, Sacramento...

Parenting with PTSD One Liners & Parenting with ACEs Chat Reminder

Parents with PTSD from ACEs sharing what's hard about parenting while post-traumatically stressed: "Managing the terror around the possibility of everyone being a perp." "How to talk to children about why they won't meet X relative." “There was a point when I would feel completely overwhelmed by something as simple as having to make breakfast and school lunches at the same time.” "I didn't understand that not all parents reacted or were triggered the way I was." "was stone set on not...

Crow Wing Energized: Growing Resilience []

The focus of community education on Adverse Childhood Experiences has been to understand their long-term impact and to protect young people from as many of these events as possible. But what do we do to help those who have experienced adversity or are currently being impacted by one of life's really tough experiences? The answer is to help them build resilience. The answer is correct, but usually neglects to tell how, and knowing how makes all the difference. This is the first of a series of...

7 Ways Childhood Adversity Can Actually Change Your Brain []

The following article provides a short, yet concise list of seven ways in which adverse experiences can impact neuro-development. Described in user-friendly terms, the author draws on a lot of the current work in neuroscience and provides many helpful links for those who want to read further. Today, in labs across the country, neuroscientists are peering into the once inscrutable brain-body connection, and breaking down, on a biochemical level, exactly how the stress we face when we’re young...

Child Welfare Systems Grapple with How to Translate Brain Science into Practice []

Some of you may have already read this piece published earlier this month by the Chronicle of Social Change, I first read it when it slid into my inbox as a link in a recent ACEs Connection Daily Digest. It wasn’t until having some downtime over the holiday weekend that I could read more about the programs referenced in this article. I learned about two exciting initiatives, inclusive of partnerships across both state and international boarders, “grappling” with how to translate the language...

Comfort in Chaos: Understanding Trauma Brain

I make no bones about it, as a foster child, I don’t think I was an easy person to get along with and I certainly wasn’t trying to make bonds or connections with those around me. I went into foster care at the age of 13. My life prior to entering the system was one of immense dysfunction, and I had practically raised myself. My mom was rarely around, and when she was it was usually to tell me that we were moving. We moved over 50 times and I went to more than 35 schools in my life before the...

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