Do You Know the Ten Questions to Ask to Get an ACE Trauma Score?

Do You Know the Ten Questions to Ask to Get an ACE Trauma Score?

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Since right before Winter Break, my school has been taking a new approach with our students who have behavior issues. One of the things we’ve begun to consider is how trauma is possibly affecting the behaviors we’re seeing.

Our behavior specialist has offered us some key insights into the affects of trauma. She introduced our staff to the ACE questionnaire. You will hear all about that in today’s video!

Take a look!

She also explained that when people deal with trauma, it is similar to the way most of us would respond to a big grizzly bear in the room. Our system would go into a freeze, fight or flight mode.  Now if there is a grizzly near you, you’re not going to fight it, so you will either freeze or run away.   Right?

The key point here is that when children have trauma in their lives and then they are confronted with a difficult situation at home, at school or in the community, they respond as if that peer, parent, or teacher is that bear. Their responses to difficult situations may be a puzzle to us until we consider that they’re not seeing things with the same perspective as children who have not been exposed to significant trauma.

When I thought about this concept and some of the children we are finding the most challenging, this makes perfect sense. Thank you Carol!!!

“Knowledge is power” as Albert Einstein once said, so with this knowledge we can move forward and put strategies and people into place to help counterbalance the traumatic experiences our children/students/clients have that we have little or no control over.

As promised here is the list of statements from the Resilience Questionnaire that would reflect whether or not a child would have the resources to promote resiliency.   Once again this list was put together by Kate McClain and Mark Rains in 2006 and then updated in 2014.

Although this questionnaire was designed to be completed by people over the age of 18, we can see via the statements what kinds of supports would help our children under 18 become more resilient.

Note: All answers would be answered as one of the following: Definitely true, Probably true, Not sure, Probably Not True, or Definitely Not True

  1. I believe that my mother loved me when I was little.
  1. I believe that my father loved me when I was little.
  1. When I was little, other people helped my mother and father take care of me and they seemed to love me.
  1. I’ve heard that when I was an infant, someone in my family enjoyed playing with me, and I enjoyed it, too.
  1. When I was a child, there were relatives in my family who made me feel better if I was sad or worried.
  1. When I was a child, neighbors or my friends’ parents seemed to like me.
  1. When I was a child, teachers, coaches, youth leaders or ministers were there to help me.
  1. Someone in my family cared about how I was doing in school.
  1. My family, neighbors and friends talked often about making our lives better.
  1. We had rules in our house and were expected to keep them.
  1. When I felt really bad, I could almost always find someone I trusted to talk to.
  1. As a youth, people noticed that I was capable and could get things done.
  1. I was independent and a go-getter.
  1. I believed that life is what you make it.

Remember a high score in this questionnaire would help balance a high trauma score on the ACE.

Now, I would love to know if this information gives you a similar “Aha!” moment that I had. I would also love to know how you use it!

Give the video and thumbs up and leave a comment below!

You take care and I’ll see you next time!


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