You can tell when a kid is in trouble. While you might not understand the reasons behind their responses, you know that aggression, withdrawal, self-harm and other destructive behaviors all point to a young person in pain.

Childhood trauma can include:

  • Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
  • Physical or emotional neglect
  • Domestic violence
  • Parental separation or divorce
  • Substance dependence, incarceration, or mental illness of a parent or relative

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Traumatic events, also known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), can have many profound effects on childhood development. An individual's ACE score is sum total of traumatic experiences. The higher the score, the higher the risk of long-term health and psychological problems. 

ACEs are strongly related to the development and prevalence of a wide range of health problems throughout a person’s lifespan, including those associated with substance misuse.

Not only can prolonged exposure to trauma interrupt a child’s physical and mental growth, but high doses of adversity have been shown to change the brain’s architecture and responses to stress. If left untreated, these changes can result in unshakable feelings of terror, depression, and helplessness.



The Long-Term Effects of ACEs

With regards to long-term consequences, a study by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control involving more than 17,000 adult participants found that ACEs can also have a lasting effect on a young person’s lifelong health. By disrupting children’s natural development on a biological level, ACEs can increase one’s chances of contracting chronic illnesses and the likeliness that they will suffer from other emotional, behavior, and even educational issues.

When a child is exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences, there is no doubt that the trauma will bear some effect on them. Instead, the question is how deeply they will be affected by adversity. Idaho Youth Ranch is here to help young people overcome these difficult experiences by transforming pain into strength, fear into confidence, and trauma into resilience. We offer teen therapy, family therapy, and short-term residential help. 

Calculate Your ACE Score




Learn more about Adverse Childhood Experiences: 

Idaho Statistics on Childhood Trauma

Breaking the Generational Cycle

What is Toxic Stress?

How ACEs Affect Education

Impacts of Childhood Trauma