Understanding Childhood Trauma

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.

These behaviors typically point to a young person who's experienced Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). ACEs are stressful or traumatic events, including abuse and neglect.

Traumatic events, also known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), can have many profound effects on childhood development. 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.

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, ages 9 through 24, overcome these difficult experiences by transforming pain into strength, fear into confidence, and trauma into resilience. Get help for a child today. 

 The 10 ACEs of The Landmark ACE Study:

ACES 1-1
Calculate Your ACE Score


Adverse Childhood Experiences can get under your skin and cause a variety of health impacts through toxic stress. 

Stress is a normal part of life and growing up. However, there are different types of stress which can affect a developing brain in different ways. There are three different types of stress: 

  • Positive stress, like starting a new job, is normal and causes a healthy stress response in the face of tense situations.
  • Tolerable stress is more significant and typically has a long lasting effect caused by a more serious situation, like the loss of a family member. While this kind of stress can be very challenging, it is typically considered tolerable because of the support system someone has in place to help them cope.
  • Toxic stress is the prolonged activation of the body's stress response to frequent and intense situations, like repeatedly witnessing violence in the home or community.
Types of Stress


Understanding the Long Term Effects of Trauma:



More About the Impacts of Childhood Trauma:

behavioral impact
educational impact
health impact
juvenile crime  impact society impact treating trauma


Additional Resources about Childhood Trauma: