I have put together this page so you can score up your ACEs …Adverse Childhood Events….score one for each one that applies from the age of 0-18yr. The study investigated 10 ACEs…
- psychological abuse
- physical abuse
- sexual abuse
- emotional neglect
- physical neglect
- loss of a parent (for any reason such as divorce or death)
- mother treated violently
- substance abuse
- mental illness
- criminal behavior in the house
The researchers of the ACE study, Robert Anda MD and Vincent Felitti MD put together questions covering all the ACEs investigated….
- Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? or act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt? ___
- Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? or ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured? ___
- Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? or attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you? ___
- Did you often feel or very often feel that no one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? or your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other? ___
- Did you often or very often feel that you didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you? or your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it? ___
- Were your parents ever separated or divorced? ___
- Was your mother or stepmother: often nor very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her? Or sometimes, often or very often, kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? Or ever repeatedly hit over at least a few times or threatened with a gun or knife? ___
- Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic, or who used street drugs? ___
- Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide? ___
- Did a household member go to prison? ___
For each question a “Yes” is a score of ONE and “No” is a score of ZERO
You ACE Score: ____
The total ACEs are just a guide, since the above study, other ACEs have been recognized as important events. In other words, the links between ACEs and chronic illness ARE NOT LIMITED to events that appear solely overtly traumatic, although the original study was based on these. Many other types of ACEs also affect risk for chronic illness, some of which have been added below….
- Did your mother experience any ‘trauma’ during your pregnancy? Such as loss of a parent, loss of income, injury, physical abuse? ___
- Did your mother experience difficulty or trauma during your birth? ___
- Did your mother experience postnatal depression? ___
- Were you bullied, ‘picked on’ at school? ___
- Did you experience abuse such as racism or homophobia? ___
- Did you need hospitalization as a child or any traumatic intervention such as an epidural? ___
- Did your family experience any significant adverse financial events during your childhood such as loss of job, financial stability or home? ___
- Did you witness violence or abuse of a parent, sibling, or a family member? ___
- Did a key family member or caregiver die during your childhood? ___
- Is there intergenerational trauma in your family (such as the holocaust, famine, war)?___
Additional Points: ____
TOTAL POINTS: ____
Sometimes, we may not know our history, or may even have been brought up in a way where you felt left out, not listened to. However, some personality traits usually indicate ACEs such as …..
- people pleaser
- low self-esteem
- burn out syndrome
- addiction such as food, pornography, work
- feelings of isolation
- feelings of disconnection
- repeating old ‘harmful’ patterns
- easily overwhelmed
If you would like to delve more into finding out how ‘trauma’ may have impacted your current well being you can also look into the work of Dr. Bessel van der Kolk in his book “The Body Keeps the Score”, the work of Dr. Gabor Mate in his book ‘When The Body Says No” and/or the work of Peter Levine in his book “Walking The Tiger“.
The good news no matter the ACEs your health can be restored. It involves work but due to the ever-expanding science of neuroplasticity and various forms of MINDBODY therapies, it is good news for you and your loved ones.
At the present time, the area of childhood adverse life events and their impact on health in adulthood is a rapidly growing area of research especially in relation to the increase in chronic health issues. More will be added to this page as more research is discovered over time.
If you score high, I would highly recommend seeing a MINDBODY therapist, who understands Adverse Childhood Events as well as the more SILENT ACEs which are considered the hidden epidemic of attachment and developmental trauma.
These therapies include anywhere from Rapid Transformation Therapy (RTT), Homeopathy, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Biodynamic Psychotherapy, etc
It is never ever too late.