Childhood trauma focus of conference in Havelock

Published: Monday, May 6, 2013 at 06:13 PM.

He pointed to statistics that show 25 percent of children by the age of 16 experience at least one traumatic incident. He also said a study showed that 50 percent of school-age children in domestic violence situations exhibited symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.

He said that parents who think they hide such instances from their children should think again.

"If you ask the parents, they will say the child was asleep in the room and didn’t know anything," he said. "But if you ask the kids, they can give you play-by-play of what happened."

Ake pointed to a study on adverse childhood experiences that indicates the higher number of such experiences, the higher the rate of attempted suicides during adolescence.

He said the study also showed a link between adverse childhood experiences and smoking, depression, drug use, obesity, alcoholism and early sexual activity.

He said that is why childhood caregivers need to help build resiliency in children.

"If we can predict these things earlier, we can help prevent them later," he said. "The more adverse childhood experiences, the more problems they will have. It really, really connects to how we live our lives every day."

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