The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study — the largest, most important public health study you never heard of — began in an obesity clinic

This is epigenetics. This is how nature and nurture interact. This is how vulnerable children are. And this is why adults need to start stepping up!

 

Now imagine a gifted child in school, constantly watchful, expecting the next hostile action of classmates. Do not try to tell me that “the really smart ones always succeed, anyway, and should not need any help, ever”!

 

“If a bear threatens a child every single day, his emergency response system is activated over and over and over again. He’s always ready to fight or flee from the bear, but the part of his brain – the prefrontal cortex – that’s called upon to diagram a sentence or do math becomes stunted, because, in our brains, emergencies – such as fleeing bears – take precedence over doing math.

For Harris’ patients who had four or more categories of adverse childhood experiences “their odds of having learning or behavior problems in school were 32 times as high as kids who had no adverse childhood experiences,” she told Glass.”

ACEs Too High

Mentions of the ACE Study – the CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study — have shown up in the New York Times, This American Life, and Salon.com recently. In the last year, it’s become a buzzword in social services, public health, education, juvenile justice, mental health, pediatrics, criminal justice and even business. Many people say that just as everyone should be aware of her or his cholesterol score, so should everyone know her or his ACE score. But what is this study? And why is it so important to, well, almost everyone in 2012, the same way polio became important to almost everyone in the 1950s? Here’s the backstory.

The ACE Study – probably the most important public health study you never heard of – had its origins in an obesity clinic on a quiet street in San Diego.

It was 1985, and Dr. Vincent Felitti was mystified…

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Envy and Giftedness: Are We Underestimating the Effects of Envy?

Now this really goes to the core of one of the main sources of pain in the life of a gifted person.

Microscopes are Prudent

A taboo topic?

I have been to several conferences and read many books on giftedness, but one subject that is little discussed is the social/emotional effects on gifted children of being envied. It’s as if we are hoping that by not talking about it, it will go away, and we will not run the risk of being accused of bragging.

Advanced Squelching

A few months ago, I was struck by the candor and self-awareness of Joyce Slaton in her blog post, “I hate hearing about your gifted child.” She said, in part:

I get it that the moms are proud, and certainly, I don’t mind hearing about the kids’ other wonderful accomplishments. It’s the gifted thing that gets me… But why am I comparing? Why do I care? Normal is a good thing! Normal is great! Normal is what I prayed for. But that’s a lie. I didn’t. I prayed…

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