ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) refers to a serious childhood trauma that occurs in the first 18 years of life. Often resulting in toxic stress, ACE can damage a child’s brain development and physical health, which can have long-term implications.

Children with ACEs often struggle to manage stress, which can ultimately result in unhealthy behaviors, such as fighting, defiance, unintended pregnancy, unemployment, smoking, alcoholism and drug abuse. Socially, these children find it difficult to form social connections and maintain relationships. From a cognitive standpoint, they tend to struggle with impaired memory, difficulty figuring things out and learning challenges, making it more challenging to perform in school.

The effects of ACEs can also manifest physically—from high blood pressure, cancer and type 2 diabetes to gastrointestinal disease, an impaired ability to fight infection and much more. Whether physical, emotional or both, ACE-related trauma is often seen well into adulthood.

At PIK, we are committed to driving awareness of this often-overlooked issue through our ACE Action Group. For more information about how you can incorporate ACE awareness into your programming, contact Barb Kauffman at

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Articles & Blogs

Take the Action 4 Aces Pledge

Taking the Actions 4 ACESs Pledge is a simple step towards reducing the impact of childhood trauma. Find out how your organization or community can help build supportive relationships with children... Read Blog

ACEs Action Team Member Highlight: Hear How the 16 Strong Project is Addressing ACEs

16 Strong Project is a national organization that engages youth in adverse childhood experience (ACEs) awareness and recognition. We are dedicated to empowering resilience to ACEs through youth-led... Read Blog

“What Happened to You” Book Club

By: Barbara Kauffman, Director of Prevention Services As always, I’m excited about the Prevention Team’s ongoing programs and events that you’ll learn more about later in this newsletter.... Read Blog
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