ACE Scores: The Link between Physical Health and Childhood Trauma

If you are here on my blog, I assume you are interested in understanding preverbal trauma, PTSD or Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and ways we survivors learn to heal ourselves. If you haven’t yet heard of the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Questionnaire, it’s time you did, for it provides valuable, revolutionary information about how early trauma affects the development of the brain, mental health outcomes, and physical outcomes. Watch the TED Talk by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, a pediatrician, founder of the Center for Youth Wellness, and author of The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-term effects of Childhood Adversity by clicking on this link: <>.

The ACE score questionnaire, which Dr. Harris discusses, is available on the following link from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, “one of the largest and oldest judicial membership organizations in the nation . . . serv[ing] an estimated 30,000 professionals in the juvenile and family justice system” ( <>.

One concern that I have is that the ACE Questionnaire does not seem to address whether someone experienced preverbal trauma, such as an invasive medical procedure, a life-threatening illness, or a separation from his or her primary caregiver. Moreover, there is no ACE question that pertains to one’s understanding of the life of one’s mother while pregnant. I will, however, withhold judgment until I finish reading Dr. Harris’ book, for I see in Appendix 2 another questionnaire, the CYW ACE Questionnaire, which is “To Be Completed by Parent/Caregiver,” which may address my concerns. Stay tuned.