How trauma effects children’s brain development

The experiences children have during the beginning of their lives shapes who they become. Healthy brain development during these formative years is essential to equipping children with the coping skills they will need throughout their lives. Children who experience trauma are exposed to toxic stress which can have a long-lasting impact on brain development. These traumatic events, such as extreme poverty, repeated abuse, and neglect impact a child’s sense of well-being and can lead to harmful behaviors later in life. The most damaging of these events are categorized as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). ACEs are linked to risky behaviors and chronic health conditions, but the most common effects of these traumatic experiences are divorce and economic hardship.

Almost half of the children in Michigan have had exposure to at least one adverse family experience. The stress children experience during traumatic events is also linked to the mental wellness of the adults in the child’s home, so the entire family must be treated. The Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation is committed to supporting organizations in our area to make access to mental health care services more available and affordable.

By partnering with organizations such as:

Detroit Police / Detroit Public Safety Foundation– Children in Trauma Intervention Camp

Care House of Oakland County – Breaking the Cycle of Abuse Program

Beaumont Health System – River Rouge H.S. Beaumont Teen Health Center

The Foundation also supports Kids TALK, a community-based program that serves children through 17 years of age, providing comprehensive services to suspected child victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, or other forms of psychological trauma, including witness to violent crimes.