In this episode we talk about the devastating effects of childhood trauma on the developing brain. We review how the brain develops and how toxic stress literally rewires the brain. This then results in behavioural problems. However, these toxic stressors also affect physical health – not just immediately after, but for the rest of our lives. The risk for almost every chronic disease – heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity etc – is increased in proportion to the number of adverse childhood experiences (or ACEs) a child has encountered in their life. We had a great conversation about this with psychologist and author Dr Michael Gurian.
To learn more about ACEs, check out acestoohigh.com and take the ACE questionnaire yourself. Harvard’s Centre on the Developing Child also has lots of information on this topic. Also check out The Alberta Family Wellness Institute for lots of information and resources.
Dr Gurian also shares with us his own personal store of childhood sexual abuse and how, despite adverse experiences, his resilience has allowed him to thrive. He has written about his experience in his latest book called The Stone Boys. He is also the author of many books about boys and girls development and learning. Find out more about his work at The Gurian Institute. You can also find Dr Gurian on his podcast The Wonder of Parenting.