I may be the quiet neighbor in the brownstone.
Or the rambunctious classmate from the farm down the dirt road.
I may be the gregarious boy at the playground
Or the wallflower in the dance class.
I may be the middle child following my dad into the shelter
Or the youngest child living in the gated community.
I may check the race box that says “Pacific Islander” or “White”
Or maybe “Black or African American” or “Asian.”
I may be a toddler or school age.
A teenager or an adult.
Adverse childhood experiences exclude no one.
My father may have thrown things and blamed me
After my mother abandoned us.
I may have watched my grandmother drink her sorrows away
After my grandfather was sent to prison.
I may have watched my step dad verbally abuse my sister
Because she ate the last of the peanut butter.
I may sit in class in a daze
Or act out with the strongest of emotions.
Unless strategies are put into place
These experiences might disrupt the development of my brain.
Or my immune system may be compromised.
My days need to be filled with healthy social interactions
Or I may be plagued with high blood pressure
that sets me down a path of serious health risks.
If you come to our basketball game
One of my teammates on the floor may have had one adverse childhood experience
And another may have two or more.
These are the things I need you to consider
As you ponder about my well being and my future
Whether it’s in the classroom, on the field or in the studio.
A safe relationship with an adult
Moments of mindfulness
And plenty of chances to move
Are all great ways to relieve some of my stress.
If you really cared about me
These activities would be non-negotiable and scheduled into my day.
No matter what my reading level is
Or my score on the math state assessment.
This is what is important for me right now
If you really want to see me flourish.
Thank you to Dr. Nadine Burke Harris for her book The Deepest Well on Adverse Childhood Experiences and stress. Please check out her book to learn more!
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Each week we will share books, resources, stories, and ideas that we think will be beneficial to you and your kids (at home or in the classroom). Our focus will be on wellbeing and potential but we will continue to explore neurodiversity and sensory processing.
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