Social Emotional

Trauma, ACES, and the BIMAS-2

What is Trauma?

For many children, trauma exposure is a common and chronic experience. Chronic trauma exposure during childhood significantly increases the risk for emotional/behavioral disorders and academic failure. Common trauma experienced by children and youth include physical or sexual abuse, neglect, domestic violence, gun violence, and loss of a parent or loved one.

Adverse Childhood  Events (ACES)

What are ACES?  

Adverse Childhood Event (ACES) is the term used to describe all types of trauma experiences that occur to students under the age of 18. These events can include all types of neglect, abuse, and loss. The Kaiser study included over 17,000 students beginning in the mid 90’s and concluded that roughly 13% of children encounter 4 or more ACES.

How does ACES impact students?

ACES are strongly linked to negative outcomes for kids and schools, including:

  • Academic Failure & School
  • Dropout Substance Abuse &
  • Opioid Addiction
  • Behavioral Difficulties
  • Unhealthy Relationships.
  • Physical & Mental Illnesses
  • Risk Taking Behaviors
  • School to Prison Pipeline
  • Suicide

How can we support students who experience trauma?

  • Students experiencing trauma will need and benefit from supports. Keep in mind that students are resilient.  Helping them build their resilience further will allow them even with the experience of trauma to go on to do wonderful things!

Early identification of student risk is the key to improving student outcomes. Schools don’t need to know every single trauma that every single student experienced in order to help. In fact, most estimates of trauma prevalence are inaccurate due to stigma associated with discussing traumatic events. Universal screening for behavioral concerns – which could be the result of a variety of factors including trauma – and an evaluation of student social emotional skills will allow schools to best coordinate student supports and services.

How does BIMA-2 help school districts better serve this population?  The BIMA-2 allows for the early detection of students’ social, emotional and behavioral challenges. Universal screening using the BIMAS-2 allows schools to identify students in need of supports early, so that students can quickly access the services and supports they need. In addition, the BIMAS-2 is also developed to monitor students’ progress over time. Unlike other measures, the BIMAS-2 is developed to be sensitive to change over time so that intervention effects are  accurately assessed.

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