Dr. Bruce Perry first visited Arizona to speak more than 20 years ago at the invitation of our executive director, Becky, to present his brain development research at the 1996 Child Abuse PREVENTION Conference.
Over two decades later, Becky was impressed by the work of key leaders in Arizona to take us all a step further. First Lady Angela Ducey and the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family Director Maria Fuentes have been remarkable and inspiring in their efforts to push the trauma-informed Arizona initiative forward for the benefit of all Arizona families and children. Marcia Stanton, who hosted the first ACE Summit five years ago, has made this initiative possible through her decade of effort in creating the ACE Consortium. We are so grateful for those Arizona professionals leading the way for Arizona children and families.
We invite you to listen to Dr. Bruce Perry’s speech in this video. As a true veteran in brain science, he brilliantly depicts how trauma interrupts a child’s development with lasting consequences.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Include:
1.    Emotional Abuse
2.    Physical Abuse
3.    Sexual Abuse
4.    Emotional Neglect
5.    Physical Neglect
6.    Family Violence
7.    Household Substance Abuse
8.    Household Mental Illness
9.    Parental Separation or Divorce
10. Household Member Incarceration
The first five ACEs are a result of some form of childhood maltreatment. These traumatic incidents inhibit a child from being able to regulate stress normally, often exacerbated by the dysregulated parents and caretakers in their lives. In his presentation, Dr. Perry referenced the success of home visitors in the lives of families, as they are effectively able to assist the caretaker in regulating, which allows the child to regulate as well. Home visitation strategies, such as Healthy Families Arizona, are the most powerful way we can prevent childhood trauma by addressing the effects of risk factors in parents’ lives.
Dr. Perry spoke not only to the importance of brain development and healing trauma, but he also gave a call to action. He challenged us to invent new tools to address childhood trauma. We are learning every day what we can do to help the brain recover from damaging experiences. Prevent Child Abuse Arizona has been taking on this challenge for 30 years, but Dr. Perry’s speech was an inspiration and motivation to continue our work to prevent childhood trauma.