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The Evidence

Trauma and Neuroscience

There is significant scientific evidence proving that trauma has a serious impact on brain development and function.

In the early 1990s, psychiatrist and researcher, Dr. Bruce Perry founded the Childhood Trauma Academy (CTA), a community of practice for mental health professionals, social workers, medical doctors, educators, caregivers of children in foster care, educators, to discover and translate research and disseminate learning in the area of childhood trauma

Authored by Drs. Robert Anda and Vincent Filletti in the late 1990s, the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the most ambitious and influential studies on  the effects of childhood trauma and long-term health effects. 

The clinical experiences of pediatrician Dr. Nadine Burke Harris connects the original ACES study to the public health effects of toxic stress on children. “Undiagnosed ACES are the single greatest public health crisis.”

Dr. Dan Siegel, a pioneer in the field of interpersonal neuroscience, advocates that we must fundamentally reinvent education around “reflection, relationships, and resilience.” Dr. Siegel has spoken and written prolifically on brain science and childhood development, parenting, and mindfulness. Dr. Siegel coined the term “mindsight,” an approach to education that facilitates the development of  “insight and empathy.” 

Dena Simmons

Dena Simmons, Ed.D., is a lifelong activist, educator and student of life. As the Director of Education at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, she supports schools throughout the nation and world to use the power of emotions to create a more effective and compassionate society.

Simmons discusses how we might create a classroom that makes all students feel proud of who they are. “Every child deserves an education that guarantees the safety to learn in the comfort of one’s own skin,” she says.Watch her TED talk here: How Students of Color Confront Imposter Syndrome