Are the Words "Toxic Stress" Toxic? Re-thinking the Narrative About Early Life Stress
CAILIN O'CONNOR, Center for the Study of Social Policy
March 20, 2019
The concepts of “toxic stress” and “adverse childhood experiences” (ACEs) have captured professional and public attention in recent years. While this has helped to bring more resources and interest to early childhood issues, it has also resulted in some harmful language and imagery that depicts children, families, or entire communities as “broken” or beyond healing and resilience. In our concern about adversity, are we selling short the capacity of individuals and communities to heal and grow? Are we doing more harm than good by inadvertently reinforcing stereotypes about children and families of color? Join a conversation with other concerned professionals about how to shift the narrative around early life stress to one that focuses on root causes of stress and celebrates the resilience of children, families, and communities.