NPPC shares lessons learned and results from ACEs screening pilot sites.
Article Laurie Udesky, ACEs Connection writer
For Dr. Mercie Digangi, a pediatrician at Kaiser Southern California in Downey, CA, ACEs screening provided a crystal clear before-and-after in how she changed treatment plans for her pediatric patients, she explained to attendees of a December 2 webinar organized by the National Pediatric Practice Community on ACEs (NPPC) and cosponsored by ACEs Connection.
One case that turned ACEs screening into a never-go-back moment for her was a three-year-old who was speech-delayed. “He basically had three or four words in his vocabulary,” she said. “Before I was screening for ACEs (adverse childhood experiences), I would have said, ‘Let’s go to speech therapy, maybe screen for autism and go from there.’”
But after screening for the boy’s ACEs, Digangi discovered that he had an ACE score of 4 (ACEs Science 101, Got your ACE score?). The mother also told Digangi that she and her toddler had left a tumultuous home life with the boy’s father and an uncle. “The father had significant mental illness and was screaming, hallucinating and punching walls for the first two years of the child’s life,” said Digangi. There was domestic violence occurring in the house, and the uncle was using illegal drugs.