Until Life is Good for All Kids

Illustrations that look like children's drawings

The Problem

One-in-three kids experiences some form of life-altering adversity (poverty, violence, illness) at a young age. “Adverse Childhood Experiences,” or ACEs, as they’re clinically known, impact a child’s sense of safety and well-being in childhood and can have devastating impacts on a child’s physical, emotional, and mental health for the rest of their life. 

Fortunately, ACEs are preventable, and long-term impacts can be lessened. According to the CDC, creating and sustaining safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children and families can prevent ACEs and help all children reach their full health and life potential. 

"The more healthy relationships a child has, the more likely he will be to recover from trauma and thrive." - Dr. Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D.

A young child rests his head on a caregiver

The Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) study (Centers for Disease Control).


An illustration of the body

How Toxic Stress impacts the brain's architecture (a video from Harvard's Center for the Developing Child).


Dr Nadine Burke Harris

Learn how childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime in this TEDTalk by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris.


Our Solution

A positive relationship with just one caring adult in early childhood can change that child’s life entirely. An early introduction to the practice of optimism improves a child’s physical, social and emotional health. Through over thirty years of practice, we’ve found that the most single most effective way to create those connections is through PLAY!

More about ACES: The Psychology and The Science 

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events in childhood that can negatively health, stability, and well-being during childhood and later in life.  

ACEs include abuse (verbal, physical, sexual), neglect (physical, emotional), and other household disfunction (parental separation, parental incarceration, domestic violence) or traumatic experiences (witnessing violence). Risky health behaviors, chronic health conditions, low life expectancy, and early death have all been linked, making ACEs the single greatest health threat facing our nation’s kids today. 

The CDC-Kaiser Permanente adverse childhood experiences (ACE) study is one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect and household challenges and later-life health and well-being. 

Click on the image to open a full size poster. 


Full Adverse Childhood Experiences infographic from CDC