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Maine program takes new approach to treating childhood trauma

The goal of the "ACES" program at Maine Medical Center is to screen, prevent and treat adverse childhood experiences, or "ACES." (WGME)

PORTLAND (WGME) -- A program in Maine is taking a new approach to treating childhood trauma.

The goal of the "ACES" program at Maine Medical Center is to screen, prevent and treat adverse childhood experiences, or "ACES."

It is helping children to heal.

Getting a child to express feelings can be challenging. At Maine Behavioral Healthcare, the writing is on the wall.

The children who receive therapy in the room have usually experienced some kind of adverse childhood experience or "ACE."

That kind of childhood trauma can have a lasting impact.

Which is why this new program hopes to intervene early on.

Dr. Stephen DiGiovanni leads the Maine health "ACES" team.

One of the goals is to help medical providers screen children for signs of trauma, much like you would screen for other types of illness.

The challenge is getting medical providers comfortable with asking the right questions, and then identifying and treating the children.

The research is still evolving, but for this team it's time to recognize that children experiencing trauma need our help, and the sooner the better.

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