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ACES Symposium @ LaSalle School May 2019

This sixth annual event at the LaSalle School was a powerful one. Speakers were Dr. Wendy Ellis (Project Director, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University) and J. Stuart Ablon (Director, ThinkKids in the Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital). Both provided insights and inspiration to this packed (sold out, 600-1000 attendee) free Albany event.

Dr. Ellis spoke powerfully about the context in which ACES occur. Using the metaphor of a tree, she spoke about the poor soil in which individuals grow (e.g., inequity, racism, poverty, homelessness). When rooted in this soil, the impacts of adversity are harder to balance with individual resilience. Her Building Community Resilience program is a model that she has used in multiple communities (and local and state levels) to build multi-level understanding and action to improve communities from the ground up. More on her work can be seen here.

Dr. Ablon shared information and his deep experience with a collaborative problem solving approach relevant to both children and adults. At its core, he asks us all to move from the premise that children (do well if they can, i.e., their challenging behavior is more a function of skill, not will. he proposed a problem solving approach that builds their skills and results in behavioral outcomes that can work for all. See more at this ThinkKids site. Dr. Albon’s new book, Change-able: How Collaborative Problem-Solving Changes Lives at Home, School and at Work, is available in the Westchester Library System catalog.

  • E Falcone, 5/11/2019