Tackling ACES

Introduction to Licketyspit and ACES

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are stressful or traumatic experiences that can create harmful levels of stress, impacting healthy brain development. ACEs can result in long-term effects on learning, behaviour and health.

Preventing ACEs and supporting the resilience of children, families and adults in overcoming adversity is a Scottish Government priority. Licketyspit has incorporated recent advances in understanding of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) into our work, and we are cogniscent of this increased understanding in our evaluation with children, teachers, schools, parents/carers.

How Licketyspit’s work supports children to overcome the negative impacts of ACEs

Many of the children Licketyspit works with have experienced ACEs. By supporting the development of emotional literacy and a growth mindset, Licketyspit sessions support participants to express their emotions freely and securely, enabling them to break out of restrictive patterns of behaviour in a safe, relaxed play environment, where everyone is equal and no one is judged.

Licketyspit is highly skilled at engaging with children with low self-esteem and a range of additional support needs. Our rights based approach, using the playcards, enables us to create accelerated relationships with children, who quickly develop their understanding, trust and confidence that everyone will always be seen, heard and valued by us. This means that children who have experienced ACEs respond very positively to participating in our projects. Children frequently express themselves and engage in ways their teachers and parents/carers have never seen before, growing in confidence and emotional literacy, and improving their social skills, during and after working with Licketyspit. Licketyspit actor-pedagogues are specially trained to support children to achieve their full potential, breaking through barriers which hold them back from participating fully in nursery/school life. We know from experience that every child has a rich imagination and a generous spirit wants to join us in play with their peers.