Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) showed that common types of early trauma—such as neglect, physical, verbal or sexual abuse, or having a parent with a mental illness—raised the risk for a host of physical, emotional and social problems later in life. Trauma leaves tracks in the developing brain. Stress, from that trauma, literally gets under the skin, affecting the immune system, heart health, even the expression of our genes. When early trauma happens in even years later, in poor school performance, substance abuse, violence or mental illness, all of us pay the price. But ACEs are not destiny, and early trauma does not have to dictate a life story.