Letters to the Editor

Recent study has little value

Several thoughts came to mind on reading the Beachcomber story on childhood trauma (“History of childhood trauma high on Vashon,” Nov. 20).

1. Another study on whether traumatic events in childhood have lifelong consequences is about as useful as exploring whether the sun rises in the East.

2. It is difficult to believe the credibility of data ranking 40 King County communities on the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences where Vashon ranks higher than White Center, Sea-Tac/Tukwila, Renton and Auburn.

3. I hope the state official who delivered the report, who said she was “shocked (shocked!!!) when I saw the Vashon numbers,” has recovered.

4. It must have been a slow news week for The Beachcomber to run the shocking headline.

I do not for a moment dispute the pervasive effects of childhood trauma. The factors that produce that trauma are well known: poverty, substance abuse, mental illness, domestic violence and inept parenting, among others. As they do everywhere, these conditions occur on Vashon. But surely not at shock-producing levels. Vashon is blessed in the number of individuals and organizations doing quality work to help children and families heal wounds from the past. We need to continue to support that work.

— Abe Bergman, MD
UW Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics

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