Derek Clark is a powerful motivational speaker and keynote speaker for trauma informed conferences and training. As a child, he suffered brutal child abuse before being abandoned into the foster care system for 13 years. We all know that growing up can be tough at times, but these days many children find themselves faced with adverse childhood experiences. These ACEs, as they are called, can vary greatly, but cover all demographics within society. They can include, but are not limited to, physical neglect/abuse, emotional neglect/abuse, sexual abuse, and mental illness or substance misuse within a house hold. Studies show us the very complex nature of these adverse childhood experiences and how they can affect the child’s life for decades to come.
Research has exposed the relationship ACEs have with known risk factors for disease, various disabilities and even early mortality. A CDC study from the late 90’s revealed three important facts. First, they found that ACEs are more common than previously thought with 28% of participants reporting physical abuse and 21% reporting sexual abuse. The levels of divorce/separation and parental mental illness or substance abuse were also very high. Secondly, they found that ACEs tend to cluster. Roughly 40% of participants reported two or more ACEs with over 12% reporting four or more. This is particularly troubling as the research shows when ACEs group together the effects are compounded. Thirdly, they discovered a dose-response relationship with many health problems. This means as a person’s cumulative ACE score increases so does the number of health, behavioral and social problems throughout their lifespan. Did you know that Derek’s ACE score is the highest at 10?
These heavy statistics paint an extremely dark picture that can seem very overwhelming. Is it possible for a child to grow up and live a healthy fulfilling life after being plagued by adverse childhood experiences? Derek Clark believes the answer is absolutely yes. Derek is an inspiring and engaging keynote speaker for trauma and adverse childhood experiences. He is no stranger to this path in life. His brutal past is checkered with unrelenting trauma. Derek is a survivor of child abuse and neglect. He has endured poverty and homelessness. His father and step father were both alcoholics, parents were suicidal and riddled with depression. He had a front row seat to domestic violence and both his brother and sister being killed. Derek faced rejection and eventually abandonment from both his mother and father as they divorced and his father went to a prison for the criminally insane.
Despite all of this darkness in his past, he has endured and even thrived in life. Derek’s resilience and determination has given him the courage to share his message of forgiveness, healing and hope with audiences worldwide. He encourages and inspires as only someone who has walked through the fire and come out the other side can. If you know of a group that could benefit from this message then Derek Clark is the transformational speaker you need for your next gathering. Help spread this important message of hope, and change lives for the better.
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