Take Our Childhood Trauma Test

An Informal Diagnostic Tool for ACEs and Complex Trauma

Maybe you know that you didn’t have an easy childhood, but you struggle to pinpoint just how difficult it was for you. Many people brush off the experiences they had before they turned eighteen, but you may not want to sweep them under the rug.

Instead, we invited you to face them down with this informal childhood trauma test, and offer our support if you uncover the need for such services.

Icarus Behavioral Health is committed to helping you see your way through a traumatic upbringing. No matter what level of care you want, we have a team of experienced clinicians who can guide you toward healing.

Keep reading to learn more about ACEs and take our test here to pinpoint traumatic issues arising from your childhood!

What are Adverse Childhood Experiences, Anyway?

Adverse Childhood Experiences

Maybe you had a difficult childhood, but you aren’t sure whether it could be deemed traumatic. You may be surprised by some of the items that are considered adverse experiences before the age of eighteen. These are known as ACEs and they have a profound impact on your development.

Experiencing abuse or neglect in your formative years counts as an adverse childhood experience or some form of childhood trauma. Even having a family member diagnosed with a mental illness or substance abuse issue can count as an ACE.

The symptoms of children that may have a high score include bed wetting, mood disturbances, nightmares and difficulty sleeping, inability to learn in school, and avoidance of situations reminding them of the traumatic event. In other words, they can struggle with a developing form of PTSD.

Adverse childhood experiences affect the majority of people in the United States with almost one in six reporting four or more of these experiences. If you think that you might have a high-risk score on an ACE test, the diagnostic tool below can give you an informal look at ACEs.

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Our Adverse Childhood Experiences Test: Informally Diagnose ACEs and Complex Trauma

Assessing the impact that childhood trauma may have had on you (and how it impacts you as an adult) by identifying adverse childhood experiences is key to getting effective support.

This informal diagnostic tool is helpful to those who may be considering treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and complex trauma.

Assess your answers to these questions and mark down on your worksheet whether you answered yes or no to each one.

Scoring is available in the next section.

  1. Did a parent or adult frequently swear at you, belittle you, or otherwise humiliate you?
  2. Did a parent or adult hit, grab, slap, throw, or otherwise cause physical harm to you?
  3. Did a parent or adult hit you hard enough to leave a mark or sustain an injury?
  4. Was your mother (or mother figure) hit, pushed, grabbed, or slapped while you watched?
  5. Was your mother (or mother figure) ever threatened with a gun or knife?
  6. Did a parent or adult touch you sexually, have you touch them sexually, or have intercourse of any kind with you?
  7. Did you feel alone in your family, as if no one loved you?
  8. Did you feel like your family wasn’t supportive of you?
  9. Did you worry about having enough food in the home?
  10. Did you frequently have to wear dirty clothes to school because your parents were unavailable?
  11. Was there someone around to protect you from dangerous circumstances?
  12. Were your parents under the influence, causing them to be unable to care for you in a moment of need?
  13. Did a biological parent die or otherwise abandon you?
  14. Did you lose a biological parent to divorce?
  15. As a child, did you live with an alcoholic or someone who used illicit drugs?
  16. Did someone in the home have a mental illness like depression or attempt suicide?
  17. Did someone in your home go to jail before your eighteenth birthday?

Scoring Your Adverse Childhood Experiences and Childhood Trauma Test

Scoring Adverse Childhood Experiences Test

Tally up the number of questions you answered positively in the previous section. Answer honestly. No one else has to see these scores, though they can be helpful to take to an appointment with your skilled counselor or mental health professional.

The higher the number on the above test, the more likely you are to have mental and physical health issues resulting from your ACE. For example, you may have PTSD or complex PTSD that influences your daily decision-making. Here are the categories for your score:

0 to 5 Points

Many people experience some of the events listed here. If you experienced only a few of these items, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t struggle with trauma issues. However, the outlook is positive for anyone who achieves a score this low. Roughly 60 percent of people report having just one or two ACEs.

It only takes one adverse childhood experience to create trauma though. Even when your score on this informal assessment is low, that doesn’t mean you are out of the woods. Make sure you are processing these events with the help of a clinician just to be sure.

6 to 10 Points

Once you cross this threshold, your odds of experiencing health problems related to your childhood trauma increase steadily. Especially if you have been through physical abuse or sexual abuse, it may have lasting effects on your self-esteem, mental health, and even physical health.

Scores at this level should be taken seriously. This is a good time to consider seeking help for your mental health issues. Make sure you select a therapist who is trained in and understands moderate scores on the ACE quiz.

11 to 14 Points

You took the childhood trauma quiz and were surprised to find that you had a score that falls into this range. Chances are that you experience some of the symptoms of PTSD or complex PTSD stemming from the events that took place before your eighteenth birthday. Seek help to process those events, moving forward instead of being stuck in the past.

15 Points and Above

If you answered yes to nearly every question on this childhood trauma quiz, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. An ACE score that hits this high can impact you, your family members, and a developing child if you repeat the mistakes of your childhood. Break the cycle and seek help for ACEs at Icarus Behavioral Health.

Effective Treatment of Trauma for Mental and Physical Health at Icarus

Childhood trauma measured according to the quiz above can have serious impacts on your mental and physical health. Our experienced clinicians at Icarus Behavioral Health can help you overcome some of these challenges in a safe environment. Here is what our treatment program offers.

Every Level of Care to Meet Your Needs for Trauma Recovery

Treatment for Mental and Physical Health at Icarus

Icarus is proud to offer help at every stage of the process from inpatient to robust outpatient treatment programs. Whether you need intensive assistance to cope with past verbal abuse and physical abuse or you need to deal with an underlying mental illness, we can help.

Our facility is comfortable and safe, giving you the freedom to explore what is bothering you the most. A skilled counselor and a team of medical professionals will work alongside you to ensure you get the care you need most.

We even help with medication management if your team feels this could be beneficial for your anxiety, depression, or related PTSD.

We Accept Mental Health Primary Clients (and Many Insurance Plans)

While many people know Icarus as a great place for substance abuse issues, we also accept mental health primary clients. This means that you can take advantage of our state-of-the-art facility and robust treatment plans even if you don’t struggle with alcohol or drug use.

Of course, we also have an excellent dual diagnosis program if you have issues with substance misuse which often feed into trauma and mental health issues. Our trauma-informed care offers everything you need.

We are in-network providers for many of the major health insurance providers, ensuring you can get help for mental health issues as soon as possible with minimal out-of-pocket spending.

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Reach Out to Icarus for Help Healing from Childhood Trauma Today

Icarus Behavioral Health can help you to move past your ACEs with greater ease. An informal childhood trauma test like this one just skates along the surface of identifying these events in your life. Whether you choose to pursue residential treatment for intensive help or outpatient care, Icarus exists to help you heal.

We are ready and waiting to welcome you into our treatment programs. Allow our enrollment team to answer your questions and verify your insurance benefits in a quick and confidential phone call today!


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, June 29). Fast facts: Preventing adverse childhood experiences |violence prevention|injury Center|CDC. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  2. Swedo, E. A., Aslam, M. V., Dahlberg, L. L., Niolon, P. H., Guinn, A. S., Simon, T. R., & Mercy, J. A. (2023). Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences Among U.S. Adults – Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2011-2020. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 72(26), 707–715.
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