What We Can Do About Toxic Stress

The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University offers the field a timely infographic entitled “What We Can Do About Toxic Stress.” It explains the concept using a clever analogy of an overburdened truck hauling too much cargo and offers some practical advice about ways to lighten the load. “Just as a truck can only bear so much weight before it . . . stops moving forward, challenging life circumstances can weigh caregivers down (making) it hard to do the things they need and want to do.” The infographic suggests seeking out supports and services that “allow caregivers to focus on caring for themselves and their children,” such as food pantries, free activities for children and families, connecting with other parents, and seeking help from professionals. Once the stress has lifted, it can also be beneficial to help others by “joining in advocacy to expand family supports.” Being connected to others really helps to lessen the burden of toxic stress.


The ICC-Recommended Early Start Personnel Manual (ESPM) describes core knowledge and role-specific competencies needed for early intervention service provision, incorporating current research and evidence in the field of early intervention. To access the ESPM, CLICK HERE.

This resource is related to the following ESPM knowledge-level competencies:

  • Core Knowledge (CK):
    • CK2: The role of primary social and emotional relationships as the foundation for early learning.
    • CK9: The characteristics and influence of disabilities and risk factors on early development, learning, care giving and relationships, such as . . . familial, cultural, linguistic, social, physical and/or socio-economic factors including poverty, abuse and neglect
  • Identification and Referral (IR):
    • IR4 (EIS): Knows resource options for services and support (other than Early Start) in the county/area of residence.
Don’t miss out. Get the latest articles and resources in our monthly newsletter. SUBSCRIBE
Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00