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When the Shouting Turns to Tears

Still stunned. When my son learned about Friday’s school massacre I knew he would instantly connect the dots, and start thinking about the recent workplace shooting that resulted in his uncle’s death. We’ve done some talking about it and I’m sure our conversations will continue. And when it came out that the shooter had autism, my stomach twisted into even more knots. And then I read this: ‘I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’: A Mom’s Perspective On The Mental Illness Conversation In America. My son has been in special ed programs since pre-school, with other kids on the spectrum. The little man has always been sweet and engaging and fairly cooperative. But we’ve seen some of his classmates struggle with anger management and impulse control. I know school staff members who quit their jobs after being attacked and sustaining physical injuries. And that was at the grade school level. I can only imagine how tougher it gets as these kids grown into young adults.

Five horribly disheartening things:

Remembering the victims. And some good advice from another parent:

As we talk to our kids about the tragedy last week, let’s give them some power to go along with it, so they don’t just have to be afraid. Let’s give them the power to recognize when their classmates are struggling, and the language to talk about it. Let’s give them the power to tell someone who can help.

Let’s give them the power to be kind and compassionate to their fellow students. It only takes the friendship of a single person to bring a little bit of hope to a person who is suffering.

This all makes me want to resolve to be a better friend, and a better parent. But tomorrow I plan to return to my irregularly scheduled programming of happy distractions.


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