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Carol Bainbridge

Special Needs Children and Atrocities

By December 19, 2012

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It's been 5 days since the atrocity occurred in Newtown, Connecticut. The talk about it has been endless. We have all been searching for answers.  How did this happen?  What led that young man to kill so many helpless women and children?

Much of the talk focused first on the issue of gun rights. But as the days wear on, more of the talk has been about the failure of our mental health care system. While I agree that this is a discussion we need to be having, I am bothered by the talk about Aspergher's and autism being a mental illness, requiring the constant monitoring of those who have it.

It is difficult enough to talk to our children about such horrific events, but it is surely much more difficult for parents who have an autistic child, including Aspergher's, a mild form of autism. Terri Mauro, Guide to Special Needs Children, has an excellent article on talking to children about tragedies. Her advice is good for all parents and all kids.

Terri has also compiled a long list of articles and essays from the autistic community in response to the media coverage linking the shootings to autism. It's all good reading, even for those of us who do not have an autistic child because we can learn about autism and help our children learn about it.

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