Monday, December 17, 2012

What I Know & What I Don't

I am dizzy with grief and my head is spinning with information and opinions about what took place this past Friday in Newton, Connecticut where 20 beautiful children and 8 heroic educators lost their lives.

This morning I sent my boys off to school with faith that they will return home to me and sound. That's all I can do is have faith ...have faith and get involved at their schools to make sure that the culture of bullying and isolating children who are different really changes and not just accept lip service.  
I can advocate for a child who Red has taken under his wing, although he is only a step away from being shunned himself.   I know this friend of his is a target at their high-school.  His parents don't really seem to get it, because their way of disciplining him is to further isolate him from the few friends that he does have whenever he makes a mistake.  I can not change their parenting decisions, but I can work around them, advocate for him and help this child as much as I possibly can.  

There has been some link to the fact that the person who committed these monstrous acts ...was somewhere on the autism spectrum.  It has been said that he possibly had Aspergers.  The thing is ...we have no idea what co-morbid diagnosis this person had.  I hate to comment on what is an ongoing investigation.  We don't have an entire picture painted at this point.  We have pieces of information.  I believe that speculation based on only pieces can be extremely dangerous to those in the mental health and autism community.

I do know this ...autism or more specifically Aspergers within itself, does not equal violence.  To quote my friend Jill Smo of Yeah Good Times  "There is no connection between planned, violent behavior and an autism spectrum diagnosis of any kind."

I strongly urge you to read her short and sweet post on the subject.  You can find it HERE.

I will write about this more later.  I have so much information to digest and to share.  I need time to process this tragedy before I jump into dissecting it.  We can't ignore what happened, but what we can do is turn off the 24-hour news cycle that is sensationalizing and bringing attention to the person who committed these acts.  Instead spend time loving and nurturing our children.

  • We must pay attention and seek help for them  when we see a behavior pattern that is extreme or unusual, no matter how difficult that may be. 
  • Talk to them and encourage an open dialogue about what they are feeling and going through. 
  •  If we see another child who is in pain or hurting them.  
  • Do whatever we can to embrace those with differences and teach our children to do the same.
  • Don't turn your back or wait until we see another tragedy unfold. 

These answers may seem simplistic and I know there are larger issues at hand like

  • The state of mental health in America and equal access to it.
  • Gun control or lack thereof. 
  • Violence in American culture games, and movies, etc.

As I say on my header -I am not the expert mom with all of the answers.  I am just the mom who won't stop looking for them

#Love, #EmbraceDifference #Mentor, #Advocate