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Terri Mauro

Speaking to Your Kids About the Unspeakable

By December 14, 2012

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Like many of you, judging from my Twitter and Facebook feeds right now, I'm hanging on the news coming out of Connecticut about a horrific shooting at an elementary school, praying for the families, and holding my kids tight. I've told both of them about it; my son was appropriately solemn but quickly moved on to other interests, while my daughter, whose job goal is to be a kindergarten teacher's aide, is glued to her own Facebook feed, with a face about as stricken as mine looks right now. Kids hear and process news of tragedy in different ways, and that's particularly true of kids with special needs, whose language and developmental and emotional differences may affect how hard they take such news, and how much they need to know. Since it's almost impossible to shield kids from news in our 24/7 online world, my article on "Talking to Children With Special Needs About Tragedy" may be worth taking a look at before you have your own uncomfortable conversations.

UPDATE: I'm going to start a running list here of posts and statements from special-needs bloggers and organizations about the shooting. If you've written or seen something that needs to be shared, add it in the comments. Also, please read my follow-up post, "Special Needs and Sandy Hook."

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