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Speaking With Children About Acts of Violence – Pediatric Mental Health Services
December 19, 2012 - Children's Specialized Hospital

The recent events in Newtown, Connecticut is heartbreaking and has affected us all. Our condolences go out to all the families and community members affected by this tragedy. 
We understand speaking with your children about these types of events can be challenging. The following links provide tips for discussing this tragedy or other acts of violence with children:

American Psychological Association – reacting to the Sandy Hook Shooting
 
Practical Suggestions for Assisting Children in the Aftermath of a Tragedy 
http://www.aaets.org/practicalsuggestionschildren.pdf 

Parent Guidelines for Crisis Response 
http://www.aaets.org/parentguidelines.pdf 

How Do People Respond During Traumatic Exposure? 
http://www.aaets.org/during.pdf

Helpful Information During and After a Traumatic Event 
http://www.aaets.org/helpful.pdf
 
If you’re concerned about your child’s mental health; there are many resources available. Here are just a few:
 
NJ Children's System of Care 877-652-7624 (24 hrs, 7 days a week)
Children's Specialized Hospital Mental Health Access Coordinator 1-888-CHILDREN, x5851

There has been speculation that the shooter may have had Asperger’s Syndrome which is an autism spectrum disorder. Autism spectrum disorder is a neurobiological developmental disorder and is not associated with violence.
 Let us not compound this tragic event by discriminating against people with developmental disorders or with mental illness or leading families to not seek diagnosis or treatment due to fear and stigma.

Children’s Specialized Hospital is the preeminent provider of rehabilitation services for children with special needs. The hospital serves children affected by brain injury, spinal cord injury, premature birth, autism, developmental delays, and life-changing illnesses. Children’s Specialized Hospital has ten sites in New Jersey and treats 20,000 children each year, making it the largest pediatric rehabilitation system of its kind in the nation. Services include outpatient services, acute rehabilitation, and long-term care through its sites in Bayonne, Clifton, Egg Harbor Township, Mountainside, Toms River, Fanwood, Hamilton, New Brunswick and Roselle Park as well as outreach programs in many communities.  Children's Specialized Hospital Children's Specialized Hospital is an affiliate member of the Robert Wood Johnson Health System and a proud member of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation supports the programs and services of the hospital. The Foundation is ranked among the top six pediatric hospital foundations in the country. To help, or find more information: visit www.childrens-specialized.org; find us on Facebook - www.facebook.com/childrensspecialized, or follow us on Twitter @ChildrensSpecNJ.
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