I want to start by letting you know I am intimidated to write on the subject of the Connecticut school shooting because I know there is a tremendous amount of emotions tied to this event. The act in and of itself is heart breaking and horrendous. All over the country people are afraid to send their children to school. I myself was nervous walking into the high school this week for a session with a teen. I think people can wrap their heads around teens shooting teens out of revenge even though it is still horrible, but an adult shooting school children is a whole other level that sends terror down many of our spines.
I would like to make a very important point. The news had indicated that this shooter may have had Aspergers. Any one reading this: do not generalize your fear from this situation onto all people with an Autism diagnosis. Just because someone has this same diagnosis does not mean they are dangerous.
A diagnosis isn't a reason to be afraid of people. People can manage a diagnosis well and you would never know they even have it. It is more important to look at symptoms. Warning signs that some one needs help includes:
- a social person becoming very anti social
- suddenly losing interest in loved activities
- talk of hurting self or others
- sleeping excessively
- often angry
- feelings of hopelessness
- a person who is bullied a lot
- a person who does a lot of bullying
- cutting self
- running away from home
- outbursts of violent or rebellious behavior
- break down of home life
If people have symptoms on this list it does mean they are necessarily going to shoot up a school, but it does mean they could benefit from counseling and they are in an at risk position. Counseling can do a huge amount of preventative work in preventing harm to self or others. Therapy can reduce depression on average by 85%. If you know some one who you feel is at risk please get them in to see someone.
If you are interested in finding a way to help the people in Connecticut follow this link: