My heart aches. My heart aches for all those children who were killed. My heart aches for those teachers and staff members who gave their lives. And for the families who lost a beloved son or daughter or mom or wife.
The first question that goes through your mind when something happens like this is "Why?" We want to blame something. We want reasons that this could happen and reasons why it won't happen.
We want answers. And the news media wants ratings. Each network wants to get the scoop and in doing so ends up presenting misinformation. Some misinformation presented to date: the mom did not work as a teacher; it was not Ryan Lanza, but Adam Lanza who was the gunman....so much misinformation. And then the media starts trotting the word autism out in a speculative way. And my heart aches for another reason. More misinformation. Sanjay Gupta reported there is no connection between autism and planned violence. But for some people that word will stick and they will now associate it with violence.
Please read Emily Willingham's post. She, like me, is the mom of a child with autism. She writes for Forbes and other publications. She writes an important piece called Autism, empathy, and violence: One of these things doesn't belong here.
How do we go on from here? How can we make sense of this horrible heartache? Fred Rogers - yes THAT Mr. Rogers - said his mother told him this about watching scary news:
"Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers-so many caring people in this world."
I see many helpers. I see more than helpers, I see heroes...
How can we be helpers?
~ Dixie Redmond