Friday's deadly mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school can be a difficult event for children to process. Clinical
psychologist Dr. Richard Fleitas says 'there's going to be no one, normal reaction,' but he says 'communication is key.' (Dec. 17)
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SHOTLIST:AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLYWashington - December 17, 20121. SOUNDBITE: Dr. Richard Fleitas, Clinical Psychologist: "Children are going to have a wide variety of reactions, particularly based on their age. I think one thing that's important for caregivers, teachers and parents to understand is that there's going to be no one, normal reaction. Young children might find themselves quiet, not wanting to talk about the event. Communication is key. Finding someway for them to express themselves. Communication is key, but at the same time you don't want to pressure that. These things need to develop and unfold in their own time. Writing about trauma is one of the most effective ways of helping processing the events and the feelings for children who are too young to write. Artwork is a fantastic means of expressing themselves. So encouraging that and then routine, establishing the old routine and a new routine, finding ways for the family to connect. Obviously minimizing watching television because you don't want children to be re-experiencing the event. They might feel it's coming on. The same news story happening might seem like a news event to them and that would re-traumatize them. So minimizing television. Encouraging families to spend extra time with their children, more so than normal. Family meals, book time, reading bedtime stories. Things of that nature. 2.Three seconds of black3. SOUNDBITE: Dr. Richard Fleitas, Clinical Psychologist: "You know there's parents in Newtown right now who haven't even talked about the vent with their children yet because they realize that they're not ready. This is going to take time. It's going to take more than just days, more than just weeks. It could take years for some."