Support crucial for kids after trauma

Published 3:39 PM EST, Fri December 14, 2012

Follow news about Friday’s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on CNN’s live This Just In blog.

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

(CNN) – School shootings such as the one at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, may have long-lasting consequences, but with proper support, many children are able to move on, experts say.

Children need to be with their families as quickly as possible after exposure to such horrific events, said Steven Marans, director of the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence/Childhood Violent Trauma Center at Yale University’s Child Study Center.

Marans and colleagues are making themselves available to Connecticut officials, including the governor’s office and state police.

The good news is that most kids do bounce back from a single incident of trauma, said James Garbarino, professor of psychology at Loyola University Chicago and author of “Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them.” If children can get back into their normal routines and get proper support, he said, they will do well.

Long-term issues are more likely for children who were very close to someone who died in a shooting, who witnessed the event or who were in close physical proximity to it, Garbarino said.

In addition, “Kids who are having difficult lives before the event are the ones most likely to have issues,” Garbarino said.

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