tv Sanjay Gupta MD CNN December 16, 2012 4:30am-5:00am PST
powerful liquid relief speeds to the source. fast. [ male announcer ] stop the uh-oh fast with kaopectate. hey, there. welcome back to cnn's continuing coverage of the tragedy at sandy hook, elementary. we are here in newtown, connecticut. heading towards the bottom of the hour. i'm kate bolduan and john berman will be back to join me in a couple of minutes. let's catch you up on what we know this sunday. president obama will head to newtown, connecticut, where he will meet with the families of the victims. the president will also speak at a vigil, an interfaith vigil tonight. many people looking forward to hearing his words. we also know 12 of the victims were boys and 8 were girls. the medical examiner released
the names of all of the victims yesterday. all of the children were either 6 or 7 years old. while 6 of them have the victi adults, all were women working at the school. united way set up a fund to collect donations for victims' families and the community as a whole. it's called the sandy hook school support fund. all donations will go directly to those affected. many ways to impact your world today. we still don't know much, though, about the shooter, adam lanza. so many questions and very few answers. what type of person he was. i want to bring in cnn chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. hearing a lot of the same things we are. one thing a source has told cnn that a relative says that adam lanza had a form of autism.
automatically people jumped to try to make connections, but you have to be very, very careful to try to connect this horrible violence to anything having to do with autism. >> i think so. and i think, kate, you can probably even take it a step further. there really is just no evidence of a link between autism or asberinger's or anything on the autism spectrum to planned violence. this idea that people have violent outbursts or reactive violence, there's been some notion of that. but yesterday i decided to look into this a little bit more. one of the largest studies of 132 people and one that everyone quotes. in that study only three people had evidence of any violence whatsoever and reactive violence. i think we can dispel this myth that somehow autism contributed to this planned violence that we're talking about here. >> also, we have so many questions about the shooter and
the families are just seeking for some answers. this whole community are seeking for answers and really just still reeling from this tragedy. there have been many support groups that have set up, but also a crisis center that was set up yesterday and you were telling me that you visited that crisis center. what did you see, what did you hear? >> i don't know what to expect, kate, it is so raw and whether or not people would just want to be at home with their families or actually go to a place like this. they wanted to go. i can tell you that. probably at least 100 cars in the parking lot. it was a different elementary school, obviously, reid elementary school where they set this up. psychiatrists, psychologists and children's counselors all there and what was striking families going in there and staying for some time, as well. not something where they were going for a short period of time and you really got the idea from talking to people that the community as a whole was almost an individual, meaning that instead of being isolated and sort of having to deal with that
and the worsening feelings that might bring. someone is going through the same thing you were going through was part of the crisis center set up in time and phone lines that people could simply pick up the phone and call. it's hard to know what the impact will be, but, clearly, people wanted to use these services. >> what i've been hearing since i've been on the ground and talking to many residents, so many parents, no matter what their children are. they're struggling to figure out how to tell their children about what's transpired. if -- how much detail to give them and really everyone is dealing with this on an own individual level and parents need to be strong for their kids. >> probably a lot of your viewers all over the country are having those discussions. i don't live here, but my kids were asking me the same things. i have a 7, 5 and 3-year-old. i will tell you that you want to be honest with something like this. and i think this whole -- my daughter wanted to know the names of people yesterday.
she wanted to know the names of some of these children and she wanted to know if her school was going to be a safe place to go. and i said this never happened in daddy's school or mommy's school and this happened now but we do all we can to keep you safe. everyone knows their kids best and the graphic details, i think, obviously, age appropriate sort of things. but i think that's probably less necessary than just letting them talk and then filling in some of the gaps for them. i think it's also important to remember that in medicine we say you check your own pulse first before going into a situation. check your own feelings first. doesn't mean you don't share your feelings, but you also don't want to overwhelm them and overtalk the kids with your own feelings. you are there to support them even though sometimes it seems like they're supporting you, as well. >> you're a neuro surgeon so you know more about the brain and the mind than so many. do you think as people are trying to find a motive, a
reason why this man went into this school and did this horrific, evil act, do you think it will come down to some kind of mental disorder, personality disorder? >> i think there's a very good chance some sort of mental illness that maybe, again, not asperg asperger's or autism but something else confounding this. having covered a lot of these stories tragically over the years and you know this, kate, sometimes the answer is unknowable. sometimes we simply don't know. we were talking about this yesterday. there will be autopsies and looking at to try to answer these questions that you're asking and i doubt they're going to find something where they say, that's the answer. >> nothing is going to bring any comfort to those families. >> i think you're right. >> dr. sanjay gupta, thank you so much. great to see you. sanjay a doctor and father himself of three young girls. we'll be back in a few minutes on how not to talk to your kids
about the tragedy and some tips on how you should talk to your kids about this tragedy. sanjay, thank you so much. do just want to correct an earlier report right here on cnn that we reported on earlier, the young victims were, in fact, 12 girls and 8 boys. we apologize for that mistake. many moving parts here as we cover this story. we want to tell you, there are so many incredible stories to tell you about. one of the youngest victims, we'll tell you about one of the youngest victims in a moment, but, first, here are the names and ages of all 26 people killed at sandy hook elementary school. people have doubts about taking aspirin for pain.
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the first grade teacher was killed on friday morning. she died trying to protect her students. victoria soto was just 27 years old. emilie parker was just 6 years old. another one of the victims of this tragedy. her father spoke publicly and very emotionally last night. he's one of the only parents to come forward to talk openly about their terrible loss. it's because he said he wants everyone to know how special his little girl was. >> i would really like to offer our deepest condolences to all the families directly affected by this shooting. it's a horrific tragedy and we want everybody to know that our hearts and our prayers go out to them. this includes the family of the shooter. i can't imagine how hard this experience must be for you. and i want you to know that our
family and our love and support goes out to you, as well. my daughter, emilie, would be one of the first ones to be standing and giving her love and support to all those victims. because that's the type of person that she is. not because of any parenting that my wife and i could have done, but because those are the gifts that were given to her by her heavenly father. i have two really good friends at home who set up a facebook page to help raise money for emilie and when i've gotten on that and just seen the number of people who have commented and expressed their condolences it's been quite overwhelming. as the deep pain begins to settles into our hearts, we find comfort reflecting on the incredible person that emilie was and how many lives she was able to touch in her short time on earth.
emilie was bright, creative and very loving. emilie was always willing to try new things, other than food. she loved to use her talents to touch the lives of everyone she came into contact with. she was an exceptional artist and always carried around her markers and pencils so she never missed an opportunity to draw a picture or make a card for those around her. i can't count the number of times emilie noticed someone feeling sad or frustrated and would rush to find a piece of paper to draw them a picture or to write them an encouraging note. emilie's cardmaking was expressed beautifully this last october when she placed a very special card that she had made into the casket with her grandpa, who also just recently died of a tragic accident. emilie was a mentor to her two little sisters and delighted in teaching them to read, dance and find the simple joys in life.
emilie's laughter was infectious and all those who had the pleasure to meet her would agree that this world is a better place because she had been in it. she was their best friend. they were all born within three years of each other, so, by law, they're very close. she was teaching my middle daughter to read. she would help my youngest daughter learn how to make things, show her how to do crafts. they looked up to her. and they looked to her when they needed comfort. usually that's, that's saved for a mom and dad. but it was really sweet to see the times when one of them would fall or get their feelings hurt how they would run to emilie to get support and hugs and kisses. she was the type of person that would just light up a room. she always had something kind to say about anybody.
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they did that out of respect for the victims. tom cruise was supposed to be in pittsburgh last night for the preview of his new movie, the premiere "jack reacher." that movie begins with the scene involving a sniper attack. the new york giants, the new york jets and the new england patriots all plan to wear patches or decals to honor the victims when they take the field today. it is so hard to make sense out of a tragedy like this, the one at the sandy hook elementary school. so hard for anyone to wrap their heads around it, yet alone children, which is why i want to bring in our chief medical
correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. an emotional story for all of us and parents around the country, including me, i'm a parent to 5 year olds and you're a parent. what do we tell our kids before they go to school tomorrow? >> the one thing i think is important and your kids don't really know yet what has happened but so many kids still find out, john. it's important to realize that even with the tv off, talking to other people, as you say, it's a story that has really everyone in the country has talked about. you have to assume that your kids are going to know something. i think at that point to be transparent. i have a 7, 5 and 3-year-old. my 7-year-old asked me the names of the children. they want to humanize this immediately. that's just their instinct, i think. then to fill in details as is appropriate for the age. i mean, obviously, not being too graphic, but also not, in any way, not being truthful. so, she ask eed about her own
school and if it was safe. i reminded her this never happened to daddy's school, mommy's school and never happened here. i think it's important to say we'll keep you safe and this is a bad man that did these this si think. it makes a difference, and it's going to be a maturing experience as hard as it is to say for all kids. i think this is part of it. >> do you wait for them to come to you? i ask it selfishly. should i wait or go to them and say listen, something bad has happened? >> the advice seems to be let them dictate the conversation. even when they dictate the conversation, even to ask what do you know? what have you heard? ask first to get an idea where they are, and then start to answer some questions. you don't want to overtalk them. i mentioned this earlier, but in medicine we say check you're own pulse first before going into a situation. checking your own feelings a
little bit as well. the goal i imagined for you and me is to be a source of support for them. in order to do that you have to make sure you have your own feelings in check. it's hard. i spent a lot of last night just when i should have been sleeping thinking about this as well. >> you want to be a source of support for them. the truth is they've been a source of support for me this weekend. seeing them has meant so much to me covering this. what are the signs you look for in children, besides the questions, once they do find out, the next it few days, what to look for to make sure they're handling this well? >> very important. we think of ptsd as something adults experience, but young children can. even three to four months old about three-quarters of children have some form of ptsd more expose to the violence saw something are the most traumatized with this sort of thing. it's not flashbacks typically
eyre hypervigilance, but often up changes in play. regress and have temper tantrums, sleep, very important, john. over the next few days if your child is sleeping well, they're likely to cope well in the long run. >> dr. sanjay gupta, thank you very much. it's be very helpful to me and everything out there. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics... a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. celebrex can be taken with or without food.
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i'm victor blackwell at the cnn headquarters in atlanta. here's at look at other stories this morning. ft philippines the toll from a devastating typhoon continues to climb. authorities say more than 1,000 people have died and it's feared the number will go higher since more than 800 people are still missing. many are fishermen at sea when the storm struck. the