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How Local Counselors Help Children Cope With Trauma

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--As we first told you yesterday, Cedar Rapids police are investigating a shooting that left three people dead.

Officials believe 47-year-old Robert Livingston shot his wife, Ingrid, and her mother, Jane Huber, before turning the gun on himself.

Police say the Livingstons two children were inside the house when it happened.

Investigators are not saying if the children witnessed the crime.

Today we spoke to local counselors about how they help students deal with highly traumatic events.

When it comes to the effects of trauma, no one is exempt, but it can be worse for children and teens.

That's when prairie heights elementary school counselor Jodi Schamberger comes in.

"We make sure that all of our counselors are available and ready do address any student needs that present themselves. We also work with Grantwood AEA to assemble a crisis team, she said.

Schamberger says they bring in trained crisis professionals to help students with coping strategies.

This is done in small groups or for those who appear to need more attention, like friends of the family, one on one session are available.

"We try to identify more students who might be closer in the circle of crisis and then work out from there, said Schamberger.

It's preventive measures folks at Saint Luke's Children's Specialty Services say they also do to help children they work with.

"One of the things we try to teach kids too is to continue with their normal routine as much as they can, said Carol Meade, Specialty Services Manager.

Carol Meade says traumatic events can affect children mentally, physically and emotionally, ignoring the signs means it might continue into adulthood.

She says the best thing anyone can do for them is to simply listen.

"Assure them that they are going to be okay and help them through their fears that they might be experiencing as well, Meade said.

Meade says changes in behavior can help parents and family members know when a child may be experiencing depression.

Way-Point services would also like to corridor residents to know that they also can provide assistance for families dealing with domestic abuse.
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