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Kathryn Seifert

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Member Since: Oct, 2006

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The Path, Vol. 2 No. 2
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Raising Children Who Kill
Tuesday, October 10, 2006  6:18:00 PM

by Kathryn Seifert

At least 75% of youth violence is preventable, if the right steps are taken as early in the developmental process as possible. It will take money and commitment. Children with severe needs should rise to the top of the nations priority list.

Fifteen year old Eric Hainstock, who had a history of school violence and school suspensions, shot a Wisconsin High School principal 3 times and fatally wounded him on September 29, 2006. School suspensions are just not the answer for these youth who are in trouble.

Scott Dyleski, age 16, was given a life sentence on September 25, 2006 for the brutal murder of his neighbor. It was reported that he took pleasure in the killing and exposed himself to a counselor while in detention. When people ask, “How in the world could this have happened?” I say, “These are children that could have been saved, if they had been identified and had been given adequate services as early in their lives as possible.

Reportedly abused and neglected as a child, Scott began using a variety of drugs and alcohol at age 10. His family was reported to the department of social services for neglect, but the case was never investigated and it was closed. His father lived in a regular house, while he and his mother were homeless and lived out of doors. Eric had aggressive actions and behavior problems before he killed his principal. (CNN)

What went wrong? It is my opinion that the abuse and neglect that Scott suffered resulted in disrupted attachment patterns (DAP) which led to inappropriate social relatedness. While, Eric’s history is yet unknown, there were signs that he was in trouble and needed help. In my opinion, killing another is an indication of something seriously awry with a person’s attachment to other people. This does not happen over night. It is not fixed over night either.

Some portion of those with disrupted attachment patterns (DAP) who do not receive corrective developmental experiences at an appropriate age are at risk of committing horrible unfathomable crimes and residing in jail cells for the rest of their lives. A homeless child or a neglected child is less likely to be exposed to corrective developmental experiences. This does not excuse or downplay the horror their actions. It does not say that society does not need to be protected from them. It is making a case for preventing these horrible acts in the future by providing services to “at risk youth.”.

We can stop this cycle for at least some portion of these youth, such as Scott Dyleski, Eric Hainstock and adults like Duane Morrison who commit heinous acts. Duane Morrison molested his female hostages at Platte Canyon High School, killed Emily Keyes and then turned the gun on himself. He had a record of petty crimes and was apparently living out of his Jeep. It is unknown if he was actually homeless, but it is a question to ask. Is homelessness a situation that overwhelms vulnerable persons with few coping skills? Is solving the problem of homelessness one step we can take to lower our risk of such future atrocities? Can we do better at identifying abused and neglected children who need the help of other adults? We certainly can, but it will take sufficient financial support of the agencies that carry out those tasks. It will also take a paradigm shift that allows us to realize that these children often need help as young as pre-school. Prevention is a key element in solving these problems for our children’s future.

Kathryn Seifert

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 More News about Kathryn Seifert
New Book Coming Out - 4/27/2011 5:58:00 PM

CARE2 Assessments Now Online - 6/8/2010 11:05:00 AM

CARE2 assessment Has a New Look - 4/10/2010 12:02:00 PM

Appearance on Discovery Channel ID and 10 Year Anniversary - 8/2/2009 10:28:00 AM

Bullying in America - 2/7/2009 9:58:00 PM

Parents who Attack Their Children and Partners  - 10/11/2006 5:33:00 PM

Books by
Kathryn Seifert

CARE 2: CHronic Violent Behavior Risk & Needs Assessment - Second Edition

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How Children Become Violent (Professional Version)

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Take Charge of Your Stress and Change Your Life

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Pathways to Inner Peace: An Audio CD and Journal for Getting in Touch with

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Walking Among Angels - Edition 2

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How Children Become Violent - Parent Version

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