WXXI AM News

Coming up on Connections: Monday, March 23

Mar 23, 2020

First hour: How physical distancing is affecting victims of family violence

Second hour: Discussing new guidelines for autism screenings

The coronavirus pandemic is having an effect on the number of calls made to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Hotline staff report that a growing number of callers say abusers are using COVID-19 as a reason to further isolate victims. Locally, calls to Willow Domestic Violence Center have increased, with victims looking for advice for how to adapt their safety plans. The center has ramped up phone counseling services and is working to address a possible increase for shelter services. Advocates for children are also expressing concerns about how physical distancing could impact children who live in abusive homes. This hour, our guests discuss how to help victims of all ages. Our guests:

  • Meaghan de Chateauvieux, president and CEO of Willow Domestic Violence Center
  • Mary Whittier, interim CEO of RESOLVE of Greater Rochester
  • Deb Rosen, executive director of Bivona Child Advocacy Center
  • Jerri Lynn Sparks, survivor of domestic violence

Then in our second hour, new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend specific autism screenings during well visits when children are 18 month and 24 months of age. Experts say doctors can gauge social milestones during those visits; those milestones could provide early signs of autism. This hour, we discuss the new guidelines, and we talk about how to support children and young adults with developmental disabilities who are now at home and unable to access programs during the pandemic. Our guests:

  • Dr. Susan Hyman, M.D., professor of pediatrics, and division chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong
  • Sarah Milko, executive director of AutismUp
  • Rachel Rosner, director of education and support services for AutismUp

This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk