Aspergers on the added tragedy of the Connecticut shooting

Posted: December 17, 2012 in advocacy, aspergers, politics
Tags: , , , , , ,

The Connecticut School Shooting if it was not sad enough takes on an extra tragic note for anyone who is on the Autistic Spectrum or cares about someone on the Autistic Spectrum. The shooter, Adam Lanza, turns out that he was believed to be on the autistic spectrum even though it was never officially diagnosed*. If it was, additional steps could have been taken to avert this crisis. Without a diagnosis, however, it is hard for someone who is on the autistic spectrum to get the proper treatment and if you read Life and Ink’s post about her son being prescribed drugs, even than the drugs can still have an adverse effect.
People on the Autistic Spectrum make up approximately 1% of the population so the chances are good that many people will not have had experience with anyone on it. Lack of information, means that other people (NT) who may have seen a person with Autism react badly by throwing an agitation, sensory overload tantrum and made a scene in a public place. Therefore, they may think that a person on the Autism Spectrum is a violent, unbalanced person who needs to be highly medicated.
They may not understand that people on the spectrum love rules, and most of us are huge rule-followers. They make life easier for us because it gives us a guide to act upon in a new situation as we do not generally do “on the fly” well. We don’t always get all the information, because of trouble reading body language and tone, therefore, rely on rules to guide us in new situations. This generally means that we are great citizens, however, anyone not knowing all of this, and not knowing anyone on the spectrum, and are predisposed to making rash judgements and decisions when they find out that the Columbia shooter, is believed to be on the autistic spectrum, from the news may think badly of the rest of us. One terrible incident like this, could undermine lots of hard-work to show people on the spectrum positively.

* Lanza, Autism and Violence. Columbia Journalism Review. December 12,2012.

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  1. First I have a DeafBlind Son. It’s difficult. I have a cousin who can’t talk and has seizures and is autistic… Just because a kid who had something did something doesn’t make all kids in those groups look bad. I think it just shows how more attention needs to be given to those with kids who are dealing with special circumstances like a disability of some sort or disease. Kids are precious no matter what they are or have. It just shows if his mom was struggling with home that he needed help. And SHE also needed support in getting him help. The poor lady was left alone to take care of him. Where was dad in this? Enjoying his NEW life? Maybe this is exactly what started the kid on a downward slope… If people are now saying she was worried and he was getting hard to handle… Why didn’t they jump right in and try to help… Help!!! It’s what people most offer, people most lack and it never rarely in time… No one looks bad at you!!! You did nothing! Don’t put that in yourself. Shame on the people that heard moms cry for help but didn’t act on it. Do the research now and find out how to help others in these difficult situations… That’s the biggest help 🙂
    Another mother in pain

    • mrasperger says:

      You make an interesting point in regards to how the mother needed more help. In terms of one bad person doing something and it reflecting badly on the community for a long time a great example is 9/11. Some Arab terrorists were responsible, but after that, for a long time in some people’s minds all Arabs were terrorists.

  2. Alys McDonough says:

    I think you’re right — thanks again for being such a great autism advocate.

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