Blog: Aspergers, autism and the Sandy Hook School shooting – Are we grasping at straws?

Posted at 12:40 PM, Dec 18, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-18 13:38:13-05

Many of us across the country are still reeling from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.  It seems the biggest question we all have, is why?  Why did Adam Lanza kill his mother, then shoot his way into that school and gun down six women, eight boys and twelve girls?  Why?

In search of answers, several media outlets have pointed to a family friend’s claim that Lanza has asperger’s or autism.  According to “Autism Speaks”, Asperger Syndrome is “an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) considered to be on the “high functioning” end of the spectrum. Affected children and adults have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviors.”

The controversy heated up this week Liza Long’s story about living in fear of her 13-year-old son went viral: ‘I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’: A Mom’s Perspective On The Mental Illness Conversation In America

Long says autism spectrum is one of many labels given to her son, but says no one has been able to provide a definite diagnoses for what causes his violent behavior.

(Long was also attacked by other ‘mommy bloggers’ for allegedly violating her son’s privacy)

The director at the Mea Lofa Autism Support Center in Chesapeake told me research shows there’s no link between Asperger’s, autism and planned violence.  But that hasn’t stopped people from profiling those with Asperger’s or autism when violence like this happens.

Some parents are being asked if their kid will grow up to shoot people.  Parents themselves are nervous. What will it take to quiet assumptions and rely on facts? Surely an answer about why Lanza did what he did, but that may never come.

I found some other blogs and articles on the topic. Take a look, and tell us what you think.  Are we bordering on profiling by even having this discussion, or do we need to talk about it to help find our way. Post your thoughts in the comments section below.

David’s Gift: That’s not how people with Asperger’s think!

Asperger’s, Autism, and Mass Murder