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December 17, 2012 / jrintels

The Connecticut Tragedy and Asperger’s

A lot has been written about the horrific shootings in CT being committed by a 20 year old boy with Asperger’s. Granted, I am the parent of a boy with Asperger’s almost the same age, so this is biased. But, in my view, what this tragedy tells us about kids with Asperger’s is the opposite of the way the media is playing it. Rather than say this kid’s Asperger’s caused this, the lesson to be learned, I think, is that Asperger’s kids aren’t so different from “normal” kids — they can become sociopaths too. After all, how many of these shooters never have had the word “Asperger’s” associated with them? So, in the end, pinning the Asperger’s label to this kid doesn’t really explain anything. It’s just lazy analysis and avoids asking harder questions.

I spoke to my son about this and asked if he’d ever experienced any violent rages? He thought about it and said, “Well, yes, I kicked you when I was ten because I was mad.” I laughed and replied, “I don’t think Gandhi was as nonviolent as you.”

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  1. Michael Eddy / Dec 17 2012 4:54 pm

    Jon – thanks for this. The whole idea of some press accounts trying to delve into a “why?” and ascribing what happened to any degree on Asperger’s was beginning to aggravate me. I know that this is all a major story (and all happened a few miles from where i live) – but the leaking of what turned out to be erroneous information – and not waiting for confirmation on the stories before going to air seems to be rather shoddy reportage from some very astute people on both the local and national levels. I don’t know if you saw the 60 Minutes piece last night with Scott pelley – eho I normally think is excellent – but in a rush to get it on air – it was one of the worst segments I think I’ve ever seen on that show. They chose to air interviews with people who could barely string a sentence together. It was ridiculous. And the school nurse – who hid in a closet for 4 hours wasn’t a great choice either. Maybe she was the only one to consent to be interviewed – because with all the courageous behavior exhinited by others – including the first responders – albeit under a horrendous circumstance – her story seemed a rather poor choice to use to lead off the 20 minute segment.

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  1. Follow Up on Reporting of CT Shootings and Connection to Asperger’s Syndrome « Jonathan Rintels

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