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December 20, 2012 / jrintels

Follow Up on Reporting of CT Shootings and Connection to Asperger’s Syndrome

In an earlier blog post, I discussed the media’s superficial and lazy fixation on Adam Lanza’s conjectured diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome and its implicit (or sometimes explicit) connection to his horrific acts of violence.  Apparently, The New York Times and other outlets have heard this complaint.  Margaret Sullivan, the Times’ Public Editor, now writes a long column refuting this connection and criticizing that it was made so easily.  Says Sullivan:

If there were solid sourcing last week of the Asperger’s diagnosis, the issue of its relevance could have been handled in a clarifying follow-up sentence — for example: “Autism and Asperger’s are developmental disorders, not mental illnesses; and there is no connection between them and violent behavior.”

Let’s hope this word gets out, although the damage — quite considerable — has likely already been done.

One Comment

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  1. Sofie Couch / Dec 28 2012 7:33 am

    Thanks for the follow-up, Jonathan. Yes, the word is getting out! Great blog and follow-up. I will share and have heard from others writing similar rebuttals to the coverage of that sad event.

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