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Asperger’s Does Not Explain Connecticut Shooting

Planned, social violence is not a feature of autism. Indeed, autistic people are far more likely to have violence done against them than to do violence to others. No one knows as of this writing what drove the Connecticut shooter to kill 20 children and 7 adults, point blank, although obvious candidates are rage, hate, a huge grudge against humanity, and some triggering event. But if he turns out to have been someone on the spectrum, I’d like to remind everyone that autism is not an explanatory factor in his actions. And that autistic people like my son are fully, fully capable of empathizing with those who were the target of them.

Left Brain Right Brain

Autism Speaks has issued the following statement on the Coonecticut school shooting yesterday:

Statement on Newtown, Connecticut

Statement on Newtown, Connecticut

Our hearts go out to the families and town of Newtown, Connecticut in the wake of this heartbreaking event. Several media outlets are reporting that the shooter might have had an autism spectrum disorder. Some have also inaccurately reported that there is a linkage between autism and planned violence. We ask that blame not be placed on people with disabilities or disorders in the midst of these types of tragedies and that everyone keep the families of Newtown in their prayers.

Elizabeth Feld
President, Autism Speaks

Edit to add: I posted this statement in full without asking permission of Autism Speaks. It is short enough to make it difficult to pull sections out for a discussion. I greatly appreciate Autism Speaks making this statement. I am not associated with…

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Read more: The New Yorker
WHAT OBAMA MUST DO ABOUT GUN

Obama told the nation that he reacted to the shootings in Newtown “as a parent,” and that is understandable, but what we need most is for him to act as a President,(…)

Read more: The New York Times
Nation’s Pain Is Renewed, and Difficult Questions Are Asked Once More 

This Just In

  • 20 children, six adults and the shooter are dead after shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Friday morning
  • Three law enforcement officials say Adam Lanza, 20, was the shooter, and that he died apparently by his own hand
  • Suspect’s mother, Nancy Lanza, found dead in suspect’s home in Newtown, law enforcement source says
  • Ryan Lanza, 24, older brother of Adam Lanza, questioned by police but not labeled a suspect, three law enforcement officials say
  • Below are the latest updates as they come to us. You also can read our story of the Connecticut school shooting

[Updated at 11:18 p.m. ET] Aimee Seaver, the mother of a first-grade girl at Sandy Hook and a fifth-grader who attends a different school, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that her children are having trouble dealing with what happened.

„It’s a very rough night here,“ she said. „When your first-grader goes to bed…

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