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People with Autism and Asperger's Aren't Violent

By December 18, 2012

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In the storm of information and misinformation that has come out of the tragic shooting in Connecticut, some media outlets have suggested that the perpetrator, Adam Lanza, may have had autism or Asperger's. Various media reports have said that Lanza lacked empathy or was suffering from a "mental disorder," such as Asperger's. This reporting is inaccurate. Asperger's and autistic spectrum disorders are not forms of mental illness, but are developmental conditions that often mean a person has difficulty communicating or understanding others, but not that he or she is a killer or lacks empathy. In fact, many people with autism and Asperger's are victims, rather than perpetrators, of violence. For more information, read Priscilla Gilman's editorial in the New York Times and find more information about Asperger's and autistic spectrum disorders.


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