Will alleged Newtown killer Adam Lanza become the poster child for those who are pointing the finger at sufferers of Asperger’s syndrome? Unfortunately it doesn’t take much at times such as these when feelings are raw for some to seek a scapegoat and the current trend seems to be Asperger’s.
The Toronto Star has a piece on the subject in which they state:
Canadian experts on autism say descriptions of Adam Lanza are classic signs of Asperger’s, a high-functioning form of the disorder. … But they are quick to point out that undiagnosed or untreated mental illness that often accompanies autism is more likely to blame for Lanza’s deadly rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School, not the condition itself.
Will that explanation fall on deaf ears? Will a backlash against Asperger’s sufferers and perhaps those with autism in general somehow give vent to the frustrations many feel over the terrible shootings in Connecticut? If so, more’s the shame. That would be a typical knee-jerk reaction and almost a mob mentality; throw science out the window and burn those with Asperger’s at the stake.
According to Dr. Wendy Roberts, co-director of autism research at Toronto’s Sick Children’s Hospital:
Typically, people with Asperger’s are very aware of the rules and are usually reminding people about obeying the rules,” she said. “It goes against their grain to break the rules.
Let’s hope cooler heads prevail and a rational debate can take place once facts are established rather than a knee-jerk backlash against all those with Asperger’s or any form of autism for that matter.