Response to Tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut from Autism Delaware
December 21, 2012
Like everyone in the nation, we at Autism Delaware have been shaken to our core by the shooting in Connecticut. Our prayers and heartfelt sympathy extend to everyone touched by this American tragedy.
In the wake of these horrible events, there has been rampant media speculation that the gunman may have had Asperger’s Syndrome – a high-functioning autism spectrum disorder.
We need our fellow Delawareans to know that no evidence exists linking Asperger’s Syndrome or autism to premeditated violence against others. In fact, people with Asperger's are often very rule bound and thus specifically law abiding.
Instead of speculating if the shooter had a form of autism—and, in turn, if all people with Asperger’s Syndrome are somehow dangerous—take a moment to learn more. We invite you to browse our website and read about the challenges as well as the positive impact that people with autism have in our communities.
There are many Delawareans whose lives are affected by autism. They are our friends, our neighbors, our family members and our colleagues. They are productive and valued members of communities throughout Delaware. Autism Delaware is made up of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), family members, friends, and the professionals who serve them. Our mission is to create better lives for people with ASDs and their families.
For more information, we recommend the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and Psychology Today’s article “Asperger’s, Autism, and Mass Murder: Let’s Stop the Rush to Judgment.” In addition, Autism Speaks has put together some resources for the autism community to help us all deal with our feelings of grief and loss.