So much of what we have been told about Friday’s horrible shooting in Newtown, Conn., has turned out to be incorrect upon further investigation. One early theory, which arose from reports of a police interview with Adam Lanza’s brother, Ryan, was that Adam had a “personality disorder” and was “somewhat autistic.” Accounts from those who knew Lanza in passing suggest that the alleged shooter was “a little off,” but in a rush to explain the horrible events at Sandy Hook Elementary, many are linking the shooting to autism — a troubling development to many.
US media already connecting Newtown shooting with#autism. Please don't add prejudice to the grief and shock.
— Janine Booth (@JanineBooth) December 15, 2012
Just so everyone is clear about this. A symptom of Autism is not shooting your mother in the face. Blame something else.
— Ron M. (@Jewtastic) December 15, 2012
#Autism has as much connection to a shooting as a nervous twitch, stuttering or hair color. Don't let the media convince you otherwise.
— Stuart Duncan (@autismfather) December 15, 2012
This guy didn't kill because he's autistic. My sister's autistic and she wouldn't hurt a fly. He had serious mental issues, not just autism.
— amanda chaney (@amanda_panda530) December 15, 2012
Makes it so much harder for parents like ME..Connecticut school shooting thrusts autism into national spotlight http://t.co/a9EnP1xO
— WingMom (@WingM0M) December 15, 2012
Violence is NOT a characteristic of Asperger's, I would know. My brother has AS. http://t.co/OF7Qvcn9
— T$ (@weecuppateatime) December 16, 2012
Why is it we have another shooting & people are eager to announce that the killer has autism?! Do NOT correlate MURDER with AUTISM!!
— Zuko's Mom (@JokersGal25) December 15, 2012
Some are worried that reports on the shooting are using autism and mental illness interchangeably, where autism is a neurological condition.
Dear Media, Stop calling Autism a "mental illness". Being accurate about this, especially in the midst of such tragedy, matters.
— Guilty Squid (@guiltysquid) December 15, 2012
Aside: Autism/Asperger's is not a "mental illness".
— Melissa Mackenzie (@MelissaTweets) December 14, 2012
something that should be clarified. there is no evidence of a link between autism and planned violent behavior. #Newtown
— Dr. Sanjay Gupta (@drsanjaygupta) December 15, 2012
Medications might be a factor, but that too is only a theory. Some in the medical field have a less-scientific but perhaps more plausible explanation for Lanza’s alleged acts.