I know very little of autism or Aspergers; my own children, their friends do not have these conditions.
The atmosphere surrounding the massacre in Connecticut is one of terrible grief, shock, disbelief, fear and there is a search on to find something, someone to blame. Adam Lanza can be blamed posthumously but society, it seems, needs to find an object, a person, a thing that can be held up as a target for all this rage and grief. And an alarming trend seems to be arising; a friend of mine called it a “witch hunt” and we are all, fully aware of what befalls victims of “witch hunts.” This witch hunt seems to be circling around the conditions of autism and Asperger’s – conditions that it would appear, Adam Lanza lived with or so it is being suggested as there is no real evidence, just supposition thus far.
This scares me greatly; I fear some sort of backlash against these children, by adults and by the children who fall under the influence of said, ignorant, adults.
Life is hard enough for these kids in a society ill-equipped and/or unwilling to support them as they move through a world that is challenging enough for those of us with the necessary social and cognitive skills regarded as “normal”. Now, the ghost of supposition will haunt them as well; suspicion and fear…
I read a piece on the tragedy this morning, where Adam Lanza’s barber was interviewed (yes, media will sink to whatever depths for a headline); the man – this barber – opined to this reporter, that perhaps he (the barber) should have killed Adam while he sat in his chair…people had told this barber not to talk to Adam, that he wasn’t “right.” Well, anyone who would come out with a statement like this barber’s – that perhaps he should have killed the child, is not “right” in my opinion. Yes, I know what he was trying, in an ignorant manner, to say; that question asked in round table discussions, “Would you have killed Hitler/Stalin/Manson/Gacy if you knew what they would go on to do?” Absurd question but what can you do, humanity may have its flashes of brilliance but more often than not, it is overshadowed by not only its immense capacity for stupidity but also for the constant lowering that particular bar of measure.
That Adam Lanza was sick is obvious, what conditions combined to make this storm of rage and irrationality is an unknown. To start speculating and in the process vilify children as well as adults is unfathomable, to me.
The details of what brought this tragedy about are completely unknown at this point and the cold, hard fact of this is that we may never know what happened to trigger Adam’s psychotic break with reality. The two people who can answer are both dead.
Do not let ignorance and suspicion allow a trail of further victims of Sandy Hook. Humanity has the capacity for great good and this is a perfect opportunity to display this capacity. Educate yourselves, learn about autism and its spectrums, read about Asperger’s and perhaps help to create a world where these individuals are included as opposed to the exclusion they now face, so often.