The Newtown Tragedy and Asperger's Syndrome

The tragic shooting that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday is just unfathomable.  I get a lump in my throat and my eyes burn with tears just thinking about it.  How are those folks in Newtown, Connecticut even breathing today? 

The Newtown Fire Dept flag at half mast, courtesy of

How will I breathe when I go back to work?  This week, when I walk into the elementary school at which I work, will it look different to me?  Will I be able to look at the faces of the children I see and greet and hug every day, and be able to hold myself together?  Will I be able to reassure these children that they are safe-- and really mean it?  Will I break down when I'm unable to stop the thoughts that this shooting could have happened at my school?  To my kids? 

I'm sure I'll do whatever needs to be done, just as my co-workers will.  But no matter what happens, being at work won't feel safe again for a long, long time.

So many things about this tragedy are beyond comprehension.  No one, except for the shooter, can ever really know what would lead a person down a path that would end in massacring children.  Doctors, neighbors, teachers, school counselors, and news anchors can spend countless hours speculating about the mental state of Adam Lanza, but only Adam could have told you why he did what he did.  I have listened many of the details given about this young man whom, by all accounts, no one really knew, yet about whom everyoneseems to have plenty to say.  Adam Lanza was obviously troubled-- any stranger could discern that from the events on Friday, December 14th-- but that is really all we will ever know for sure. 

What troubles me about all the press this young man is receiving, however, is that many in the media are trying to link Adam's murderous rampage to his Asperger's syndrome diagnosis.  Please, please, PLEASE-- could the media just once do their researchbefore treading into waters they don't understand...  While I, and parents like me, are out trying to spread autism awareness, the media continues to muddy the waters of understanding with ill-guided comments and suggestions about the relationship between autism and violence. 


Christina Allred

Riding the Crazy Train:  Diary of a Delirious Mom


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