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Doctors Say Autism Does Not Equal Violent Behavior
As information slowly comes out about the Connecticut gunman, Adam Lanza there are reports the 20-year-old had Asperger’s -- a form of autism.
One in 88 people in the U.S. is believed to have autism, but Asperger’s is considered a milder form of this neurological disorder and experts say Asperger’s is not a calling card for violent behavior.
The Rodriguez family picks up their 6-year-old autistic son from speech therapy twice a week. They say Daniel is smart, loving and adores his sister. So they were upset when they heard the link between Asperger’s and the Connecticut gunman. “It's kind of unfair to hear false conclusions,” his parents say. “It would be an error to say that because someone has Asperger’s they are going to act in this way.”
Dr. Allison Sallee says there is no clear link between Asperger’s and violent, aggressive behavior, “One thing that's really important for people to know is that being homicidal or suicidal is really not part of Asperger’s at all.”
Dr. Sallee says you can't generalize about people with Asperger’s -- and there are no simple answers -- when it comes to an act of violence like the Connecticut shootings.
She says if you have a child diagnosed with Asperger’s and are worried about negative backlash at school, the best thing is to be honest with them and remind them it's just a part of who they are.
You might also want to contact your child's teacher about any concerns.
By Cassie Gallo