Don't scapegoat autism

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Unfortunately, a plethora of articles have appeared in the media suggesting a relationship between autism and violence because of the suggestion that the suspected killer in Connecticut was on the autism spectrum.

At the very least, it is disingenuous to promote this unsupported claim and instill fear in the general public of those with autism. Much of the information we’ve received about Adam Lanza is pure conjecture. Someone in the medical field has yet to come forward with an official diagnosis that Lanza was given in the past – even Asperger’s syndrome.

Furthermore, autism is not a mental illness, as some have stated in the news. It’s a neurological developmental disorder and a metabolic disorder.

While authorities continue to search for the cause of the mass shooting, they would be wise to investigate what, if any, psychotropic drugs Adam Lanza was taking. The concentration has been on gun control, while the side effects of many of these drugs include violence – murder and suicide.

Maurine Meleck

North Augusta, S.C.

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soapy_725
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soapy_725 12/29/12 - 09:37 am
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MM you are on the right track.
Unpublished

Prescribing drugs for those with disciplinary problems has and will continue to cause our nation pain. People do not always take their pills. When you deny the truth about society at large, you are doomed. We have eliminated the term criminally insane. It was not PC. We have eliminated the words evil and depraved because they originate in religious dogma.

We as a nation have chosen to accept anti social behavior as everyday life and we must pay the price. We have chosen as a nation to accept the slaughter of innocent humans as a way of convenience.

So why the tears, America? Other than those shed by those with personal intimate loss. Crocodile tears.

And by the way. The word is that the grieving people in CT do not want you to "edify yourself" by becoming groupies and sending toys to their deceased children. Yes you who get on TV because you sent paper angels in the mail. CT is not about you. Get over yourself. Say a silent pray for the grieving.

Bulldog1
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Bulldog1 12/29/12 - 10:36 am
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Illness

I am left wondering what the difference might be between illness and disorder. Where does disease fit in here? Is there really a difference among the three?
For what it's worth, I haven't yet heard anyone suggest that autistic individuals are more prone to violence than any other group.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 12/29/12 - 12:21 pm
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Spectra

Ms. Meleck states boldly that autism is not a mental illness, and instead classifies autism as a "neurological development disorder." Please allow me to clarify:

The mind is a part of the neurosystem (or neurological system, if you prefer). Therefore, as Asperger's syndrome has been classified as comprising a part of the autism "spectrum," so must autism be classified as comprising a part of the mental illness spectrum.

Yes, Ms. Meleck, autism is a mental illness. Some people with mental illness are low-functioning, and some are quite high-functioning. A few people with mental illness are geniuses. Mental illness is a wide spectrum, indeed.

msitua
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msitua 12/29/12 - 03:57 pm
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yes, autism is an illness, or a disorder

however, it does not and never did belong in the DSM because autism is NOT a mental illness. Those who are not familiar with autism or who have not lived with a child with it or studied what it really is--do not have a clear understanding and that is sad. There is a huge difference between a mental illness and a neurodevelopmental illness. I am sorry you do not understand this.
Yes, it has been all over the news for weeks that the mother of the shooter said he had aspergers and many articles have come out that say things like "We need to be sure those with autism do not have access to guns" or other incorrect remarks about autism and violence.
maurine Meleck

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 12/29/12 - 04:12 pm
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Jargon

I'm sorry, Ms. Meleck, but I do not understand what the acronym DSM stands for.

srreeves53
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srreeves53 12/29/12 - 05:43 pm
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Autism

By saying this guy did this because he was autistic and that's why he did it, will only make others think people that have autism will do bad. People with autism, depression, Asperger's syndrome or any illness caused from their brains, body or nerves being bad or not formed right is like telling everyone that anyone who has these is domed from the start. No, most of them really try hard to get past these things to live a normal life. The problems I see is, these people don't get the help or Love they need, for whatever reason.

msitua
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msitua 12/29/12 - 08:03 pm
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DSM

It's the psychiatric bible for mental illness--lists them and and what comprises a diagnosis.

amdachel
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amdachel 12/29/12 - 10:16 pm
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“While authorities continue

“While authorities continue to search for the cause of the mass shooting, they would be wise to investigate what, if any, psychotropic drugs Adam Lanza was taking.”
Maurine Meleck is right. Someone should take a look into the psychotropic drugs Lanza may have been taking. Studies have linked them to worsening depression, mania, aggression, psychosis, depersonalization, hallucinations, and suicidal and homicidal thoughts. Millions of children are on these drugs.
Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

Bruno
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Bruno 12/31/12 - 06:05 pm
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I am wondering where the

I am wondering where the condemnation of the mother who had the guns that killed her and the children readily available to her obviously mentally ill child is.

This really isn't about the right to own guns or even the availability of mental care (the father and mother were wealthy enough to afford excellent care) it is about the stupidity of a parent to allow a mentally unstable and mentally ill child access to guns.

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