Warning: NOT Politically Correct.

This blog entry is NOT “Politically. Correct,” it is reactionary and it’s the way many people honestly feel but are afraid to say.
In light of the Newtown Ct. Shooting there is dialogue concerning the issue of Mental Illness and it’s prominent role in violence.
I endeavored to develop a professional writing partnership with an individual who divulged the he was living with Asperger’s Syndrome. and now  “Authorities are speculating about if Adam Lanza the Newtown Elementary School Shooter suffered from a mental illness, such as Asperger’s Syndrome and if that could have lead him to commit such a terrible crime.”

This is not the first time this form of Autism has been cited in the wake of a violent crime.

And while experts claim there is no link between Asperger’s Violence and violence which may be true, there is the uncomfortable correlation of Asperger’s Syndrome  being involved to some extent, at least in the case of an animal research technician, Raymond Clark III, who was sentenced to 44 years in prison in June for murdering a Doctoral candidate at Yale University who worked in the same building. Raymond Clark is living with Asperger’s Syndrome. which is considered a high functioning form of Autism.

Generally individuals living with this form of Autism are regarded as “harmless” in fact for years we have erroneously  associated the socially awkward and physically clumsy person as a nerd, or geek and aS high functioning having attended post secondary education, but dropping out as both Clark and Lanza did.

I have to admit that I terminated the professional partnership that I was establishing with that individual  because of a troubling incident that consisted of an 8:00 AM telephone call coupled with an unhealthy response to a concern he had over collaborative issues. Resulting in his unwillingness to approach the matter in a calm and rational manner. At the time I remember simultaneously thinking: “This guy needs to get laid and calm the frak down,” and “Uh-Oh, something is not right.”

That incident sent up warning flags and set off alarms for me, leading me to cut off all forms of communication with that individual. 

It’s a slippery slope: On one hand Asperger’s Syndrome is considered a neurological disorder that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests., whereas some personality disorders present  a psychological abnormality characterized by: A pervasive pattern of social inhibition
or significant difficulties in social interaction, feelings of inadequacy, extreme sensitivity, and avoidance of social interaction. it’s really difficult to not overlap the two.

I understand how many parents are quick to defend their autistic children against the resulting blame and finger pointing that has occurred, I also understand that there is a always a spec of truth to stereotypes and how stereotypes begin with an exaggeration and generalization of one small aspect of a  truth.  However at the same time we shouldn’t ignore signs that slap us in the face. Nancy Lanza, mother and first victim of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza, confided in a friend about her concerns over her troubled son less than a week before the shooting took place.

Would Nancy Lanza’s life and the other victims been saved if she sought professional help at that juncture and distanced myself from her son as he was starting to present a clear and present danger? Did she feel that she would be viewed as less of a mother if she had handed her son over to psychiatric authorities when she first saw signs? 

I believe that if you feel uncomfortable or sense danger in any capacity it is better to immediately seek help and remove yourself from the situation than to sit in a bar and lament to a drinking buddy: “She just looked down at the glass and said, ‘I don’t know. I’m worried I’m losing him,’” said Lanza’s friend to the Daily News. “She said it was getting worse. She was having trouble reaching him.”

I’m not blaming the mother. I’m saying that appearances be damned if it means getting help before it’s too late.


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