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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Don’t blame shooting on autism disorder

Letter to the Editor

We are all saddened and disgusted by the horrific acts in Newtown, Conn., last week.

Reports have started to surface that the gunman had a “personality disorder” or “disability,” such as the autism-spectrum disorder known as Asperger syndrome. ...

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We are all saddened and disgusted by the horrific acts in Newtown, Conn., last week.

Reports have started to surface that the gunman had a “personality disorder” or “disability,” such as the autism-spectrum disorder known as Asperger syndrome.

It is important to remember that autism-spectrum disorders are not uncommon in our society. In fact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 1 in 88 children may be so diagnosed.

In addition, some individuals with autism-spectrum disorders, such as Asperger syndrome, are hyper-intelligent. For example, some autism experts believe Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton displayed signs of Asperger’s.

So, as we mourn the tragedy, and consider options to prevent them in the future, please recognize that violence is not characteristic of autism-spectrum disorders.

And please do not do not ostracize these individuals that already find social interaction difficult.

William Darby

Nashua