In the wake of the tragic shootings last week at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, parents everywhere are left struggling to make sense of the senseless violence that claimed 27 lives including 20 children. Many media accounts have reported that the gunman had an Asperger’s diagnosis, although this has yet to be officially confirmed. Parents of children with autism are expressing concerns over news accounts repeatedly linking autism with mass murder as autism is not associated with violence of this scope and magnitude. With a largely uneducated public when it comes to the various manifestations of autism, the fear is that ASD children will be even further isolated from society than they already are.
Autism File columnist and Age of Autism managing editor Kim Stagliano sat down with CBS radio in New York on Monday to discuss the impact upon autism families from mischaracterizations of the diagnosis being sent out time and time again to an unwitting public. If you’re concerned about questions you may receive from others about violent tendencies on the part of your child, listen in as Kim explains what autism is, what it isn’t, and the potential repercussions of sending out the wrong message about the diagnosis: