Somewhat Autistic

As the nation mourns for the victims of the tragic school shooting yesterday in Connecticut, I look for a backlash targeting those with autism after multiple media reports (citing information allegedly obtained from his brother) described accused shooter Adam Lanza as "somewhat autistic."

Unfortunately, this will give the uninformed their opportunity to blame the one in eighty-eight US children battling this medical condition for school violence in general.

It will simply add to the stigma and difficulties that these children already face.

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In general, I thought the coverage of yesterday's school shooting was disturbing.

Identifying the wrong shooter and then plastering his photo everywhere?

Multiple reports of misinformation about the shooter's connection to the school.

Interviewing eight-year-old girls who just a few hours before lost dozens of classmates, with questions like: "What did you think when you heard the gunshots?"

It is obvious to me that the welfare of the surviving little victims is not the priority of those reporting the news.








17 comments:

Sue said...

The news showed it's desperation in this case, and it was horrific. As a parent myself (one in elementary school) I was shocked and saddened by yesterday's event and angered by the news' handling of it. I agree with your thoughts 100%.

messymimi said...

The only welfare in their minds is the welfare of their own ratings as they clamor for our attention.

Autism is such a wide spectrum, it's sad that so many people will tar all autism spectrum people with the same brush.

Candice said...

I couldn't agree more!

Elena said...

Never have I hated the media more, and I imagine it will only get worse. I've never witnessed such a tragedy bring out the worst in people.

Kay G. said...

And let's not forget, the way that news events must be titled..."TRAGEDY AT SCHOOL". We don't need the TV to tell us that, we know what it is.
Such a horrible, horrible thing and as you say, to label those who are on the autism spectrum, very unfair.

Pat Hatt said...

So true, they just want to get the news out there, who cares who they bother or if it is true, is basically their motto.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I share your sentiments, Slam Dunks.

There was a forensic psychologist being interviewed for a major news station in Canada today. He said that media was irresponsible for interviewing the kids following the shooting. Of course a few minutes later the news station showed one of the interviews. I wanted to scream.

Anthony said...

I agree.

Maxi said...

I share your sentiments, Slam.

Not only was the media irresponsible to interview the children…

What are their parents thinking?

Blessings ~ Maxi

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

Fox News just repeatedly ran pictures of the killer, essentially making him as much a household name as Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. No one to this day knows any of the people killed st Columbine. The same will be said of Sandy Hook Elementary School. No one shall remember any kid's name. Everyone shall remember Adam Lanza. The media creates these monsters, giving them what they crave most...fame that lives on after their death. Otherwise, if they were just to kill themselves quietly, it would just be a sad end to a mediocre life.

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt said...

"Interviewing eight-year-old girls who just a few hours before lost dozens of classmates, with questions like: "What did you think when you heard the gunshots?" Oh, I know. I was disgusted and horrified and stopped watching.

And yes--identifying the wrong person and then trying to undo that kind of damage??

Our media is irresponsible in so many ways--not that media in general has manipulated truth and motivation throughout history. Just look at propaganda. That our country is not above this kind of unethical behavior is disappointing at best.

Clearly, autism alone does not cause such behavior, nor was the mother responsible for her son's actions. There was something other than autism at work here.

Hilary said...

"It is obvious to me that the welfare of the surviving little victims is not the priority of those reporting the news."

It rarely is.. not when ratings are the all important bottom line.

Autism as the blame? I haven't read or heard a single word along those lines. We don't need to lay blame.. there just needs to be changes made... hopefully starting with gun laws.

Unknown said...

It's so tragic, it's hard to know what to think. I found myself glued to the TV and then hated myself for that ... but I never saw a child being interviewed ... thank goodness! CNN did not present any of that, to my knowledge. Also, despite the reports of an Asperger's connection, I did hear the reporters saying over and over that there does not seem to be any connection between Asperger's syndrome and violence ... EVER .. so obviously this kid had severe mental problems and personality disorders on a magnitude that far, far exceeds autism or Aspergers. I can't stop thinking about this... and also, about his idiot mother with her gun obsession -- obviously she knew that the kid was in deep, deep trouble. Why then would she have automatic weapons in the house AND teach/encourage him to shoot?
How unbalanced and insane is that?? Unfortunately and tragically, it wasn't just her that paid the price for that little hobby.

Betty Londergan said...

I have been so SO upset by this tragedy and found myself unable to stop watching the coverage ... which made me feel complicit in the invasive coverage -- BUT i was watching CNN and to my knowledge they never interviewed any children. And they were very careful to repeatedly add to the Asperger's syndrome link that there has never been ANY kind of association of Asperger's with planned violence. So .. I didn't feel that the coverage on CNN at least was irresponsible.... just too much of it perhaps. I simply was dumbfounded at the mother with her obsession with keeping high powered, totally inappropriate weapons in her home when she clearly knew her son was deeply, deeply troubled. Unfortunately, it wasn't just she who paid the price for her little hobby -- but she enabled her kid to wreak havoc and unbelievable heartache on an entire community. It's time for some sensible gun safety laws, in my opinion. I just cannot bear another one of these tragedies.

Miranda Hardy said...

I'm so glad I didn't watch the news coverage of this. I knew it happened and read the ever changing stories, but to see those interviews would have been horror.

lisa said...

Such a horrific, tragic event. I'm torn as to how much coverage these things should have because another deranged person may see it as an opportunity for their 15 minutes of fame in the spotlight. Also, as much as I disagree with owning semi-automatic and automatic weapons, I think movies and the video gaming industry needs to accept some of the blame for helping to create a culture of violence among our children. If you want to play Call of Duty, join the armed forces.

JJ.in.Phila said...

First, I have a friend with an autistic son, and no, being autistic would neither cause or increase the chances of this kind of violence. It might make a person less likely to engage in a mass shooting.

Second, how many people know how this past year's homicide rate compares to previous years.