Part of me was trying to avoid writing this post. So many others have said what I am about to say so eloquently that I am afraid to do an injustice to this topic. For better, or for worse, here goes. Firstly, to the community of Newtown: I mourn with you. I am deeply saddened by these tragic events. In the wake of hearing this unbearable news I heard newscasters make potentially dangerous and most certainly inaccurate links between a diagnosis of autism or aspergers and violent and heartless behaviours. Some of you, may have nodded in agreement upon hearing this. Some of you, may have been desperately looking for an answer as to how someone could do something so evil and unthinkable. Some of you stood up and shouted that this wasn't true and pointed out how alarming a claim like this could be. I want you to know that an entire community is at risk of further stigmatization through these words. Dr. Sanya Gupta was quick to set the record straight when he tweeted the following:
something that should be clarified. there is no evidence of a
link between autism and planned violent behavior. #Newtown
Furthermore, Raising Asperger's Kids, wrote a post on her blog that details, with conviction, how threatening and damaging comments like these can be to the autism community. Click here to read that post. Those in the autism community are defensive right now and rightly so. We are afraid that people will gain an increased misunderstanding of autism and that it will lead to actions and prejudices that can instantly destroy the progress that has been made to educate the public. Please do not let careless comments like these target a population of people that have so much to offer. To those of you that stood up against this thoughtless claim. Thank-you.
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)