Autism/Asperger’s Not To Blame

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Dr. Dave Hnida (credit: CBS)

Dr. Dave Hnida (credit: CBS)

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Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorNews reports are saying that Adam Lanza suffered from Asperger’s Syndrome — leading some people to conclude that the disorder and its association with autism is to blame for the shooting rampage.

Not so.

Although some with autism do exhibit aggressive or violent behavior, those are the extremes — and even then are not associated with mass murder-level violence. Even more, Asperger’s is considered a very mild form of autism, and is NOT associated with violent behavior.

Here’s the deal: Asperger’s is considered to be one of the many patterns that fall under the broad umbrella of autism. It’s classic symptoms include extreme social awkwardness, shyness and anxiety. It is typically not treated with medication.

Interestingly, those with Asperger’s tend to be fairly rigid and law/rule abiding — not rocking the boat, so to speak.

But even more interesting is that autism and the disorders that are a part of it can be associated with other mental health disorders, such as bipolar illness, and similar issues.

There’s surely more to come in the days ahead, but parents shouldn’t be concerned Ausperger’s … or Autism is associated with this evil behavior. There’s something else going on.

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