The ongoing musings of an adult with aspergers.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Violence and Aspergers

When I was about 14 or 15 years old, I got into a verbal altercation with another student. Outside the bus stop, he punched me. I blacked out a split second and fell to the ground. I collected myself, put my glasses back on and walked away.

I don't believe I have an aggressive bone in my body. In order to get me to fight, you have to physically assault me somehow. And even that is no certain thing. I have never been in a real fight, just play fighting with my siblings. I hate the idea of hurting another person, don't even like to hurt animals. I don't own a gun, don't own weapons. I would rather eat a bullet than have another person's death on my conscience. I don't like to watch violence. Violence is just not in my blood.

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, there has been written media speculation that the shooter had asperger's syndrome. Whether he did or not is unknown, certainly without viewing his medical records. But most experts agree that Asperger's syndrome is not a trigger for violence. Yet I overheard in a locker room over the weekend a gentleman, a high school gym teacher, ranting about how a person with asperger's was taken for target practice.

Mass incidents of violence are extremely rare. It takes a special set of circumstances for a person to go so completely off the deep end that they begin to murder as many innocent people as possible. In my own opinion, extreme stress is usually a trigger. When violence involves a person with asperger's or autism, it is usually a secondary condition such as isolation that leads to a problem. But this is certainly not limited to asperger's, and when an incident is so rare it can not be explained by a single condition.

I have heard from those concerned about the stigma of the condition. Googling the term "Adam Lanza Aspergers," the majority of links explain away the link, noting again that those with asperger's syndrome are typically non-violent. Ignorant and uninformed people will always proclaim their opinions with little basis for the truth. But the facts are easily available for anyone willing to research, and those who do so will see a vastly more positive picture of those with asperger's.

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