A teen with Asperger's named John Odgren was convicted earlier this month of first degree murder for stabbing a schoolmate to death in Sudbury, Massachusetts. Their local online news site ran an article, Parent Worry Odgren Conviction Could Cast Shadow on Asperger's. The comments there are frankly chilling, with a good deal of anger and bitterness toward the special education population. When Cho went on a shooting spree at Virginia Tech, the whispers of his perhaps having Asperger's made me so angry I wrote a Huffington Post piece to scream, Autism does not mean violent!
If your child (special needs or typical) was sitting in class with the boy in Georgia who drew a threatening picture (see story below), would you want him charged and removed from the class or would his diagnosis make you pause and help work toward teaching him smarter choices? I've had these conversations with friends who sons have autism and Asperger's; it's a source of real worry. We need to have these tough conversations, even though they are heart wrenching. How do we protect and teach our kids on the spectrum?
David Knowles, AOL News
(May 14) -- A 14-year-old autistic boy in Georgia faces possible felony charges of making terroristic threats after he drew a stick-figure version of himself firing a gun at his teacher.
After discovering the crudely rendered drawing that Shane Finn had made on his classwork, officials at Atlanta's Ridgeview Charter School suspended the eighth-grader and decided to pursue charges against him, Fox News in Atlanta reported... Read the full article and watch the video on Fox Atlanta HERE.
Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. Her book, All I Can Handle; I'm No Mother Teresa is available for pre-order and will be published in November.