Age of Autism Responds to Newtown CT Autism Allegation in Media
Cell Door, Opened

Dachel Media Update: Fox News' Siegel Implicates Asperger's

Online newsDec 14, 2012 FOX News: How do you cope with tragedy?

Like many Americans, I was stunned by the tragic events in Connecticut.  On Friday, Fox News had their medical expert, Dr. Marc Siegel, talking about the school shootings.  He made a comment about the actions of the gunman that was shocking to me as a parent and as an autism advocate.

Dr. Siegel: "One thing's for sure, he's out of touch with reality at the time this occurs. If he had something called Asperger's, he may have had ongoing meltdowns which are associated with violent behavior. That's possible."

The next day I was watching FOX News and saw they had a forensics expert on who said that if this young man was autistic or had Asperger’s, it was in no way connected to his violent behavior.  I went on the FOX News site and while I could find the comments by Dr. Siegel, I couldn’t find the other expert’s interview. 

This young man had a number of mental health issues which could be connected to a psychotic breakdown.  There was nothing to justify Dr. Siegel citing Asperger’s as motivation for mass murder.  I would hope FOX News realizes how damaging remarks like this are for the hundreds of thousands of children in the U.S. who have autism.  Autism is a disorder that causes problems with communication skills and social interaction.  There is nothing in the diagnosis about someone with autism being inherently violent.  These children and their families struggle to get the help they need.   Sadly, stories of autistic children being abused and bullied at school are now routinely reported in the news.  Remarks linking murder to autism are as unacceptable and false as any associating criminal acts to certain ethnic or racial groups.  I hope FOX News understands this.

Comments

Media Scholar

The initial reports coming out were that the shooter had recently been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome.

Time will tell if there is some documentation to back this up and when the diagnosis, if any, was made.

One precaution is Pharma black ops usually have a jump team in the area on short notice.

Stay tuned

Dennis Lynn

As a parent of an Asphergers daughter, I've learned there are varying degrees of each spectrum disorder. Since each person diagnosed under the spectrum disorder is unique in there own way, treatments vary. I personally have observed some with kids with spectrum disorders behave aggressive and violent. Then I've observed others who are quiet and passive.

Just because one has been diagnosed with a spectrum disorder does not mean they are more inclined to commit a crime. Let's not throw spectrum disorder patients under the bus because of the incident in Connecticut.

As a police officer i personally know many homicides are committed by people who have no association or diagnose with a spectrum disorder.

Lou

"One thing's for sure, he's out of touch with reality at the time this occurs."

Yes he may have been very out of touch. He MAY have been drugged into a zombie like state dumped at the crime scene and shot. The FEDS now take charge of school shootings so we can look forward to them investigating this crime as the "shooter" being a possible murder victim himself as soon as the CDC concedes mercury and "vaccination" are STRONGLY associated with autism.

My father was a detective, he said MANY murder-suicides were in actuality double murders. Of course we seem to have forgotten this, just like we have forgotten that you DO NOT "vaccinate" pregnant women.

MotherofPossibility

Change the vaccine schedule - it is causing the mental and physical breakdown for the nation's well being. The anger needs to be directed at the government's failed health policies not the individuals with autism. That being said, vaccines are at the root cause for damaging so many lives.

Glennis

Perhaps it is time to stop name calling and really look into who is behind all of this, it appears that much is not being spoken openly about !

Angela Benam

and the following from The Christian Left Facebook page... "We’re not so sure the 20 year old autistic shooter in Connecticut is a “monster.” Some of us know first hand, Autism is a poorly understood condition. In 2013 it will finally be added to the DSM. Access to services for families with an autistic child is abysmal. Often parents are blamed and vilified for their child’s autism. Schools and teachers don’t know how to handle autistic kids so they generally blame the parents. The families often suffer in silence. It can be a nightmare."

While I appreciate the supportive sentiment, I have not heard anywhere that the shooter was on spectrum, NOR was I aware that autism "In 2013... will finally be added to the DSM."

Benedetta

Christine MacVicar;
I am curious.
You said intoxicated.
Did they find something specific finally in his blood test?

Sadly relevant

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-mental-illness-conversation_n_2311009.html?

Lin Wessels

CNN was every bit as bad if not worse. All of our media outlets are guilty of being completely and utterly inept!! It is sickening, disheartening, frustrating and outrageous to say the least!! http://www.mediaite.com/tv/piers-morgan-quack-says-people-with-autism-lack-empathy-somethings-missing-in-the-brain/

God Bless the children! Our deepest sorrow and sympathy to those left behind, trying to pick up the pieces. May we all look forward and remember we were placed on this Earth to help, not hurt one another, no matter our differences. Peace.

Christine MacVicar

Would like to point out to Vicki Hill that her son needs to have better investigations. She describes a similar "psychotic" presentation as my son has but we now know that this is due to a deficit in certain detox enzymes and he is in fact intoxicated. This happens in response to infection and can be controlled by antibiotics. Indeed we knew this before we knew why. In the hands of brain washed psychiatrists these investigations do not get done, although they have a clear duty of care to eliminate organic causes. No expertise, no ethics, nothing but drugs.

no vac

The locals from the bar, which Adam's mother frequently visited, said that she told them about her problems with Adam and that he was taking psychotropic drugs (which most likely caused him to commit this crime). The autism probably had nothing to do with his criminal behavior, but toxic drugs had.

Eileen Nicole Simon

Wayne: Well put. Thank you!

Jen: I heard on the news today that all kinds of bogus background information is being posted on the internet, and that these are being investigated as crimes.

Asperger syndrome has not only become chic, but is now too often used as an excuse. Five years ago or so in Massachusetts a child was stabbed to death at school (the school my sister’s children attended). The parents claimed the murderer had Asperger syndrome. He was a special needs student, but should have been been placed in a Department of Youth Services (DYS) institution rather than a community public school.

Massachusetts has become notorious for placing dangerous teens in much lauded “community” settings, with similar tragic results. An investigation of psychiatric experts is long overdue.

Marlene

Vaccine poisoning would be my top suspicion as the root of most of his problems. It affects each child differently. The wholesale poisoning of babies has got to stop!

Benedetta

Ann;
Oh so Dr. Seigel changed his tune!
That makes sense --- for years, listening to him I have felt that he really does not know what autism really is -- it is just a word related on a psychogologist list.

So now at last he is gett'n an education on mental illness.

Along with the American people

Along with me.

Apparently there are different kinds of psychosis too.
Not sure really -- long term and short term then divided up further in hullcinations, delusional and some other name.

And different kinds of catatonics

Waxing - what ever postion you put someone arms or legs in they stay that way (My nine month old baby the night of the third DPT shot)

and the more common type were they run around and around in circles or some other repetitive movement.

Oh what an education I am receiveing.


Anne McElroy Dachel

Following his initial comment on Fri. linking autism to the shootings, “If he had something called Asperger's, he may have had ongoing meltdowns which are associated with violent behavior. That's possible,” Dr. Siegel was a part of a FOX News discussion of the shootings.

Sat. Dec 15, http://video.foxnews.com/v/2037613416001

Dr. Siegel: “I don’t believe by the way, that this is just something like a personality disorder or even something on the autistic spectrum. This sounds a lot more like someone psychotic, someone who’s delusional … I’m thinking schizophrenia. I’m thinking bipolar disorder.”

It was encouraging to see the change in his theory of the motivation for the killer’s actions. It would have been even better if he’d apologized for his earlier statement.

He could have said, “I’m sorry about my previous comment linking Asperger’s and the propensity to commit murder. I misspoke. There’s nothing in the diagnosis of Asperger’s that ties it to actions like the Sandy Hook shootings.”


Anne Dachel, Media

Jen

Eileen, I initially thought i saw it in Huffpo but can't find it there- you can see an article in Daily Mail, ""Revealed, gunman's survivalist mother was obsessed with guns and stockpiled supplies..."- in an interview with the aunt of the young man, she reveals that the mother was a 'doomsday prepper" and had taken Adam to shooting ranges. Crazy!

Lisa

I believe this boy had mercury poisoning pure and simple from the escalation of mercury containing vaccines in the 1990's. Mercury is well known to cause social isolation, mood swings, mad as a hatter psychosis etc. Whatever you may want to label it injecting huge over FDA limits of mercury containing vaccines in the 1990's is behind this incident in my opinion. Diagnostic labels are just a bunch of different descriptions.

Anne McElroy Dachel

I’m grateful to the Washington Post for saying this:

Autism experts say no evidence of link between Asperger’s and violence like in Connecticut - The Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/autism-experts-say-no-evidence-of-link-between-aspergers-and-violence-like-in-connecticut/2012/12/15/63077d34-4722-11e2-8c8f-fbebf7ccab4e_story.html

“While an official has said that the 20-year-old gunman in the Connecticut school shooting had Asperger’s syndrome, experts say there is no connection between the disorder and violence.”

It was encouraging to see the Washington Post clearly state that there is no connection between a diagnosis of autism and violent behavior, especially something as horrific as the Connecticut school. Thanks to the WP for setting the record straight.

Anne Dachel, Media

Wayne

saying that autism or Asperger’s had any - ANY part in this - is so far from any reality...this 'expert' needs to go back to school- or at least try spending some time with one of these kids- and see how compassionate and loving they are!!!
I do not have the room here to tell him what I really think- other than if Asperger’s has anything to do with this- then Einstein- also being “SUSPECTED OF POSSIABLY HAVING ASPERGERS” should be tried for having a roll in the development of Atomic bomb !!!!
Mr Expert- pull your head out of what your sitting on, wipe the crap from your eyes and look around!

Eileen Nicole Simon

Guns in anyone's household are an outrage. However, Jen, where did you read that the mother had introduced her son to firearms?

I wonder if anyone will try to find out how many times she tried to get help for her son, and was turned away by mental health professionals. I have had in the past to camp-out in the emergency department and refuse to leave until someone would pay attention to my son's need for care beyond being kept at home. Even so, my son has been hospitalized and gotten the care he needs most often by courtesy of the police.

"Recovery is real," is the mantra of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. They just aren't interested in the problems of people with high-functioning autism, or the serious psychotic disorders from which people don't recover.

Jen

I should have added that if he was on meds that certainly is part of the mix- we are seeing real problems with effects of these drugs.

Jen

Kapoore- you are so right- these /90's kids need help! When they at first thought it was the older brother I said to myself it would make more sense to me if it were the younger brother (which turned out to be true). Those /90's kids were the first to be assaulted with hep b at birth. I'm sorry but I do not have much sympathy for that mother- she exercised bad judgment to the hilt- to have had guns is one thing but semi- automatics! And to have introduced that young man who had some kind of mental health issues to firing was insane!

JerseyGuy

According to the Washington Post, Adam was taking medications:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/adam-lanza-is-recalled-as-a-rambunctious-kid-with-family-problems/2012/12/14/795ad0fe-4641-11e2-8e70-e1993528222d_story.html

But there was no mention of specific meds, and so far no other major news outlet has mentioned this angle.

Vicki Hill

I understand where you are coming from Anne, but I have to disagree. There is nothing wrong with the specific quote from Dr. Siegel: "If he had something called Asperger's, he may have had ongoing meltdowns which are associated with violent behavior. That's possible." He did NOT say - at least not in that quote - that Asperger was a motivation for mass murder! And he also said, "One thing's for sure, he's out of touch with reality at the time this occurs."

Several studies have shown that a significant percentage of adults with ASD have comorbid mental health diagnoses. And a very small percentage of adults with ASD also experience psychosis. I'd have to go look up the exact study, but my recollection is that the odds of psychosis among those with ASD is about twice the odds in the general population. Now, that was still a low number, perhaps 6% - but not impossible.

And yes, Peg, there are some people with Asperger who have meltdowns for other reasons than their inability to communicate. Some have comorbid anxiety disorders. Others have difficulty handling transitions or change and experience meltdowns when events don't go the way they anticipated. It can take many years of therapy to overcome these meltdowns.

I say this because I've lived it. My 25 year old son is in that very small percentage who have both ASD and a history of occasional psychosis. Fortunately, by this age the psychosis appears to be a problem at the past, but when he was age 20, it was definitely there from time to time. And he experienced many, many meltdowns for reasons unrelated to communication issues. I know he isn't alone. I know a number of other children and adults with ASD + comorbid mental health diagnoses like him. No, they are not in the majority, but they do exist.

Of course it is wrong to link Asperger or autism with motivation for mass murder. But it is equally wrong to deny that some people with ASD have comorbid mental health issues, meltdowns, or psychotic episodes.

Jake Crosby

It seems Fox News will go and cover autism-related stories with a depth of investigative reporting that other networks will simply censor, and then someone like Dr. Siegel comes and opens his mouth...

Kapoore

My child (now grown) was celiac and before she went on the diet she had some spectrum issues including tsunami crying. Now she is on a strict diet her emotions have stabilized. I don't think outsiders know what a parent of a child with severe mood swings goes through. I don't think the mother should have had the guns around for Adam to use--that seems crazy to me given that he was medicated and unstable--but I still feel for her. Because the biological approach cured my child I point to biology and I think out of control fungal infections might be causative in the inability to regulate emotion. Getting on the organic, non-inflammatory diet might be worth a try. Of course, it's too late in many tragic ways in this instance, but maybe some people got a glimpse into this tormented world. What medications was Adam on? Maybe it's time to ask those sorts of questions in preventing future tragedy. These nineties kids need help, real help.

billie joe

I hope the autopsie includes a good look at his gut. They need to check for parasite, bacteria, fungus, etc. Bet he's out of balance. No disrespect intended... People need to stop looking at labels for answers and start looking at bodily functions that cause depression, hallucination, etc. And what meds was this young man on?

Benedetta

http://video.foxnews.com/v/2037613416001

He said -- It was something much worse than autism or personality disorder:
like psychosis.

Dr. Seigel then says that is no excuse.

Were did he come up with that statement???

Well, it is; cause they have no idea what they are doing.

Good gosh we can't have people going around with untreated mental illness!!!

Psychosis is evil!

The American peole are now in the middle of an epidemic of mental illness so maybe they can figure out what autism really is - what biploar is - what schizo is- what is depression, what is a personality disorders--and the really out of touch - psychosis.

billie joe

Fox needs to go after the pharma peeps... All the murderous rapage stories have one thing in common.... Meds. Years and years of meds prescribed and no search for causes of the children's mental issues... Just bandaide meds. I'm not saying that all meds are bad. But meds for bandaides - without full medical workups to search for cause of symptoms is sinful. Now, I don't know if the young man who committed these murders was on meds like that... I'm just saying, I hope this is investigated.

Jen

Sanjay Gupta said "autism is something that happens from birth." I guess he hasn't talked to the many parents whose children did not start out with autism but later regressed.

Rachel

The autism community needs to shut this guy making comments about autism down NOW. There seems to be an ongoing effort to paint people with autism as being violent. I believe this is because we have a flood of these kids about to age out, and they don't want to pay to care for our children who they have injured so horribly. Simpler to lock them in institutions and throw away the key - and let's not forget cheaper too. Bas$#@ds!

Peg

Exactly! If Adam was high enough functioning to have a girlfriend and plan this evil the way he did, then he was not having "meltdowns" due to autism-related frustration. We see meltdowns when wants and needs are not being met because of an inability to communicate things like sensory issues.
We all need to be very vocal anytime anyone tries to link autism to this horror because it is a flat out lie and completely against the science we know. We need to drown out the falsities each time they are mentioned with actual facts.

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