October is National Vaccine Injury Month: Five Things You Can Do
Dachel Media Update: Autism and Adult Employment

Dear Americans Thinking Autism Equates to Shooters, There's This Word: CO-MORBID

SeparateBy Kim Stagliano

I live 15 miles from Sandy Hook, CT, where Adam Lanza brutally murdered his mother, 26 elementary school students and their teachers and staff members just under two years ago.  Speculation in the media was that Adam had autism or Asperger's Syndrome. My heart sunk. The thought process - "autism = violent behavior" bothered me very much.

Chris Harper-Mercer, the man who murdered so many people in Oregon is also falling under the autism umbrella in the media - because he attended a school that accepts students with emotional disturbance COMMA and Autism and Asperger's. Remember the book, Eat Shoots and Leaves?  Could be about violence, or, with the simple addition of a comma, a book about koala bears.  Even if he had a formal Asperger's diagnosis, his violent behavior would seem to signify co-morbid mental illness and/or brain injury.  

I have so many friends whose sons are on the spectrum - they have enough issues with socialization, FB autistic shooters page peer interactions and finding their way in the world without people turning a jaundiced eye toward them simply because of their diagnosis.

Yesterday, there was a horrible FB page that equated autism and shooters. The sting remains. Many of us have reported this hate age.

At the same time, if you know me, you know I also rail against the "normalization" of autism as just another way of thinking, or a brain difference. I think this denies the real struggles of autism and Asperger's. I think it alters the  response to needs for funding and support and medical care and treatment and prevention and housing and employment and schooling and the list goes on for a mile.

After Lanza, I spoke on CBS Radio.

“I don’t want people to hear Asperger’s and think mass murderer,” she said. “If anything, people with Asperger’s tend to adhere to rules, adhere to laws. They prefer order so this anarchy that Adam Lanza created is anathema to what typically would be an Asperger’s diagnosis.”

She said she would be interested to see what medications Lanza may have been taking so medical professionals could try to determine if they played any role in triggering the rampage.

“We really do need to look at the medications. Pharmaceuticals tend to be left out of the equation and I think they may be a very big part of it,” she added.

Adam Lanza's father described his son as having Asperger's Syndrome.  Our Editor Dan Olmsted countered Lanza's comments with the following, to show the interchangeability of terms. The diagnostic alphabet soup that is like pea soup, not a clear consomme.  Dan wrote:

Well, if he didn’t speak until he was three, he didn’t have Asperger’s. Straight from my hefty copy of DSM-IV, retrieved from the box in the garage: “In contrast to Autistic Disorder, there are no clinically significant delays in language (e.g., single words are used by age 2 years, communicative phrases are used by age 3 years).”

Now you tell me, but assuming his own father has his personal history right, Adam as an infant did have clinically significant delays in language. So if he had an ASD, it had to be autistic disorder or PDD-NOS.

You can read Dan's post here.

Back in 2007, I wrote a similar post on Huffington Post, after the shooting at Virginia Tech.

Autism is the new term for psychotic behavior? I THINK NOT.

There are posts buzzing about the autism lists that the media is saying the murderer at Virginia Tech was autistic. Perhaps a relative in S. Korea uttered the word and it got into a press report? Not one individual who has worked with or taught the man has mentioned autism as far as I know. That doesn't mean the rumors aren't already flying.

Sure, we've heard he was a loner, had no friends, was weird, and was virtually mute as a child. None of which automatically implies or worse diagnoses autism. Have we learned nothing from the Terry Schiavo video proclamation"She's not (brain) dead yet!" debacle courtesy of Dr. Frist?

Here's an example for you. Yes, I realize I am the queen of analogies. I have three girls with autism and I too am a visual thinker, OK? You walk down the street and meet an old friend. He used to have shiny dark brown hair that he wore in a ponytail. He is now bald. You politely hide your shock at his glabrous head. You chat. You go home to your wife and say "I ran into Bill Ponytailman today. He has cancer." Your wife says "He told you he has cancer?" You reply, "Well, no, but he's bald and he always loved that damn ponytail so I assume his hair fell out from chemo." To which your ever so smart wife replies, "No, darling, Bill has alopecia, that ponytail was a wig he wore when we were young to hide his embarrassment." Not all bald people have cancer. Not all loners who do not speak and disavow themselves from social situations have autism. Capece?

Are people with autism sometimes non-verbal? Let me ask my six year old. "Bella, love? Bella? (Pause, wait, file nails, grab coffee, still waiting.) No answer. Yes. People with autism can be non verbal.

Are people with autism sometimes very much alone? Let me ask my 12 year old. "Mia, have you ever been invited to a friend's house for a play date or a sleep over? When was the last time a friend called you on the phone, sweetie?" (Pause again, pluck eyebrows, refresh coffee, read email, clean a toilet.) Yes. People with autism can have few if any real friends in the social, reciprocal sense of the word. I suppose that's being a loner by default, not by choice.

Are people with autism sometimes weird? Let me ask my Gianna. "Miss G., do you ever get frustrated or overwhelmed and lie down on the floor to calm yourself? In public?" Yes. Other fourth graders would surely call this "weird." I read my Judy Blume a looooong time ago, but I'm guessing not much has changed. Kids would call Miss G. weird. Miss G is not weird, I assure you. She's a terrific kid who has developed a coping mechanism for herself.

If the media really begins to call this murderous, evil man autistic, or if the general public simply assumes if they heard the word once it must be true, I will blow my stack. It will insult every person on the planet with autism. And every parent of a child with autism. I guess I get a triple insult.

Ask anyone in the autism world if they know kid with the diagnosis who is genuinely mean or nasty. They may have behaviors that appear to be mean - but there's a difference between a fight or flight response that results in hitting or biting out of self-preservation and just hauling off and hitting someone because you feel like it. And the chasm between bad behavior and mass murder is wider than the space between Madonna's central incisors.

Please don't insult my daughters or anyone else's autistic kids by giving this thug the label "autistic." I have many friends with sons with autism. They will grow up into tall, muscular men. Some already are full grown. Their size intimidates people to begin with. They do NOT need to have people equating autism with dangerous sociopath.

On the brighter side, there is a real connection between autism and this horrible and all too common event - Chris Mintz, an autism Dad, charged the shooter - putting his own life in jeopardy.

Please, let look at the root causes of this violent, angry, explosive behavior. Let's look at access to guns. Let's not just look at a possible diagnosis and think - killer. Our friends and loved ones on the spectrum deserve better.

House of Cards 200 pixelsKim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. Her novel,  House of Cards; A All I Can Handle 50 pixel Kat Cavicchio romantic suspense is available from Amazon in all e-formats now. Her memoir, All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book. She co-author 1001 Tips for Parents of Girls with Autism with Tony Lyons.




Republicans voted as a bloc against any kind of sensible gun control even after Newtown and one of their own Gaby Gifford was shot. They obviously care more about getting NRA contributions than any kids lives that get in the way. This is my point of view, but the voting record is up for viewing if anyone wants to see it. It's nothing to be proud of.

False scientists...

Leah, any and all parties, including universities (like U Texas), Science'blogs and especially the Democrats who enforce reckless, unchecked vaccination policies have blood on their hands.

False scientists...

"There is no relationship between aspergers and violence." (CNN) But, there likely is a relationship between brain damage and violence. U of Texas with your games played in the monkey study- blood is on your hands as you and other 'researchers' try and hide the truth.

Cherry Misra

All of these letters remind me of something I said to a father who approached my school recently.Lets call him Haneef. Haneef mentioned that his older child goes for some kind of therapy and he approached me about admission for his son who is nearly 3 and has speech delay. I recognized the doctor he goes to as one who has damaged so many kids in my school area of Delhi- Vasant Kunj. My policy as of this last year is to say up front- " Stop the vaccines immediately for one year." (I know after that they will probably realize how much more healthy their child is without vaccines) . I have to say this because I may not see the parent again and because there is no time to lose. Doctors are constantly pushing more vaccines on kids. Their next doctor visit might be tomorrow.
I noticed that Haneef caught on very quickly to the things I was saying. Finally he said a little sadly, "I wish I had met you earlier" - to which I could only reply " Yes, Im sorry for that. You see - your children were born at the wrong time in history"
Friends- Look at the insanity of todays medical practises. Even blood letting may have made more sense at times. We are in effect saying " We can put any sort of foreign substance into the human body, no matter how alien,toxic and irritating and possibly carcinogenic and if the person does not fall dead really really soon, Its SAFE !
And the result is these damaged young people who are then presented with more alien substances to (hopefully) ameliorate the effects of the earlier ones . As we see here, the result is simply chaos.
I believe that for nearly each one of these young school and college shooters, we could say simply, "He was born at the wrong time in history ."

Bob Moffitt


"Instead of reporting on his relationship to his mother - that he was close to her (is it bad to be close to one's mother?) and that he was a homebody outside of school (is that abnormal?), why don't they tell us what mind altering drugs he was prescribed?

Apparently Lithium was among many others .. from DRUDGE:



Sorry, I meant in the NYT article, not Washington Post.


Instead of reporting on his relationship to his mother - that he was close to her (is it bad to be close to one's mother?) and that he was a homebody outside of school (is that abnormal?), why don't they tell us what mind altering drugs he was prescribed?

I have not seen any interviews with current classmates or instructors, just those far in the past, with his estranged father, and the focus on his mother. They can't call her a refrigerator mother, they'll have to come up with a new category for her. Maybe they already have. Funny that the Washington Post article says that the parents divorced 10 years ago, that the father had not seen the son in 2 years, but the focus is on the son's relationship with the mother - no probing whatsoever into the son's relationship with the father. Just saying.



Mother claimed she and her son have aspergers. Her son was a head banger at one time ( boy hasn't that word meaning evolved). Mother has unhealthy interest in guns that she shared with her son (like Mrs. Lanza). Son has history of psych meds and psych "treatment".

Terry Fitton

Harris L Coulter who famously wrote, A Shot In The Dark, the book about DPT damage, also wrote the book, Vaccination Social Violence And Criminality: The Medical Assault On The American Brain, 1990.

It's all in there with well referenced evidence.

Birgit Calhoun

Regarding Newtown, there is a book out titled "Newtown - An American Tragedy". I haven't read it, yet, but by what I have seen, it gives many details about the life etc. of Adam Lanza.

I keep thinking that the Newtown environment is affected by a past of pollution by mercury salts from its history of hat making. The waters around that area of Connecticut were often polluted. With that background and vaccination added in it would not be far-fetched to say that autism is more likely there. I remember that Sandy Hook elementary school did have a fair number of autistic kids among its students.


It is in our Constitution.
They have plenty of laws on the books - lots and lots.

I live out here in the boonies - they kick in your door on any given day and come on in.

Two lebsians got into some poor old 80 year olds house and took a TV an smashed her head in -- last week.
Sneaked in while my neighbors while home -- home and took their stuff.

We have our guns.

By the way; My husband took a course in and begged my son to go through it with him and he refused. I know that he is scared of it- and of the loud noise it makes.


I believe this shooter was mercury poisoned. His age, 26, coincides with the peak years of mercury in vaccines and I think he was driven crazy from it. He knew he had no friends, no future, and was angry and supplied more than abundantly with guns. By the way folks, if you have a son who is in that situation, get him holistic help, especially chelation, not a gun for Christmas. Also, one party mainly has blood on their hands for blocking sensible gun control. I hope all these representatives feed good about the dead kids. Hey, as long as they get their NRA contributions.. As Jeb Bush just said, "Stuff happens." I am pretty angry.


I have also read that a vet with a concealed carry, close by, (and there were others who would have helped too) seeing what was going on was told by a security guard not to interfere?


This may be of interest. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sandy+hook+conspiracy

I watched one of them a couple of years ago.

How is it that parents who just tragically ost their little children are laughing?


For what it's worth, I think we are seeing the result of several things (including the glorification of violence in games etc.) but not least is that there are a lot of children around with some kind of soft sign brain damage. This could be due to several environmental aspects, including vaccines. Neurologists should step up to the plate more in terms of research.


No one every one is confused.
Lord Knows I have stumbled around for the past 40 years trying to figure it out.

You get hurt by the vaccines. Apparently numerous - unlimited ways to be hurt when you are talking about the metabolism, endocrine,GI, renal and just out right brain injuries.

So for some:
You have bad muscle pains -- it hurts. You can't sleep - You can't wake up -- You feel bad - You have depression.
So you get on a prescription drug.

And then another one while staying on the old one.

And then another one -- while staying on the other two.

and finally you are staggering around at times and even if you are not out right drunk on them -- you and your thinking and judgement is. And you begin to behave weird.

So some one in the family that loves you says -- Heeeeey you are worse - let us get you off of some of these. And after pleading with the medical community - they take you off of them. YOu should have been in a confined situations -- locked down in a padded room - and darn it actually takes weeks and weeks if not months.

Because taking you off of them is just a tiny bit more dangerous as being on them.

Is that pretty much how it is going?


Wow lah, are you actually saying that no one was killed in Oregon a few days ago, no children were killed in Newtown, no one in that movie theater in Colorado, Gabby Giffords wasn't shot in the head, etc? Where on earth is your evidence for such an outrageous statement, other than "everywhere out there?"

david m burd

One 100% fact is all the mass-murders have been by males who are teenagers into their twenties. None have been perpetrated by females.

A wide range of studies puts a range of males afflicted by ASD are anywhere from 3 times to 16 times, compared to females. With many if not most on mind-bending psychotropic drugs ever since.

The tremendous increase of brain-damaging toxicities from vaccines has sharply escalated from 1991/1992 and to the present, setting the stage for today's young men now brain-poisoned here in 2015 to commit such irrational murders.

A sold-out Mainstream Media is actively abetting Pharma and NIH/CDC on this National Catastrophe; they are bought out by scores of $Billions each year on advertising revenues.

Kaiser Health Foundation reported in 2005 Pharma had spend $30 BILLION per year on drug promotions; in 2013 Kaiser further reported Pharma had spent $70 BILLION per year on drug promotions. Questions? Anybody"

Birgit Calhoun

As I said if you don't look you won't find. The ostrich that keeps its head in the sand will only see sand if he dares open his eyes.


A world class psychopharmaceutical expert had this to say about the investigation that concluded that Adam Lanza had not been on medications or withdrawing from medications prior to his attack on the school. He didn't think Lanza's postmortem toxicology screens should be viewed as definitive because...

"Given the importance of the issues, and the convincing record of mental health problems and treatments, this issue needed definitive input. This means that, for instance, hair samples should have been taken to establish [the perpetrator’s] record of drug intake over the prior 6 month period. An apparent absence of anything in the blood at death is compatible with not screening extensively for prescription drugs, or with the vagaries of post-mortem drug distribution, or with the fact that he had stopped recently and the drug had cleared his system and he was suffering withdrawal effects."

go rand

Is there a SIDS document somewhere of that will show the number of children who die every week/ within a day or two of a "well baby vaccine visit" ???

I believe the number is about 3,000 a year or 60 infant deaths a week.

Any chance of locating the shooter in these cases ?


I've read that Jeffrey Dahmer was an Aspie, and in this state (MA), we had a teenager kill a younger student. The two apparently did not know each other, which caused some grief to the local Asperger's group because they initially used bullying as an excuse for the crime. One of the dangers of presenting the autism spectrum as another way of thinking is that it obscures the very real alienation many with high functioning Asperger's (and I insist on using that term) feel. Add a co-morbid condition, and it can be an explosive mix. Someone with full-blown autism cannot plan an elaborate crime. Someone with Asperger's may not be able to put on the brakes when his mind takes some very dangerous turns. That is one reason with the two should not be under the same umbrella. Diagnosing mental illness in a meaningful way has gotten way too fuzzy in recent years, and my guess is we are producing additional brain damage, making it harder to know what the problem is. Drugs, illegal and legal, head injuries, abuse, and any number of health issues are contributing to mass shootings. Perhaps the NRA should contribute money for some solid research into these issues instead of just shooting off their mouths.

Birgit Calhoun

I am very much in support of not jumping to conclusions that because it's a school shooter and he is autistic that one should not equate these two possibilities. In my opinion it is a fact that it happens. In a small way it happened when someone sued a family in Sunnyvale that their child who is autistic became a public nuisance. It's a sad event, and the fact is right there that these people who sued have no clue as to what the parents are going through.

What is, at this point, much more distressing to me is the fact that the powers that be, I mean the government, the police, the general public avoids thinking about a connection that needs to be studied, especially when the connection is mercury or vaccines. Mercury-poisoned people have many of the characteristics of autism--and as far as I am concerned they should be equated. There is avoidance going on that allows business as usual. In Sunnyvale as in Newtown there is a reason why the ostrich-head-in-the-sand analogy is fitting. In Newtown, it's property values and in Sunnyvale it's gentrification. We paid so much for our house; so we are entitled to not have those kinds of people in our neighborhood. In Newton they raised the house to make sure nobody will remember later. That open land is not going to be called Adam Lanza open space preserve.

I don't know whether the person in Oregon was autistic or was mercury-poisoned. But one thing is clear: The head-in-the-sand people need to start looking for the light. There is a reason for autism and mercury poisoning and other environmental causes (vaccines included).


I misspoke. It is not drugging from infancy. The drugging of our young begins in the womb - onward. Then they are fed garbage, exposed them to 80,000+ toxic chemicals (that also began in the womb) and warehoused in institutions euphemistically referred to as schools for their entire childhood, which for many begins at the age of 6 weeks.

And then we wonder why their brains don't develop properly, why they become depressed and violent.

david m burd

Prescribed "psychotropic" drugs have destroyed so much of my family who trusted their doctors.

The ONLY time in my life, 20 years ago for about 2 months (after a major financial catastrophe), I took such drugs that induced me to go stark, raving mad - and only came out of it after being hospitalized in a Mental Ward "Rubber Room', thence total cessation of the drugs, followed by electroshock therapy, and completely recovered my former cheerful, and professional, normal self.

I have become aware that "shock therapy" is usually very successful, AND, results in a complete cessation of prescribed drugs. Since Pharma loses its life-long consumers they of course slander and trash this successful technique.

Other family members suffered terribly from their prescriptions, and were repeatedly suicidal. And their everyday life was awful, full of anxieties and utter depression -- I am sure caused by their legally prescribed drugs. None of us became murderers, though I think we were just lucky.

There are massive (and personal) repercussions and tragedy through our Society every day, and they are brought by our medical system's Allopathic Madness, and it all starts with the mothers being poisoned, followed by the Child Immunization Schedule.

Betty Bona

I always think of fluoride when I think of the situations where psychoactive drug treatment has resulted in murderous behavior. Fluoride helps aluminum across the blood/brain barrier. What other toxins get into the brain because of fluoride? Is it just the drug itself, or is there something else that enters as well? Maybe it actually is the aluminum in conjunction with the drug. Maybe the drug builds up to toxic levels in the brain. We could look at the chemicals in the brains of these mass murderers if we truly wanted to know. Have we done that? I'll bet there is not a single one of these shooters who has been labeled autistic who wasn't treated with a course of SSRIs or other mind altering drugs. I know there have been some who have wanted to make this connection from as far back as the Columbine shootings, but there are powerful forces that prevent this line of questioning from proceeding. "Autism" is an easy scapegoat to prevent serious investigation of pharma drugs.

Bob Moffitt

“We really do need to look at the medications. Pharmaceuticals tend to be left out of the equation and I think they may be a very big part of it,” she added."

Forget about "looking at the medications" .. that is NOT going to happen.

Consider .. just about every shooting attack in recent decades .. at schools or other public places .. such as .. a McDonald's or a theatre .. was launched by someone who was known to be on "medications" at the time of their attack .. or .. was recently known to be on "medications".

In EVERY instance .. the official response is ALWAYS the same .. "blame" either .. "guns or mental health".

Indeed, information regarding the "gun" .. will be immediately available .. the make, caliber, ammo, how gun was acquired, photos of shooter with guns .. on and on.

Conversely .. information regarding "mental health" NEVER goes beyond that single line admission .. and .. NEVER .. ostensibly because of HIPPA laws protecting the shooter's right to privacy .. identifies WHAT "medication" the attacker had been using or had recently stopped using.

And so .. unless and until .. there is a serious discussion on the role that certain "medications" may be playing in these mass shootings ... our country will continue to suffer the tragic consequences.

Jeff Sherwin

My 10-year old Aspie made me wait for 10 minutes at a 10-foot-wide street with no traffic because there was a "DONT WALK" sign illuminated. I told them there was no traffic but he did not care. Definitely law abiding. He also cried with my wife killed a small moth in our house. He cried, "Why did you have to do that!??" He was so upset. Not exactly a mass murderer in the making :-)


I cannot believe that anyone still believes that any of the "shooting" situations were real. Please do some more research. The truth is everywhere out there. As no one died in any of these "shootings", any one who pushes the idea that medical conditions, or kids on medications, were the reason for said shootings, is merely creating a distraction. They are either ignorant, deceitful or just flat out lying.

Gary Ogden

Kim, you're good; a fine writer with a fully-functioning brain, unlike most of the folks in pharmedia, and some in "social media."

Angus Files

Also withdrawal from the mind bending pharma drugs is also a factor did they change his meds etc...



Susan Goewey

Thank you, Kim. Did not know Chistopher Mintz was an autism dad. True hero.


Powerful article, Kim. Psychiatric drugs have been the common thread in the majority of these incidents. Another sacred pharma cow. Drugs can be dangerous weapons. Again the issue of informed consent.
We really need a new paradigm of thinking about mental symptoms as a reflection of physical problems, and understand that building physical health builds mental health. Politics and pharma lockstep to avoid real medical solutions.


It would be nice to know the truth behind all these mass murders at the hands of young, mostly white, men. The frightening truth might be that these killings are to be expected, an adverse effect of drugging our youth, from infancy, with drugs that can and do make them crazy.

change the name

This is a very frustrating situation. One of the problems is, if 1 out of every 4 kids has a neurodevelopment disability. And, unfortunately, the higher functioning a child is, the more likely they will be missed for mental illness and the weird or strange behavior will be attributed to their "Asperger's" the same way a non-verbal autistic child's abdominal pain is ignored in the ER because they have a diagnosis of Autism.

Autism is no longer a meaningful word.

Grace Green

Thank you for this very necessary statement of facts at this time. As someone who has struggled with "autism" for sixty-two years I can tell you I have suffered severe bullying every day of my life, not just from peers but also from those in authority, doctors, strangers, friends and others. I can understand an unpremeditated lashing out in such circumstances, but to carefully plan such an atrocity is completely impossible for us. I can confirm that all the "autistic to varying degrees" males in my family are caring, gentle, conscientious and generous, as well as being religiously law-abiding.

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