The Martyrdom of St Brian
Special Needs Advocacy Ideas to Kickstart the New Year

NJ Paper Asks If Autism Is Related to Family Shooting in New Jersey

Grace of godNOTE: Thanks to AofA reader, commenter and contributor Jonathan Rose for his alert to the updates on this macabre story. Scott Kologi is accused of shooting four family members on New Year's Eve with a semi-automatic rifle.  He has autism.  Most of us know that our kids are not aggressively violent - meaning they do not plot violence or retaliation or revenge on others. Most are rule followers and the rule of law is a comfort. However, I know that even in my pretty young women girls, they can have behaviors that are called "aggression."  It's a dark secret for many families.  Patching spackle is always at the ready for holes in walls. Scratches are laughed off as a bad kitty cat in the house. Bruises are fodder for banter between us in quiet talks.   Sudden rage is a problem in autism and Asperger's too. Uncontrolled outbursts are shocking. Share your experience if you want to, in our comments. We'll follow this case - it blows away many of the myths created around autism. And it begs the question the media loathes asking - we're psych medications a factor?   No  matter, a 16 year old with autism is looking at life in prison or a psychiatric ward.  His family members are in deep mourning. It's a horror all around. Surely we can find it in our hearts to at least think about his future - since it may be the same for many of us.....  Also, thanks to John Robison for his contribution to the story below in app.com. Kim

Click here for several in depth stories about the Kologi family.

Nearly a week after a Long Branch teen said to have autism allegedly shot and killed his mother, father, sister and a family friend, a host of critical questions remain unanswered.

Among them: What happened inside the family’s modest brick home on Wall Street leading up to the shootings, which took place minutes before the stroke of midnight ushered in the new year?

And what about the alleged murder weapon, described as a semiautomatic AK-style rifle? Whose rifle was it, and how did the boy accused of the shooting, 16-year-old Scott Kologi, get a hold of it?

The teen is facing four counts of murder and a weapons charge in the deaths of his parents, 42-year-old Steven and 44-year-old Linda Kologi; his 18-year-old sister, Brittany Kologi; and a family friend, 70-year-old Mary Schulz.

More: Long Branch shooting: Victim's death stuns Jersey Shore biz community

Few answers have been forthcoming after a judge barred the press from covering the juvenile court hearing and another judge issued a gag order to prevent lawyers from talking about the case. But one answer may never be known, even to Scott Kologi himself and his surviving relatives: What role, if any, did autism play?

It’s a complex, emotionally charged question, one that has surfaced in the aftermath of other mass shootings by individuals who had exhibited anti-social, autistic-like behavior.

That was the case with Adam Lanza, who killed 20 children and six adults in the 2012 shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Lanza, who shot and killed his mother prior to going to the school, and later committed suicide, had been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum.

Two years after Sandy Hook, a study published in the journal Aggression and Violent Behavior added to the controversy.

The researchers examined the cases of 239 killers who had murdered at least three people since 1985 and found that 28 percent of them had “definite, highly probable or possible” autism. Among them was Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. While Dahmer was never clinically diagnosed with autism, “evidence exists to suggest he displayed numerous indications of Asperger syndrome,” the study said.

The study met with a fierce backlash from critics who faulted the study’s methodology and speculative conclusions.

“The issue is simple: correlation does not imply causation,” John Elder Robison, who has Asperger’s, wrote in the magazine Psychology Today.  Read more here.

Comments

Morag

Hello Cia,thank you for being courageous enough to describe the huge and acknowledeged difficulties of your present situation .

Please take a look at. MAP'S - Helen Sanderson Associates. Excellent information to read about care and support planning .
Also look at [HSA] Helen Sanderson Associates info about online learning package for Person -Centred approaches for young people with autism .

Reading Is Fundamental
As for the high rate of homicide by firearms in the US, you first need to consider that most of it is drug-related or gang violence, black on black.

Nope.

cia parker

Out in Middle America,

Thank you, and everyone else, for your sympathy. I took my daughter to a roller skating lesson this morning (third class 1 roller skating since September, and she did it two years ago too), and thought I might as well say something, I am so depressed and silent. I told her I found her assignment book in her backpack and saw what she had written. I said I am very sad and deeply hurt. That's all I said. She put her fingers in her ears, thinking I was going to repeat what she had said, but I didn't. We went to Pet Smart after roller skating, she loves to go to pet stores, but we didn't go last week because of the severe weather in the Midwest right now. She enjoyed that. And I talked to her in the car about how hard the world was. I told her (again) to never permit herself to be in a room alone with any man, nor to be out alone at night. I told her about the frequent gang rapes in Malmo, Sweden (thanks to immigration, now the rape capital of the world), about the girl a few weeks ago who was gang raped there and one of them poured lighter fluid in her -- and lit it. I told her that most men are decent and would never do anything like that, but that there were many, many, many who would, and not give it a second thought. I said if a man were to invite her out, she'd better talk about it with a woman acquaintance or supervisor before doing it, to make sure both that they think he's decent and so someone will always know where she is and what she's doing. I asked her if she wanted to have a baby. She said no. I said in that case, she'd better be very careful before having sex with any man, or being in a situation she might not be able to control, because she would probably get pregnant immediately. Or get an STD.

I can't believe that our society is in such a crisis with exploding autism, yet there are so few plans for what to do about it, how to feed, house, employ, protect, and entertain this huge population for life. How to protect the autists from criminals and how to protect the innocent from the violent autists. Just sort of floating along with their fingers in their ears, like my daughter who didn't want to hear that I had read what she had written. And until this all blows sky-high, they're going to try to compel as many sheepies as they can to get their children and themselves ALL the vaccines they have to unload before their expiration date. Informed consent? No way. With the hospitals leading the way in the complete abrogation of the human rights doctrine on free and informed consent. God damn them to Hell. And I mean that.

Out in Middle America

I am sorry CIA.
I wish I could say that you will get it figured out after the graduation.
I had to let one of my kids see how hard the real world was, she went against everything I taught her, and everything I stood for. . I was concerned that she might not survive, that she would be murdered or have an accident and die. . I am sure my hair would stand on end if I knew all the things that happened. But she only had bipolar, and not autism.

My other child that is high functioning autism has seen how hard the work places are around here. They pay little, and treat their workers harshly - even the normal people; let alone some one that is disabled a bit. I am sending him back for more training in a community college, and I sent my disabled husband with him. 61 years old and gong to school, yeah they are both going to school. This is just a weird world, is it not?

But both of our children loves us and have never said; kill or cut our heads off. I am going to thank God for that one, and pray with all my heart that at least that part of it; that burden is lifted from your shoulders, cause that is too heavy of a burden to bear.

I see that my friend from highschool that lives down the road, bought his son a trailer and parked it on their farm about a foot ball field away from them, and about 50 feet in front of his mother's house.
The grandmother did all the cooking for him till she died last year. They are now selling the trailer and he is going to move in to his grandmother's home. The home is about 70 years old and was very, very modest home to begin with. Property tax should not be too high.

He worked for a while at Walmart - 40 minutes away. A few years ago my former high school friend retired and took up commercial mowing. His son rides the lawnmower, while he the older man weed eats.

I don't doubt that there is some discord and that is the reason that they put him out of their home and into a trailer. Perhaps that would be the best way to deal with it all. At least the county won't throw the kid out for not being able to pay high property taxes later on. Yet, not being very social and hiding away; could that deepen the already self imposed isolation?

I am very unwilling to do this with my own.

John Stone

Cia

Yes, it seems to me very unlikely that he could go about unsupervised again.

I am so appalled by what you are having to live through. My thoughts are with you.

John

Hera

Hi Cia,
Sorry: wrote back to you before I saw your response. It sounds like you have made the best plans you can in very difficult circumstances.I have an auto immune disease too, and the fatigue can be so hard to handle. In the end, no matter how hard you try, there is a limit to what you can physically do. Hope it all works out.

Hera

Hi Jeanne, Cia,

From this website it looks like every state has to offer special ed until 21. ( They mentioned education until 21 in an IEP meeting with my son, and it sounds like he is now at a point where he has far fewer challenges than your daughter. We are expecting that in the long term he will likely live independently, maybe initially with some help, and be fine. )

https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/your-childs-rights/basics-about-childs-rights/special-education-federal-law-vs-state-law


By the way, we were also told that they could use any text book that worked as the special ed kids did not have to use the general ed textbooks. We didn't always get our choice, but neither the math or the english text books he is using right now, are being used in the regular classrooms. They are both text books designed for special ed populations.)

You might need to do some research and find out your rights. Then maybe send an email asking them to clarify something you know is wrong, so you have it in writing,and then keep the copy.
Or just ask them to put it in writing. If they know they are in the wrong, no one wants it written down with their name on it.
A lawyer could be a good idea too.
Hope it all works out for you!

cia parker

Jeanne,

Our speech therapist is also an autism advocate, and my daughter's speech therapist at school is also her case manager. We also have a county case manager, we live in a county that is pioneering spending a lot of taxpayer money on helping the autistic in various ways. Voc Rehab will assist her in getting and keeping a job, if possible.

It's all hard. My daughter REALLY wants to leave home. She often says I want you to die so I can be independent, as though I were the only thing standing in her way. I've told her that when she graduates from high school in a year and a half, and we finish our homeschooling about that time, then she can go. I'm sure she'll want to visit to see her two cats.

I've asked about the high school till 21 provision. Everyone agrees that theoretically it's available, but there are two problems. One is that the school has NOTHING to offer. The other is that the school refuses to do it. Our speech therapist said that there's only been one family which was able to force them to give the extra time to an autistic child. The case manager at school just said that no, that wouldn't be possible, they never do it.

The former teacher has said that when she graduates, we'll talk about her possibly living with them. They can have her SS money (max $600 is what the other county case manager told me, most get less) and food stamp money ($125 a month), and part of her earnings from her job. I don't know if that would be enough or if they would want me to pay a certain amount each month. I really couldn't afford to give anything. When my daughter begged the speech therapist to let her live with HER, she said well, she wouldn't say yes or no at this time. So that door may be slightly open, and that might be a good placement as well. There's an apartment building for the handicapped, but she'd have to take care of herself and her apartment there. They'd take three-quarters of her SS money as rent. There are always games and socializing on the ground floor, which might be good. My daughter REALLY wants to live with the teacher, in another city thirty-five miles from here. She's spending a weekend a month with her now, in state-paid respite care.

I'm constantly worried. Did you know that there's a federal ABLE account in which autistic people can have a tax-free account? But what they don't tell you readily is that when the autistic person dies, Medicaid can take all of the money they've ever spent on the person (highly inflated medical costs) from whatever's left in the ABLE account. I'd like her to live here in our house when I die, maybe with a caregiver and one or two other autists. The case manager today thought that was a good idea, but there's no program like that now. The other autists could pay rent, and that would take care of a lot of problems.

I found out today that Medicaid doesn't pay for dental expenses. So what do indigent autistic people do for their dental expenses?

I'm tired, and my health is not good (M.S.). I hate the constant sullen glares because I don't take her out to have fun and eat out very often. I hate the wishing I would die and the notes saying she wants to cut my head off and stab me to death. I never spanked her when she was little: from the beginning I thought that was demeaning and humiliating, and I never did it. Never touched her in anger. She got hostile when she turned ten, probably largely hormonal. But I"m tired, and I can't see her continuing to live with me when she graduates from high school. Or dragging school out any longer. She's in Work Bloc now, but they never do any work. I found a worksheet in her backpack a few months ago, with Based on the video you saw about discrimination against trans people, answer the questions. Would you have refused to sell a cloth (I'm serious) to a trans person at the store? What would you have done if you had seen the cashier at WalMart refuse to sell a cloth to him? Hello? We're talking about kids who can, at most, say I'm going to eat lunch. I'm going to eat pizza. And this illiterate teacher, who left out most of the prepositions he should have used for correct, comprehensible English, thinks that his students can answer higher-order questions like What would you have done? Why trans? My daughter has never SEEN a trans person, wouldn't know one if she DID? Why not something more relatable, like black person, or Mexican (although my daughter doesn't understand racial discrimination at all either)? But intersectionality has swept the country, and is running over minority groups like the autistic. I am 100% certain that Cecily got NOTHING out of the video they had to watch.

The school has never had ANYTHING to offer. Not even any of the modified work they're supposed to give her. All it does is pass her no matter what failing grades she gets.

cia parker

Jeanne,

I think the reason is that the whole establishment HAS to deny that autism is a condition caused by damage, not congenital. On the one hand, the vaccine encephalitis, the brain damage, severely damages the language center of the brain. I just talked with our county case manager this morning in a home visit, and told her the language therapy being offered to autistic kids all over the country is based on methods developed in the '60s based on a social anxiety model: friendly questions, the "chat" method. When what is needed is extensive modeling and practice of every single grammatical structure and every single vocabulary word in order to create NEW functional neural circuits to replace those which were destroyed. Active brain damage, not inborn. And the vaccine inflammation involves the GI tract too, resulting in our current one in ten vaxxed children with bowel disease (and more with a lesser degree of it). And YES, all autistic children benefit greatly from the modified diet. Gluten-free, casein-free at least, but many get even better results from the Paleo, grain-free diet. And YES, the diet is miraculous, the digestive enzymes and probiotics (given hours apart) do WONDERS as well. And yet most doctors know nothing about it, because the pharma companies will NOT countenance it, because it would be admitting that a new outside agent (vaccines) are doing SEVERE damage to the brains and GI systems of MILLIONS of our children. Not to mention the seizure disorders in one in twenty and autoimmune disease in at least half. Moskowitz says that the autoimmunity is part and parcel of the way vaccines work, both for good and ill, so we'll probably eventually realize that 100% of vaxxed people develop abnormal autoimmune conditions. Can you say bankruptcy for Merck and Glaxo-Smith Kline? Criminal liability and life in prison for many? Good-bye to vaccine programs and vaccine profits? Billions and billions down the drain?

Jeanne J

@Cia
I, too, am so sorry for the problems you are facing with your daughter. What I don't understand is you seem to be going through concerns about her post-graduation life alone. I live in Maryland, and I don't know the laws in each state as to how IDEA is implemented. But, I do know transition services are a part of the federal regulations that each state has to include. You should have a transition teacher/specialist to help you through the process. Your daughter's level of disability sounds like she would be eligible for 18 - 21 years programming in the school system. To my knowledge, all states have some type of medicaid-eligible waiver program for transitioning adults, and at age 18, she should be eligible for SSI benefits, which will make her medicaid eligible. If none of this has been explained to you at her IEP meetings (which should have begun at age 14) then I would recommend that you get an educational advocate or lawyer to help you, because this is all a part of what we all pay our taxes for, in what is supposed to be a free-and-appropriate education.

Jeanne J

@ John Robison
I agree that the issue of aggressive/violent behavior, including self-injurious behavior (SIB) should be discussed at the next IACC meeting - but only if medical and behavioral solutions are also addressed. IACC has had a presentation, some 4 - 5 years ago by Dr. Dan Rossignol related to GI problems expressed as aggression, SIB, and melt-downs. He showed slides of intestinal scopes with the presence of polyps in the intestines. He showed before and after GI treatment of what his study patients looked like. This information should be in the archives of the IACC. Yet, I don't see any greater mainstream medical response to this information in the routine services of children/adults with ASD than was done 4 - 5 years ago. Once a child has a diagnosis of autism, it should be standard medical treatment, covered by all insurance carriers, for those children to have a GI consultation. If GI problems are present, insurance should also cover a nutritional consultation for management. This is what we do for diabetes - we know it is part of the disease process. We would consider any doctor who diagnoses a person with diabetes, and sends them home without any medical care for their diet as negligent or a quack. Why, after so many, many years of study after study indicating the prevalence of GI problems in ASD are we no closer to providing real treatment for these problems. That to me is your first layer of preventing violent/aggressive behavior later on in life. We are reaping the affects of the complacency and down-right refusal to effectively and honestly provide treatment that we have sown. So, I say yes to a discussion that is designed to produce REAL solutions, but no to just having a discussion for discussion sake. #TimesUp!

cia parker

John,

I understand that there are degrees of culpability in homicide, and I was not suggesting that the boy be found guilty of first-degree murder. I AM saying that it may not be safe for everyone else to allow him to move independently through the world. Sort of like physically restraining a schizophrenic who has killed. It may not be his fault, but it is not the fault of innocent bystanders who may be killed either.

As for the high rate of homicide by firearms in the US, you first need to consider that most of it is drug-related or gang violence, black on black. With a lot of murders of outsiders by gang members or criminals. Very few murders by those not involved in organized or freelance crime. Historically, the homogenous, civilized UK has had little of this kind of violence. That has already changed dramatically under current conditions, in many northern European countries (doubtless southern ones too), many people are trying to arm themselves for their own self-defense, and that trend is certain to continue. And who can blame them? The police and other security forces have been completely overwhelmed.

Grace Green

I'm afraid my language is sometimes too dogmatic. I want to say, I'm trying to be empathetic to both sides here, and it's not difficult as all these stories are so heartbreaking. I'm especially grateful for John Robison's comments, bringing understanding to all the pain we suffer often without being aware it's not normal, and as ever, John Stone's comments. We need compassion for all those involves in this sad state of affairs.

John Stone

Cia

It is not a question of “justifying” murder, it is a question of someone being in a state of near zero responsibility. I am not saying this is the case here - I am saying it is conceivable - and in most places the law recognises degrees of culpability in homicide.

I have just been looking at a chart on Wiki which shows that the rate of fire-arm related deaths in the US earlier in the decade was 46 times higher than that in the UK. This does not say anything about specific incidents, it says more about the sheer proliferation of weapons which makes civil life more hazardous. Of course, I don't know what you do about it.

Linda1

John Elder Robison,
I think it would be most productive if the committee focused intensively on identifying what treatments have worked to heal and reverse the condition in its many forms. By that I mean enrolling the help of those who have been successful and by scrutinizing the records. Leaving nothing off the table. Then reporting what they find. The committee should work with Jenny McCarthy and the pediatrician who treated her son, among many others.

And of course, acknowledging and stopping the epidemic by eliminating as many environment factors as possible would be as important.

cia parker

While I agree that whoever allowed the boy access to an automatic weapon was negligent, I can't say what their punishment should be. It would have to be allowed that it was negligent rather than willful. But I cannot in any way absolve the boy. I don't think I would even know how to shoot an automatic weapon if I had access to one and wished to do so. How did he know how? I'd like to know what was going through his head, but on second thought I'd have to say that it really doesn't matter. Even if he were in physical distress (and what would that mean?), there just is no physical distress which would justify murder.

I think we need to think about what laws and rules we as a community should enact for the safety of all. What should be done with young autistic males who show signs of a hairtrigger temper? Increased discreet surveillance at the least. Any curtailment of his liberty would have to be balanced against the need to ensure the safety of the sister whom he killed. Or it might easily have been someone else.

John Stone

Cia

No, I didn't intend to say anything about the gun debate as such, which I recognise is a different issue in the US from the UK, where we have been largely disarmed, particularly in cities, for nearly two centuries. But I am just saying that if a young autistic person in extreme physical distress stumbled on an automatic weapon the persons leaving the weapon around could be a lot more responsible for what might happen than the young autistic person.

And cannot specifically recall saying anything about the UK being a police state - I did recently remark somewhere on the heavy weaponry outside the Houses of Parliament. Well, I can't complain about that, more about the people inside.

cia parker

John,

This kid could have killed at least one or two family members with a knife if he hadn't had a gun. Americans are never going to give up our guns (I don't have any, I'm speaking in general, my father had them), and I don't think we should. Everyone is entitled to have the means for defending himself and his family. Or fellow church members or concert goers. In numerous incidents in the last few years, massacres have occurred in situations in which none of the group of victims had a gun, but have been averted or reduced when one or more did have a gun. As for London having become a police state, I think it was appropriate and necessary under current circumstances. In the case of another attack, who are people going to run toward for protection, and who would have the ability to protect them?

I don't think retributive is an appropriate term to use here. It is more important to safeguard the lives of innocent people than that of someone who has shown he is capable of murder. I don't know what the judge or jury will decide, but if they said he would have to be locked up in an institution under careful surveillance for the rest of his life, I think that would be appropriate. How could you ever be sure he would act non-violently if he lived in the world? It will never be safe to let him live independently, assuming he is capable of doing so, and it will not be certainly safe if he lived in a residential autism home of some sort. He might act violently toward his fellow autists, the caregivers, or really anyone else if he were out and about. Any drugs they might give him could do more harm than good and even cause more violence. And if they improved his behavior, he might always just pretend to take them and not really do so. Like an alcoholic I knew did with her Antabuse.

He ruined his own life forever when he took those of his parents and sister. Who else was it, I saw it was four people he killed? He may not be capable of understanding the lasting consequences of what he did, but we can. And it is our responsibility to protect the lives of the innocent who might otherwise be victimized.

Jonathan Rose

Emphatically yes, Mr. Robison: The IACC should address (on a continuing basis) the issue of violence directed against and committed by autistic people.

Hera

Hi All,
Have seen cases of every single thing people are describing here. Situations are so different for different people that everyone is making valid points.
Cia Parker; my heart goes out to you,: I am so sorry for what you are going through, and think that you are incredibly brave and big hearted.
My best friends daughter has an autism diagnosis. We used to live close to each other and spent a lot of time with each other. She is a great mom,and a very kind person, if anything a little too easy going and forgiving. Her kids were raised with a great deal of love from both father and mother. Her little daughters main delight though, at around the age of 5, was to pinch or leave scratch marks that broke the skin and drew blood on my almost non verbal young son. We could not sit them next to each other because she would reach over to him, and then chuckle happily when he cried out. We actually had to separate them from each other and not visit for a while. She did not do it to her sisters or my son's older brother who were both verbal and more physically capable of defending themselves.
Apart from those kinds of behaviors, she was a vibrant sweet little girl with a great love of life. It was almost like the "that's behavior you just don't do" button had never been turned on. It was sad in a different way to see her when she was older and had been put on meds ( understandable, since she was having huge challenges functioning socially at school) and she seemed so quiet and pale in comparison, though as the meds wore off towards the end of the day, you could see little glimpses of who she had used to be.

Grace Green; in terms of non verbal people getting better treatment than those with aspergers, believe me; people who want to be cruel to others see non verbal or low verbal people coming a mile off too. People who enjoy being cruel to others can only see advantages in bullying a person who can't tell other people about it. We had to remove my, at that point, low verbal son from one school after he had become the preferred target for bullies because he couldn't get anyone at school to understand what was happening. They took his glasses from his desk and threw them in the trash, then told him about it the next day because they knew he wouldn't be able to explain it to anyone else at school, threw his headphones on the roof, called him "retard" on the bus, lots more. And yes, he likely would have started to get aggressive if we hadn't pulled him out and found a better place for him. What other choice would he really have had?
I have also known medication cause serious violent reactions. And there are at least two people who have been charged with murder after taking too much cough syrup. And of course, as John Stone points out being in constant pain with no way to tell people about it can lead to violence too.
And I have also known a caregiver who eventually became so scared of being beaten up by the daughter she loved, that she sent her to a home.
It seems kind of like everyone has a piece of the violence puzzle, and i don't know what the solution is, beyond reducing bullying, reducing pain, reducing frustrations, looking for medication reactions, and also trying to help and change those who do enjoy violence.

John Elder Robison

Perhaps Kim can join in on this, but I wonder if we should start a thread to speak constructively about understanding autism and violence toward others. It's a thing our community must face and understand and ultimately ameliorate

What are your feelings re raising this topic at next week's IACC meeting?

cia parker

Willie,

If you're suggesting that the violent type of person we're talking about doesn't really have autism, I can say that my daughter has autism. Encephalitic screaming syndrome reacting to the hep-B shot at birth, given without permission, and then losing her only two words at 18 months right after the DTaP booster and then diagnosed with autism two months later. She had pronoun reversal and echolalia when she started to speak again at three. Severely delayed and deficient speech: she's still low-verbal at 17. No social skills or ability to converse, despite many years of coaching her. Fixated on certain routines and non-productive habits. She meets all the criteria for autism.

Autism, ADHD, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, etc., have a lot of overlap and can all be caused by vaccine mercury, some, maybe all of them, can also be caused by vaccine encephalitis. I don't think it's possible or important to try to draw distinct lines and put each individual into only one category. Apparently most Down syndrome children ARE sweet, sociable, and considerate. They evidently don't have the same kind of brain damage as those in the a- group (and s-) have. But I think we really need to stop denying that autism is a big problem and a lot of it has to do with the unmotivated meanness in many of them. Caused by brain damage which they were not responsible for, OK, but then what? We got a puppy two years ago, and I am ashamed to say it, but my daughter would lean over her play pen and hit her in the head with a real bone. I saw her once, heard her another time. I scolded her, took her to church and made her talk with Father Joseph about it in confession, and told her God disapproved of cruelty to anyone, but especially helpless beings in your care. I told her it would be a strike against her when she was judged by God unless she were sorry for it and resolved never to do it again. And then a few months ago I heard a konk and a yelp. I didn't see it but I think she did it again. The dog is terrified of her, and jumps and barks so much (still in a playpen) when she sees my daughter that my daughter is afraid to go near her. Just as well. The dog has made it clear to her that she WILL defend herself it my daughter attacks her again.

Willie

Aspergers syndrome is not true autism just as ADHD and schizophrenia are not autism at all. Because of symptom overlap like social skills problems and ect. many children and teenagers with the above disorders are mis-diagnosed as "autistic". Obviously Asperger's is much closer to autism than ADHD and Schizophrenia but still no cigar. The murder most likely had Schizophrenia and possibly Asperger's. To the person who mentioned Sexual assault of the Developmentally Disabled by other Developmentally Disabled persons why not mentioned Down's syndrome? Are they always such sweet, naive, childish, and those with Developmental Disabilities without Down's syndrome vicious monsters especially those with autism?!

Aimee Doyle

@Grace - I'm not sure I agree that violence to the individual with autism ALWAYS happens first.

My son was self-injurious, aggressive, and destructive during adolescence (a decade later, and after various interventions, he has mellowed and most of those behaviors have faded). But at the time I know he wasn't being abused at home - and he was verbal enough to tell us if anything was happening at school. I think in my son's case it was hormones and internal stressors that caused him to lash out, as well as external sensory triggers. But he gave me bruises that would have qualified me to flee to a domestic violence shelter. He punched holes in the walls. He hit his legs so many times the hair fell off. He screamed most nights from midnight to three at the top of his lungs.

It's also hard for me to see that Sky Walker was being abused before he beat his mother to death. She had dedicated her life to him. It's hard to see that David Adam Wilson was being abused by his father when he snapped and stabbed his father multiple times with a knife until his father died. Was there evidence that Adam Lanza was being abused? He seems to have chosen to cut everyone out of his life. One doesn't need a semi-automatic, like Adam Lanza or Scott Kologi to kill, although guns make it easier to kill more people. Size and ferocity can be enough.

I wish that families of children and adolescents and young adults with severe autism, aggression, and self-injurious behaviors could get some empathy, understanding, and practical hands-on help - from the medical profession, from people in the neurodiversity movement, pretty much from anyone...

cia parker

I don't know what the answer is. Remember that article by an autism mom that went viral at the time of the Sandy Hook massacre? She said that she and her other children lived in fear of her violent autistic son, who often attacked them and hurt them. She had called the police a number of times, but there was no place to which to remove the kid permanently.

Four years ago at an IEP meeting, I had said I thought my autistic daughter should attend to start to advocate for herself. She came in, looking directly at me and saying over and over and over I want to kill you. Later, our county case manager said that he thought she had said it twenty times in a row. Everyone was shocked and wanted to remove her, finally an old teacher in attendance coaxed her out by asking her to show her her new classroom. She also told her sweet, gentle autism teacher that she wanted to kill him.

She was prevailed on to stop saying the kill word: for a long time it's just been that she wants me to die. Yesterday I found an assignment book in her backpack and opened it to see if she were using it. On two pages in September she had written: I want to cut off my mom's head right away. And on the following page, I want to stab my mom to death right away.

Her speech therapist has spent several sessions telling her that when she turns 18 in May, saying things like that may get her arrested and put in jail, and sued. I really don't know what to do. She does not take any drugs at all, never has, that is not the reason for this.

I think it is cruel to try to make excuses for the kid who murdered three members of his family, saying Who knows what evil things were going on in that family? There was probably NOTHING evil going on in that family. The evil was in the kid's mind and it made him murder. Some autistic kids may be compassionate, but I don't think many are: the autism prevents them from understanding narrative and understanding the point of view of others, so how could they feel compassion for them.

My daughter became obsessed with the daughter of a friend I had. She hasn't seen her even once in over six years, but I have photos of her in my albums, and my daughter found a lot of photos of her from online newpaper archives from when she was in high school. She makes copies of the pictures and takes them around with her. I'm not allowed to say her name. A month ago I was talking to a neighbor on the phone, and my neighbor asked how the girl was doing. And I inadvertently said her name out loud on the phone. My daughter heard me and came in sobbing and screaming that I had said her name, when I was not allowed to do so. I had to apologize and say I'd never do it again. Last week I was trying to think of something for my daughter to do: she can read but doesn't ever read anything for pleasure. She doesn't do anything. I suggested she draw a picture of (that name) holding my daughter's kitten, using her new markers and paints. She wouldn't, not interested. Then my daughter wrote me an email from school saying "I think I heard you say the name you aren't supposed to say when you made your suggestion." She just learned the word suggestion recently in our ESL work, I'm glad she's learned it and can use it. I wrote back and just said that I still thought it was a good suggestion.

I don't know what's going to happen. She'll graduate in a year and a half, and we'll finish our homeschooling about that time. We're up to the Great Depression now and next week she'll memorize the answers to questions on DNA replication. Then WWII. The school gave up a long time ago trying to teach her anything, and she never would have learned one thing about WWII at school. She wants to work at a pet store, but I'm not sure she'll be able to do it day in and day out, reliably and politely, and never losing her temper or refusing to do what she's supposed to.

John Stone

John R

"But with all that there remains a question - why do a few pick up guns and kill a bunch of people, while the vast majority do not? "

However, this might be different from a premeditated mass-killing type thing. It might just be someone in a "state" when for some reason there was an automatic weapon lying around (since people own these things casually), without having a clue of what they doing, its long term consequences etc. What one most fears is a retributive court looking for simplistic solutions, without any implications for policy.

Grace Green

Jonathon, the issue of sexual abuse of intellectually disabled people is a different one from that presented by this article, which I was addressing. I would imagine the trauma caused by sexual abuse is mostly of an emotional nature, and some ID people may not even be aware they've been abused. It's clear that perpetrators, or those charged with caring for the victims but who have failed to protect them, are guilty of crimes and should be dealt with accordingly. I also think society should address its pathological belief that men are identical to women and therefore equally suited to caring for people unrelated to them.

My point about the aggression of autistic people - and my comment is not about this case because we don't yet know the facts - is not that there's more or less aggression by us or them, but that the violence against us aspies and auties happens first, and we are unable to defend ourselves. I started life a peaceful and empathetic person, and I've tried responding to tribulations with reason, argument, complaint and finally resignation, but nothing works. Consequently I have been known to lose my temper, and then of course I get the blame. I have a relative who is the most gentle, generous, conscientious person, who is endlessly taken advantage of, until he finally erupts from sheer exhaustion. I believe NTs may bot always know they are pushing us beyond our limits, which is why it's important that relatives and carers listen to verbal aspies and auties when these terrible events happen and are discussed here. Violence can be subtle, and take the form of fraud, vandalism, refusal of income or services, sleep deprivation (neighbours from hell), verbal abuse, defamation, poisoning, chemical attack (blocked chimneys), biological attack (germs through ventilation shafts), exploitation etc. Hans Asperger describes in his paper an incident when several boys were tormenting an autistic boy until the latter snapped and pursued them with a piece of wood. The teacher intervened to stop him. Can anyone tell me why it's OK to torment a mentally disabled person, but not for him to defend himself? Wasn't bear baiting outlawed centuries ago?

Kim fir John

John, thanks for engaging. We need all hands on deck. Kim

John Elder Robison

I agree with those of you who suggest many autistics are at the ends of our rope all the time, with stress from social confusion, unrecognized GI pain, and indeed untreated and unseen pain and stress of all kinds.

As an instructional aside, Some of you have remarked on how much less disabled I seem than autistic people in your lives. I am articulate. What you may not consider is that I have lived with many of the GI issues you describe here, all my life, without ever knowing there was something wrong. Because that was my "normal" all my life. Same for my son. My "normal" for stress and anxiety and suicidal ideation and many other things seems to be quite different from the general population, and not in a good way. I have many of the common co-occurring conditions and never made the association, till much later in life. And significantly, not one medical person ever made the connection for me.

Many times that has caused me to be at the end of my rope, and when you suggest that may be a cause of violence in autistic people I absolutely agree, and know that is right from my own life experience.

So we have medically based pain, pain from isolation, psychic pain from being tormented, and a number of other causes for violent behavior. But with all that there remains a question - why do a few pick up guns and kill a bunch of people, while the vast majority do not? That does not seem to have a simple answer.

Finally, for the group of you on this blog, I agree that the (true) argument that we autistics are more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violence is meaningful. When I made those arguments in public media they were (and still are) addressed to the broad public to speak to the risk that autistics in general will be further harmed by rejection as a potential threat. I don't think that's so big an issue within our community but it is with an ignorant and judgmental public.

Angus Files


Of course the non-joined up thinking summary is that Autism = madness and has nothing whatsoever to do with vaccines its all the lies they tell the public genetics etc.

So if you vaccinate your child you or your child have no chance of living a normal life as our forebears did.Indigenous populations eating the same food as was used since the day dot but they now seemingly have allergies to the same food??

Allergy causing vaccines to say it is an allergy understates the problems.Then start them on meds for the allergies.....

http://barbfeick.com/vaccinations/allergy/951-vaccine_allergy.htm

Pharma For Priosn

MMR RIP

Jonathan Rose

I really don't think it's helpful to argue over whether autistic people are more often victims or perpetrators of violence. We're not in an "oppression competition" here. What I think we can agree on is that autism often makes our children violent and often makes them victims of violence, and that both of these tragedies need to be addressed honestly.

Grace, I don't question that you've often been the victim of aggression. But when you say "I don't believe those with an obvious intellectual disability would ever be treated this way," I'm afraid you're terribly wrong about that. Here is a link to a recent NPR story about sexual assaults on the intellectually handicapped. General warning: even those of us who are hardened to the realities of raising disabled children may be profoundly disturbed by this report:

https://www.npr.org/2018/01/08/570224090/the-sexual-assault-epidemic-no-one-talks-about

Sexual assault against the intellectually disabled is more than seven times the rate for the non-disabled. This report doesn't break out the rate for autistic people, but it is probably comparable. Given that a third of autistic people can't speak, and many more have very limited verbal ability and/or have great difficulty reconstructing past events, they can't report these crimes or effectively testify against predators in court. So the predators usually get away with it -- and the predators know that. Whether they live in institutions or group homes, residents are highly vulnerable to assaults by staff. I believe the same is true in dedicated apartment complexes where autistic adults live semi-independently, looked after by a single caretaker -- because no one is keeping an eye on that caretaker.

Now, you may argue that when autistic people are violent toward family members or caretakers, they are defending themselves against predators. That may be true in some cases, but apparently not most cases. 68% of ASD children are aggressive towards caregivers and 49% towards non-caregivers, but only 14% of suspected abusers of the handicapped are staff members, and just 12% are relatives. By far the largest category of suspected predators (41%) are themselves intellectually handicapped. When we hear that autistic people are victims of assault (sexual or otherwise), we tend to assume that the perpetrators are neurotypical -- but they may often be other autistic people.

To anyone who can handle hard truths, it should now be clear that autism is a double curse upon our children: it often makes them violent, and it often makes them the victims of violence. And we can only stop that violence -- including sexual violence -- by stopping autism, through prevention and cure.

Benedetta

WalMart hired a young man; many years ago. He I am sure has autism, but worse; he had an attitude that well he was angry; always. He'd get the shopping carts and it scared me some what. I felt sorry for him though and figured he would soon run into trouble with his co workers and be fired.

Sure enough, I went shopping one day and one of the women that worked at Wal Mart was egging him on and -- it just hurts my soul.

Depression comes off more often as not sad but angry, and some times as just plain deep seated hate, or that is what some one who innocently walks into a room thinks.

Dang it, I really hoped that on my life's journey that no trails lead down mental health issues or brain injury. I don't think it has to be actually pain; but the hypothalamus is involved and that means that mood , just plain mood problems exist too.


Carolyn M

Actually, Mr. Robison and his fellow team members need to consider all sources of pain from physiological conditions as possible causes or contributing factors in aggression. Pain/discomfort can cause or exacerbate self-injurious behavior (SIB) - and self-injurious behavior can lead to aggression against caregivers.

There are too many possible causes of pain/discomfort to list here. I highly recommend that Mr. Robison and his team members read the book: "Understanding and Treating Self-Injurious Behavior in Autism: A Multi-Disciplinary Prespective" edited by Stephen M. Edelson and Jane Botsford Johnson. Although this book mostly deals with SIB, there is also some discussion of aggression.

John Stone

Dear John R,

I fear one thing we need to consider is relentless gastric pain and inability even to express verbally what is happening to you. Without commenting on the Kologi case there are going to be many, many young autistic people at the end of their tether, and households have to be organised around removing heavy or sharp articles, let alone automatic weapons. I am expertly informed that this will even be made worse by psychiatric medications which mostly have adverse gastric effects. Any personal differences in such an instance, in so far as they exist or can be identified, might be quite incidental to the general frustration and pain that an autistic person is suffering.

I suspect you would not disagree with this analysis. My experience with autistic people is that they are hugely empathetic rather than the reverse, and that sort of argument is a red-herring. On the other hand the empathy in general of the IACC is not something I am so assured of.

John

Aimee Doyle

@John Elder Robison - "While I cannot give you specifics as yet, I can say I am part of a team studying aggressive violence in autistic people, what may cause it, and how to understand and address it."

Glad to hear that a research team is studying this issue. I hope that the study methods include extensive observation of individuals with severe autism who have aggression issues. I think it's important in scientific inquiry to actually observe behavior. And I think in many of these cases, it is important to have multiple observations lasting more than an hour - and possibly observations in different settings (home, school, therapy).

Besides observation - the bedrock of scientific inquiry - I also believe in researching primary sources. I think it would be important to have in-depth interviews with the parents (or other caregivers) of aggressive and self-injurious individuals with autism. Parents live with the risk of aggression and self-injury 24/7, so would have valuable input into any such study.

A few other issues I see - triggers for aggression can be internal - and individuals who are non-verbal may not be able to explain what triggers them or why. And out of a world of stimuli, it can be tough to identify even external triggers. And even identifying the triggers doesn't necessarily make it possible to preempt the behavior. And finally, it can be hard to know what trigger will send someone with autism over the edge - what happened on the day Sky Walker beat his mother to death (he had been aggressive previously but not to that point); what happened to trigger Adam Lanza's shooting spree; what caused David Adam Wilson to stab his father multiple times until his father died.

Would love to hear more details when you can share them.

Grace Green

Jonathan Rose, I have to disagree with your reply to Dude, that aggression by autistic people towards caregivers is more frequent than the other way round, or than by those with intellectual disability. I am an Aspie with a very high IQ, and I have experienced unprovoked aggression and discrimination every day of my 64 years. I don't believe those with an obvious intellectual disability would ever be treated this way. It takes all forms - physical, verbal, financial - basically they see me coming, and in this world of total corruption at all levels I'm seen as an easy target. Aspies and auties are known for their need for rules, and have a strong sense of fair play. Is it any wonder that some finally lash out after years of abuse and injustice?

John Robison

Aimee Doyle . . . While I cannot give you specifics as yet, I can say I am part of a team studying aggressive violence in autistic people, what may cause it, and how to understand and address it.

Cases like Sky Walker and Adam Lanza are extremely troubling to me. While what I wrote about autistic people being victims more often that perpetrators, I agree we need to understand more about the times autistic people are perpetrators. Are the driving forces different from non-autistic people?

John Robison

To clarify my earlier post: When I said this was about family dynamics, I am not blaming family for getting killed. Rather I am observing that this set of killings was limited to the inside of the family home. Strangers outside the home were not touched, nor were law enforcement attacked upon responding.

When I said the suggestions about SSRI’s or other drugs were wild guesses, that is all they are unless we have far more information. It’s not a dismissal of the role drugs may have played. I’m aware of the connections between some medications and violent behavior and have no idea if that played a role here.

I have no knowledge of this family or their relationships and have nothing to offer in that regard. In other cases where I have written at more length I had access to considerably more information.

Mr Rose correctly points out that there is more aggression in the autistic population with intellectual disability, than in the ID population without autism. And aggression toward caregivers is a real matter for concern among that group. I know there are no easy answers, and believe it should be studied more with a view to developing tools to help.

Jonathan Rose

John Elder Robison: You tell us that questions about the possible role of SSRIs in the Kologi homicides are "wild guesses" -- right after you wildly guess that this tragedy was "much more likely to be about family dynamics than autism." "Family dynamics" is an extremely vague term, but in this context it could be taken to suggest that the family was to blame. If that wasn't what you meant, then you should make that crystal clear. After all, there are several members of the Kologi family who can no longer defend themselves against that suggestion.

I also have a very relevant question. While you served on the IACC, did that body ever investigate or recommend research into the possible role of SSRIs in triggering violence in autistic patients? If not, why not? And if they did investigate it, what conclusions did they arrive at?

Aimee Doyle

@John Elder Robison -

What are your thoughts on the Sky Walker case? He was severely autistic and he beat his mother to death. It's hard for me to see how that was about bad family dynamics. From what I read she loved her deeply and dedicated her whole life to him.

Jonathan Rose

Dude, I'll repeat a citation from a study I posted elsewhere on AoA:

"Among the entire group of 1,380 children with ASD, the researchers found that 56% were engaging in aggressive behaviors towards caregivers, while a smaller number (32%) engaged in these behaviors towards non-caregivers. Similarly, 68% of the children had previously behaved aggressively towards caregivers and 49% towards non-caregivers. These are extremely high rates, especially when compared with those for people who have intellectual disability (ID) but not autism. Aggressive behavior has been documented in only 7-11% of these individuals."

The hard truth is that aggression is far, far more common among young people with ASD than among cops, parents, caregivers, psychiatrists, and even people with other intellectual disabilities. If you don't want incidents like this to happen again, you had better start facing that reality.

John Elder Robison

I was surprised to be thanked for my comments on app.com, Kim, as I had not made any comment on this particular story. Did they re-post an earlier essay on autism and violence?

If so, I would just say a situation like this - a son killing his parents - is much more likely to be about family dynamics than autism, and it's probably totally different from the mass killings I've written about and studied, where strangers were murdered in a spree. I have written about how autism can play a role in some of those cases, and also that we autistics are more likely to be victims than perpetrators overall.

We can certainly speculate that psychiatric meds influenced his behavior, or he had problems with aggression, but those things are nothing but wild guesses in the absence of more hard facts.

dude

It's nice the way we alway call autism a factor in these events. I wonder what causes care givers to beat on autists? Are neurotypicals prone to violence? Lets see... cops are violent, care givers are violent, parents and relatives are violent (one pair even stabbed an autist to death! And many still beat their children and also have a tendency to break things when they are angry), psychiatrists are violent (they brain damage people with drugs and electroshock and promote rape and abuse in their wards), motorists are violent (they will try to kill you by squeezing you into the curb while cycling, and then there's road rage)... I wonder if it is more to do with the situation or the people. Hmmmm.......

michael

Apologies if this is posted twice.

In 1990, Harris Coulter's seminal work, "Vaccination Social Violence and Criminality--The Medical Assault on the American Brain was published. At the time of its publishing, it was autism's co-morbid conditions which were filling our prisons, sometimes called correctional facilities, Ha! The title speaks volumes.

It is my opinion that the neurodiversity faction with their "autism is a gift" thinking that bears a great deal of responsibility for the tragedy of the Kologi family.

The Ashbury Park Press actually did a fairly decent job of pointing out not only the complexity of this issue, but also illuminating various related tangents to this man-made epidemic.

"....a host of critical questions remain unanswered." Thank the IACC for decades of millions of dollars wasted on irrelevant research. Yes many of those at AOA have been asking these critical questions for at least 2 decades or more.

" The state-approved tuition for the school is about $75,000 per year, which is paid by the child's home school district." Ah.... New Jersey and other parents are getting a good look at the cost of what 1 in 38 autism epidemic looks like and a hint of where school budgets are going.

"A recent review of two decades’ worth of research looking into the relationship between autism and violent acts supports that view." I thought autism has been with us forever and in similar numbers. Why only two decades of research---shouldn't it be 3, 4, 5, 6....?

".......the exact relationship between autism and violence is one that researchers still don’t fully understand." Thank the IACC again.

"Some children and adults diagnosed with autistic conditions such as Asperger syndrome or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) can be so mildly impaired as to be virtually indistinguishable from their “neurotypical” peers, while others can be so severely disabled that their families resort to placing them in institutions." Wait a second can't they all be the "The Good Doctor" or all the like the usual quirky happy-go-lucky adolescents with autism the msm use to portray the gift of autism.

"Some children and adults on the more severe end of the spectrum are prone to violent outbursts – and their parents and caregivers often have the bruises to prove it." I only read and hear about that fact at AOA.

"........Behavioral therapies seek to unravel the root causes of these actions" [hand-biting, head-banging and other repetitive behaviors.] Now just how are behavior therapies designed to unravel the root causes? Thank the IACC and conventional medicine, the FDA, CDC, etc, for the lack of progress on unraveling the root causes.

"Typically, there’s something else, such as anxiety, depression, oppositional defiant disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD.) [thats the short list] A study by researchers at King’s College London found that 70 percent of their young autistic subjects had at least one other disorder, while 41 percent had two or more." "...........urged more research into how these other additional conditions may contribute to violent acts." Talk to the late Harris Coulter.

To me, this is priceless--"To make matters more complex, many people with autism are taking a cocktail of medications to treat these other conditions, often prescribed by different doctors.
What’s more, additional drugs are sometimes prescribed to treat the side effects of those medications, further raising the chances of a dangerous interaction." Neurodiversity folks, tell me just where the gift of autism is again? Right now it seems the drug industry is being well gifted.

Donna L.

Oh, Jeannette, your second paragraph sums up this whole nightmare just brilliantly!

Jeannette Bishop

Technically, we don't even know the boy physically shot anybody. We are left to assume that the only blatantly false coverage the media and authorities ever engage in is in regards to vaccination causing significant harm, perhaps "the suicide" of an autism healing doctor, etc, whatever is obvious where you have the time and means to actually understand something without or in spite of the media. The only thing clear to me is some media arms want to connect autism with the proclaimed, and strongly desired on the part of some, oligarchical prescribed gun control (they'll still have their armies, we'll have our "free speech zones" ... but maybe you'll have to get vaccinated to enter them), while skirting talk about any pharma prescription restrictions.

Autism is a cover-up diagnosis in the first place IMO and the first aggressions IMO are the deliberate acts that set up a "vanishingly rare" number of infants for chronic internal tortuous inflammation and all the "co-morbidities" of autism (including aggression) are glossed over by the media and even the "health" profession, possibly because they don't want to face the true extent of the poisoned immune system spectrum and the fall-out from the aggressive "war on disease" among other "modern advancements" and the subsequent prescribed pharma-only or pharma-first protocols that they continually promote.

But whatever...a simple, albeit painful, public apology back in 1998 or so and course correction when they realized they were really well out of poorly understood toxicology bounds wouldn't have saved all of our kids (though it might have paved the way for a huge recovery effort and huge progress in our well-being overall), but I think the responsibility of anything assigned to the "autism" (and really a much broader spectrum) in children born since then rests mainly on the heads of our governments and other "pillars of society," and as is, they certainly can't be trusted with prescribing any "solutions."

bob moffit

@ Bill

"..... But I also know that even "good" families usually have darker sides. So, is there any significance to the choice of victims? Seems *some* family members were NOT targeted. Why? "

As I understand initial reports .. two family members .. one I believe was the grandfather .. fled the house when the shooting began .. again .. no one knows if they too would have been targeted.

Tim Lundeen

@bob moffit

Military personnel get lots of vaccines, which cause long-term inflammation, and are exposed to high levels of toxic chemicals. Their food is not organic and full of glyphosate and other toxic agricultural chemicals. All of these will predispose to chronic illness, and could by themselves increase suicide rates; they will for sure increase rates of depression and other "mental illness". Then add SSRIs prescribed to "treat" these problems, and boom...

John Stone

Bill

What we don't know about the case is almost limitless but the lawyers and the media are big on guilt so it is right that we should be more cautious - not to mention suspicious.

Anon

In addition to pain/GI distress and psych meds, I think one area of study that should be further explored in these cases is the role that seizure disorders may play in episodes of violent behavior.

My son, like so many kids on the spectrum, has a seizure disorder (in our case, infrequent grand mal seizures), currently controlled by low dose antiepileptic meds and more recently, medical marijuana. (We are thankfully in a state with a medical marijuana program which my son legally participates in.) My son has episodes of rage/extreme aggressive behavior that occur in proximity to seizures, and during these episodes, it is literally as if he is in an altered state. If you did not know his medical history, you would think he is a purely evil, psychotic individual who should be locked up. He is not evil; he has a medical condition that sometimes causes what appear to be psychotic rage episodes. And I have to wonder how many of these ASD teens who've committed violent crimes may have the same problem.

Here is just one article describing this issue - I'm sure more could be found, and certainly much more research should be done in this area, especially as our kids move into adulthood: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.0013-9580.2004.452004.x/full

To answer Patricia's question: Medical marijuana has absolutely helped in my son's case. It does not wipe out the problem completely, but it certainly makes it more manageable. Low doses throughout the day make him more calm and reduce the frequency of his seizures and rage episodes. This is a much healthier, more sane approach to treating this problem than psych meds, and hopefully safer for my son, our family, and society.

Perhaps John Robison Elder might suggest more research be done in this area, for the sake of all our kids?

Bill

Wow. Just wow. I haven't yet read everything about the Kologi case, and I may or may not. But a couple points come to mind, based on previous comments here. Families such as the Kologi's are almost always portrayed as "good, loving" families. I have no real reason to believe, and am not suggesting, that that's not the case here. But I also know that even "good" families usually have darker sides. So, is there any significance to the choice of victims? Seems *some* family members were NOT targeted. Why? Also, given that the guy was "ASD", he probably WAS dosed with psych drugs, even for "behavior control". There's no doubt in my mind, and what little legitimate research there is supports my claim, - that psych drugs are far less safe, less effective, and less necessary than the psychs and PhRMA pretend Why are we/the media NOT asking, "what role did prescribed drugs play?"
Also, I think it's premature to assume that Scott Kologi does NOT know why he did what he did. I think it's entirely possible that he DOES know exactly why he did what he did, even if we can't agree with him. But we'll just have to wait and see what facts appear as this case unfolds. Thank-you, AoA!

Moon

Can totally relate to the rage and aggression. my daughter has problems with calming and control. We had to have a bath tub replaced recently when she punched a hole through the old one simply at the mention of the fact that math lessons were part of the homeschool work for the day.

A neurologist had tried to get me to agree to meds. Risperidone or some such thing. But after one week of trying it out, her incidents of rage actually increased. And upon doing some research on the drug I was convinced that even if it did work ( the neurologist wanted us to give it more time) the side effects, some of which could be permanent, seemed enough reason to not go that route.

As she's gotten older, the rage attacks and meltdowns are fewer and generally less physical. (Use your words is a constant mantra) but the new bathtub is testament to the fact that no matter how many other appropriate punching bags one keeps around, sometimes rage won't wait.

It's a dark little secret that those who aren't raising our otherwise caring for someone with autism aren't privy to. And it can be scary. Each person who has autism is different and so are the ways of helping them to cope. But love finds a way through the tough spots. And great patience is often a requisite. No one knows what goes on behind the scenes in the privacy of the home. And I for one find it hard to admit to the abuse my daughter can wield.

With autism rates so high, the secret won't be hidden for long. As these children become adults, many will not be well suited to employment. My daughter couldn't even tolerate school environment.

We'll see.

Andrea

Of course people immediately excuse autism because autism is stigmatized enough already. But, we don't really know the role autism has played here or in other cases. John Elder Robinson understandably dismissed and downplays. These spokespeople want to dictate how our less communicative loved ones think or feel because they have autism too and we don't understand our own kids because we aren't autistic. In this situation understandably they dont want to "own" the violence. Again, we just don't know.

This time of year I think of Trudy Steurnagel and her son Sky Walker. A tragedy that happened close to me. By location then- now by situation.

Here is a great article about their story that won some awards for investigative journalist Joanna Connors.

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2009/12/kent_state_professor_trudy_ste.html

I went to Trudy's memorial service at Kent State. Here we are 9 years later and my own son with a history of GI issues and being non verbal are dealing with escalated aggression, violence, and self-injury. I spoke with Sky's cousin at the service and we had some email communication early on. She told me Sky had terrible GI issues. We know he had a fast food diet and took a handful of pills daily. GI issues and psych meds roles?
I wish there was a way to stop the stigma. Because families are suffering in shame behind closed doors in their homes until the violence erupts to a level that finally catches the public's eye. The cycle of denial- "no it's not autism" repeats itself and the tragedy fades from public memory.

Sharon Kistler

I agree with Bob Moffit. The SSRIs -- let's look at this carefully. And look at the published research regarding which potential patients are more likely to suffer homicidal or suicidal tendencies given their genetic susceptibility and inability to metabolize these drugs -- Dr. Yolande Lucire -- 2011 published -- https://www.dovepress.com/antidepressant-induced-akathisia-related-homicides-associated-with-dim-peer-reviewed-article-PGPM

In this research, a retrospective study was performed of over 125 patients who committed homicide or suicide. All of them had specific impairments in their Cytochrome P450 pathway, either missing or diminished enzymes. This means that these patients cannot properly metabolize normal doses of Rx medications, particularly psych meds.

We know this information, and yet, how many psychiatrists know this information and test their patients before prescribing?

And remember that Wendy Dolan just won a huge case against Glaxo Smith Kline in May 2017 over her husband's sudden suicide after taking Paxil (SSRI) for less than a week.

Given that most ASD have impairments in MTHFR and other SNPs that regulate methylation and detox abilities, it is highly likely that many also have impairments in CYP450. It is criminal that psychiatrists do not test. Parents must take it upon themselves to understand this information and protect their ASD children.

Patricia

What’s anyone here ever heard of medical marijuana being used as a treatment for the poor kids coping with teenage hormonal problems plus being on the high end of autism spectrum? Not joking folks. I have read and heard of the wonders too often of this natural miracle treatment that is becoming more widely used. Oils, and pills, not shots unless bad chronic pain.

John Stone

We have many accounts of autistic adolescents erupting into near uncontrollable violence, and it is quite likely that they are suffering from physical problems they cannot even explain like gut dysbiosis, esophagitis etc - something which could cause relentless pain going on for years which would diminish responsibility for anybody. In those circumstances you would have to remove any heavy or sharp objects from their reach let alone an automatic weapon. I don't know whether this is case in this instance, but it is sort of thing which could be as relevant as medication. There is lots that we don't know about this case, and one fears no one involved in it will be very motivated to find out.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21949732

http://www.ageofautism.com/2011/03/the-dark-side-of-autism-violence-assault-police-interaction.html

bob moffit

..."But one answer may never be known, even to Scott Kologi himself and his surviving relatives: What role, if any, did autism play?"

Unfortunately .. it will be far too easy for all involved in "treating" Scott prior to his violent outburst .. to focus all attention on the "role autism played" .. while at the same time ignoring the "role" THEY may have played when prescribing SSRI's to Scott.

"It’s a complex, emotionally charged question, one that has surfaced in the aftermath of other mass shootings by individuals who had exhibited anti-social, autistic-like behavior."

Again .. this sentence focuses on Scott's "autism" ... by "linking" other mass shootings committed by individuals who had exhibited anti-social, autistic-like behaviors". It is no accident the "links" between mass shootings committed by individuals who had been prescribed SSRI's is ignored .. even though THOSE LINKS are not uncommonly rare.

Consider .. it has been reported there are "22 suicides a DAY" .. within active and retired military personnel .. and .. the question "why such a high rate of suicide within our military" .. as far as I know .. remains a complete mystery to all. Odd considering this extraordinarily high suicide rate of military personnel .. did not occur until recent decade .. begging the question .. "what may have happened to cause this tragic phenomenon"?

Could it possibly have something to do with the TREATMENT (SSRI's) military personnel are presently receiving for PTSD? A TREATMENT unavailable to all previous military personnel .. when the rate of suicide was not nearly as high .. even though they were also recovering from their traumatic experiences during combat?

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