Florida School Shooting - and the State of American Education
Pharmagunndon in America

Age of Reactive Attachment Disorder?

ED105241-DBAC-49C8-AA6D-9AA8063A4236Our community is none too pleased to see reports that the Florida shooter "may have had autism." Our children, from tots to teens to twenties and beyond, are not innately cruel. They may be terribly violent at times  most often to themselves in what we call "self-injurious behavior," or SIB.  Aggression can be fierce and furious and dangerous. I know of "kids" with autism who put their hands through windows, walls, smash furniture, toss rooms, punch family members, bite, pull hair - all of which is a horror for all concerned. But I can't think of many instances of vengeful, targeted violence. Most often, it's a cry for help, the despair of lack of ability to communicate or connect. Behavior in autism is communication. Even the "bad" behavior.

I looked up "reactive attachment disorder," and came across this info from Mayo Clinic. The more benign symptoms look a lot like autism.

Reactive attachment disorder can start in infancy. There's little research on signs and symptoms of reactive attachment disorder beyond early childhood, and it remains uncertain whether it occurs in children older than 5 years.

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Unexplained withdrawal, fear, sadness or irritability
  • Sad and listless appearance
  • Not seeking comfort or showing no response when comfort is given
  • Failure to smile
  • Watching others closely but not engaging in social interaction
  • Failing to ask for support or assistance
  • Failure to reach out when picked up
  • No interest in playing peekaboo or other interactive games

The more severe, including cruelty to animals, mentioned in the case of Nikolas Cruz, is nothing like the autism I, and perhaps you, know.

Some research suggests that some children and teenagers with reactive attachment disorder may display callous, unemotional traits that can include behavior problems and cruelty toward people or animals. However, more research is needed to determine if problems in older children and adults are related to experiences of reactive attachment disorder in early childhood.

Reactive attachment disorder



Grace Green

Our problems are not caused by poverty but the other way round. We are victims of a cover up, like so many other vaccine injured people, and forcing us into poverty is one of Their ways of silencing us. For example, I was refused my right to sue my husband in the courts, and we later discovered he was a secret agent of Big Pharma, assigned to target me. His method was to unilaterally move us away from London (the only place I could get suitable employment) and out to the sticks, then abandon us there. Recently a UK mother who had been targeted by an undercover police agent received nearly half a million pounds in damages. She suffered a tiny fraction of what's been done to us.
"They" are desperately trying to persuade me to re-claim benefits as dumping me on benefits for the rest of my life would be the perfect way to cover up the 65+ years of criminal violence they've perpetrated against my family. In addition to the reason I gave before, that I already have a current claim, there are two other reasons why I can't do this. One, that level of income wouldn't provide for the private alternative healthcare I need (among other things), the NHS having demonstrated that they have absolutely nothing to offer me except further poisoning. But most importantly, I'm fighting this corruption in order to expose what's happened, and is still happening, not just for my sake, or my sons, but for all your children too.

Hera for Grace

Hi Grace, sorry; i should have got back to you before now. It sounds like you have had a great deal of hardship, a lot of it caused by lack of money, and bureaucrats who are willing to take advantage of anyone they can bully.
Often if you appear poor, or don't have good social skills , or don't have the money for a lawyer, some people will try to get away with whatever they can. There are mean folks in this world.
Have you thought about finding a disability advocate group with a lawyer who works pro bono ( for free) and seeing if they can at least help you get the govt money you are owed? I know you said you don't like lawyers; but like any other group of people, not all of them are bad, and some may even enjoy taking on obnoxious bureaucracy and righting wrongs. Hope all goes well (and better) for you and your son.

Grace Green

Thank you very much Donna L. We haven't given up yet! God bless.

For Grace

For what it's worth, I believe you, as I'm sure most everyone else here does, too. Heck, most of us are here on this very site because our stories/experiences were not believed! So please don't feel like you are on trial here. You are, most assuredly, among friends, my dear.
-Donna L.

Grace Green

to reply to your comments addressed to me, and to Samuel; as he said the persecution had "at least the approval of the police and courts" then obviously we HAD gone to them, contrary to what you claim. You say the UK has the rule of law, and you're sure there would be a remedy for us, so have you never heard of corruption? Assuming these things have been done to us because of non-payment of bills or some other wrongdoing on our part is prejudice. The rule of law should allow people to put their case which we've never had the chance to do, we haven't even been told what the "case" against us is, so that we can give our response. There is no legitimate reason for us to be treated this way, so it must be corruption, and the vaccine holocaust cover-up perfectly explains it. Borrough's Wellcome no longer exists but the company fed into GSK, so we're talking about Big Pharma. How could they admit a vaccine injury of 65 years ago while continuing to deny all the subsequent cases? And how could they say "no it didn't" to a PhD pharmacologist vaccine researcher?!
Judging by the huge number of subjects in which you're an expert I suspect that you are Legion. As you've been permitted to say that you don't believe a word we've said, I have to say I never believed your story about your daughter, if it were true someone here should report you to Child Protection. I don't believe you could be having such a difficult time with family, and doing a well-paying job, and writing all these lengthy comments, and all the studying and research you would have to do to come up with all your answers about the UK, WW2, religion etc. The fact that Samuel hasn't had time to reply to all your nonsense shows that we actually have to work to stay alive, rather than getting paid to abuse people on-line.

Grace Green

What you say is of course reasonable from a theoretical point of view, but when the vaccine court in USA has colluded in the cover-up of thousands of vaccine injuries and deaths, why does no-one believe me when I say that WE have been dragged through sham courts for decades in attempts to cheat us out of our home, our electricity, our income, my pension, and all of the services everyone else gets automatically, and that I can't defend myself because of being autistic due to a vaccine injury? Why are a gastro-enterologist whistleblower and an epidemiologist whistleblower your longed-for salvation, but "a pharmacologist whistleblower who researched vaccines?.....No, how would that work?"

John Stone


Of course, we always live in the last days and the lawyers and officials are always corrupt. Years ago I was living in a flat when the flat above caught fire and was gutted causing massive smoke damaged to the flat above in which lived and elderly refugee couple with only broken English. When they were visited by the insurer they were told that their flat had always been like that (knowing that they wouldn't be able to do anything about it). I don't think everyone is corrupt but bullies always have a nose for who they can bully.

Grace Green

I forgot to mention how we've been forced out of one home after another. One lawyer lied that there was nothing in the deeds about access to our house, making it impossible for us to live there. I now know, you get a map showing what belongs to you and what you have right of way over. Most often, as in that case, it's been "neighbours from hell", the worst being one in Wales who repeatedly cut our water supply (my older son ended up in hospital with a serious bug); he blocked our access with boulders or chaining a gate; brought down our telephone wire; hacked down our pear tree; tampered with our mail; and shouted death threats through the window. My sons, aged 7 and 11, were absolutely terrified. The police were informed on each occasion but refused to act (cf. Suzanne Humphreys' recent experience). My solicitor sent them a formal complaint but no action resulted. (So if I no longer go to the police or lawyers it's for a reason). Clearly we had to move away.
The methods now that we live in the city are different. In the UK, when you're in receipt of welfare benefits your local council tax is paid automatically (ie. central government pays the local council on your behalf). On several occasions when my benefits were stopped I received no official notification. At one tribunal the Dept. for Work and Pensions were reprimanded for this failure, by the Chairman. I thought this was because it meant I had no "decision" to appeal. I now realize that every time they do this they then ask me to re-apply. The previous claim could still be running (and going into the pocket of someone in the office). If I make a new claim I could be committing the crime of making multiple claims. On the hand, as things stand my council tax is allegedly not being paid (although it might be). They are defrauding the British taxpayer. Autistic people (high functioning) are obviously vulnerable to being used for this kind of racket. People here who believe the CDC is conspiring to kill and maim children are being hypocritical to accuse me and my family of being jointly insane, and imagining all these physical things which are being done to us. What makes you think local officials are Jesus Christ and incapable of any sin? They have unaccountable access to the public purse! To those who claim to be Christians I suggest you read the book of Revelation, where it says, in the last days all the lawyers and officials will become corrupt. That's what we've experienced.

cia parker


So none of what you have experienced was because you had Asperger's. Burroughs Wellcome has no interest in a vaccine injury which happened over seventy years ago. No interest in persecuting a claimed victim from that long ago. All they have to do, as always, is say: "No, it didn't."

Grace Green

Hera, I'll respond to your comment addressed to my son, as he's very busy at the moment. Thanks for raising your reasonable puzzlement about our circumstances in a non accusatory manner. If people don't believe me I'd much rather they'd say than just ignore me.
Some of my story I think would be publicly verifyable. Such as, I've often said that my father was Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology at Dundee University, who worked on vaccines during WW2, for Borrough's Wellcome. That gives the clue to why me having a vaccine injury would be a problem for Pharma. Andy Wakefield has been persecuted, and not just within a small community.
Regarding our finances, there is a group in our society which misses out on the usual benefits of society. It's abandoned families, who had their own home, mom was full-time at home, and father leaves, gives up his job so he doesn't have to provide, and there's no way for that family to "compete" in the rat race, with only one parent. There were no food banks when we were in that situation, in the 1990s, but luckily we had 2 acres on which to grow our food. There was no support from doctors for my state of health because they want to make out M.E. is psychological to cover up the vaccine link. In that sense your link to the BBC article is unfortunate, and bears no similarity to our situation. Did no-one here ever say don't believe anything you hear on the BBC?! As for computers, my sons finally managed to get to Uni. (we're obviously a very intelligent family) and the older one went into IT, fixing people's computers. He was given an old one by a customer, and passed it on to me. Both my sons got grants to go to Uni. and I moved to a tiny flat with the younger one(Samuel). At first, we both lived on his student grant and now he works as a self-employed electrician and makes a very modest amount of income (below the level at which he would have to pay tax.) I should get welfare benefits but they were stopped, even Samuel's Child benefit, an allowance which EVERY child is supposed to get until 19 years old, nowadays even children who've never set foot in this country get it! They first stopped our benefits the very same day that I got my diagnosis of M.E. They started it again (temporarily) the day a psychiatrist said it wasn't M.E. it was depression. Do you see where this is going? When I started teaching in school, in 1976, I got such severe hayfever I couldn't teach. I asked the doc for a sick note but she didn't give sicknotes for hayfever. When I got depressed as a result I was given an indefinite sicknote! My hayfever was caused by vaccines!
Our electricity has been cut off because our provider tried to get £3,600 for 2 weeks' gas! We wrote, phoned, emailed, and went to court 30 times, on each occasion they backed down. Until the last time when they were allowed to remove the meter which tells the truth about the reading they'd been lying about. Our side was never heard. The court was totally corrupt. They put in prepayment meters, which enables them to "recoup" money which we dispute. My son being an electrician has made an offgrid system, using solar panels, with generator for backup. In the winter months I haven't been able to spend so much time on the computer, especially last winter, before we got the generator. Being autistic makes it particularly difficult to deal with these things, as people here should be able to understand.
My story is much bigger than this. Personally, i find it strange that people who claim to have severely disabled children have so much time and money as many contributers on AoA seem to. I dont mean to be unkind, but that's looking at the questions you raise from the opposite point of view. I know our story sounds crazy, but then a lot of people think saying vaccines cause autism is crazy don't they? If doctors can be murdered and all the media can be corrupted etc,. is my story so surprising?
I'm very glad to have a discussion, but to be honest I've been treated very badly by many people on here. I would gladly have given whatever support I can to the cause, but support has to be a reciprocal thing, and I have very little capacity. Our life is hugely time consuming, having to do everything for ourselves. We buy anything we need second hand, and make as much for ourselves as we can. (We certainly don't look anything like the family in the BBC article!) Thanks again for reaching out to us. I hope this answers some of your questions.

cia parker


I would ask you, then, to elaborate on this statement you have made. The UK has the rule of law: on what legal grounds were you hounded out of several homes? If you received death threats, vandalism, and were cheated financially, why do you think it was because one or more of you had Asperger's or another kind of autism? Why did you not go to the police and the courts? None of us are going to believe that the legal authorities just said Oh, that's all right, we think it's totally justifiable to commit these actions against the autistic!

And it's silly to say that no one should think that members of certain groups are more prone to violence than anyone else. Every person should be judged on an individual basis according to his or her own actions. But that being said, should we all prohibit ourselves from feeling wariness toward the group of convicted pedophiles? Or schizophrenics, who often hear voices in their heads telling them to kill? Certain religious cults which teach their members to kill?

"Quran (2:191-193) - "And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing... but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun(the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)" (Translation is from the Noble Quran) The verse prior to this (190) refers to "fighting for the cause of Allah those who fight you" leading some to claim that the entire passage refers to a defensive war in which Muslims are defending their homes and families. The historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, however, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries. In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did). "

The jihadi on Sunday had taken these words literally, as so many more have.


Hi Samuel Green,
Thanks for coming here. You are right that no group of people should be singled out as violent; not all neurotypical people, or people with autism, or people with red hair, or people with brown or blue eyes, are prone to violent killing. We are all individuals,and neither a diagnosis nor our hair color means that we as individuals will cause or have a tendency to violence. Subsets of each of these groups can be violent.
I am glad you are helping your Mum.

I was just reading this article here

We over the internet don't know enough to understand what is happening to your family or why.
As we only get snippets of information it does not always make sense to us. Can people be persecuted or hounded? Yes, though normally only within a small community where maybe they are considered outcasts or undesirables. Police collusion? again, normally only in small communities.

Here is the U.S., owning a computer is a luxury item, and requires access to electricity. Owning or renting a house requires income both for paying taxes, and a whole lot of proof of income before you can even rent. Here, to get into a house, even to be chased out again, requires money, unless you are squatting in which case yes, eventually the police may remove you.

Most of our small cities and towns have places for free food ( foodbanks and soup kitchens) and often though not always places where people can get showers ( public swimming pools, homeless shelters etc) and here, homeless shelters can provide some support in finding housing etc.
That doesn't mean there aren't people living on the street; there are. But they mostly don't have access to computers. It may be there are reasons that explain why things have happened to your family, and because of that we don't understand. Regardless of your families situation, you are all in my prayers ( and I would be grateful for any prayers sent my way too; chronic health problems really being hard to handle right now.)

Jeannette Bishop

Grace & Samuel, in case it helps, I don't disbelieve your story, as hard as it is to want to believe it, but there are too many similar whistleblower stories out there.

Samuel Green

As Grace Green's son, I can attest to our experiences: hounded out of several homes, repeatedly cheated financially, received death threats, vandalism etc. And these are just the first things that come to mind; just part of the daily persecution we receive, all with at least the approval of police and courts etc.

As a side note, I do think it's inappropriate and dangerous for anyone to start saying that people belonging to any particular group, whether they have a particular disability or are of a particular race or whatever, are more prone to violence than anyone else.

I don't want to get into an endless wrangle with anyone on here, this is just my pennyworth for folks to have a think about.

cia parker


The reparations which the Treaty of Versailles required the Central Powers to pay to make up for some of the damage they'd wreaked were an attempt to repair a little of the immense damage inflicted by WWI. As was the disarmament imposed on Germany. Actions have consequences. My daughter is not verbal enough to choose a different way of studying these wars. I think by having the basic events and concepts in her mind, it gives her a framework in which to place future information she may hear about them. All violence is always wrong? This past Sunday a jihadi opened fire on women leaving a Russian Orthodox church is Dagestan. A homeless woman hit him in the chest with her purse, which permitted most of the people to retreat back into the church. The jihadi shot her in the chest and killed her, while shouting Allahu Akbar. A man tried to stop him, was also shot, but evidently not killed as the reports are that the jihadi shot and killed five women and critically injured two more, one of whom had her arm amputated at the hospital. I believe it was the police who shot and killed the jihadi. No violence? So we just sit and let our people be killed? The people coming out of church should just have accepted their fate and allowed themselves to be murdered?

My daughter has learned the term Lebensraum, the concept which the Nazis used to justify taking everyone else's land, killing the occupants, to take their farms and towns for themselves. I made a copy of a map of Europe at this time, and show my daughter the Rheinland, reoccupied by Hitler. The Anschluss, Austria taken by Hitler (I've told her about The Sound of Music.) Concurrently with the Munich Agreement at which Neville Chamberlain, known now only for his appeasement, promised peace in our time, while Czechoslovakia was being consumed. Then the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact with Stalin, at the same time as Poland was being devoured. What non-aggression? Two years later Hitler marched into the Soviet Union. Ha ha. We haven't even gotten to the Holocaust yet. Yeah, unarmed, meek, cooperative people who had worked hard all their lives and played a big part in making Germany as great as it was, and what did it get them?

I know there are pacifists, but I don't think they are mature or rational human beings. Killing in order to protect the innocent is often necessary.

cia parker


This was your sentence: "Cia, I just can't believe the way you and your daughter's "the rapist" treated her." A correct sentence in light of what you have explained would have been "you and your daughter's speech therapist, whom I consider to be a rapist." I didn't understand your attempted expression because it's totally unbalanced to say that because she playfully said "Where's C? Did she not come today?" , expecting her to pop out from behind the bookcase laughing and say "Here I am!" , this was clearly a gross violation of her personal space, and, because you're somewhat over the top in your expression, you consider playfulness toward an autist to be clearly rape. Then you said: "My original sentence about the therapist was grammatical if read as "therapist" showing that was my real meaning!" That is also ungrammatical. You appear to mean "my sentence about the therapist was grammatical if it were read 'the speech therapist, the rapist,' then my real meaning would have be evident.

But calling the speech therapist a rapist is clearly beyond to bounds of sane discourse. My daughter is obsessed with the daughter of a friend of mine. She hasn't seen her in six years and she no longer lives here. But she's found many photos of her on the Internet from her many accomplishments in high school, and many in my photograph albums. She has copies of them in her room and in the room where she sleeps on respite weekends with her beloved teacher. A couple of months ago, I was talking on the phone to my neighbor, and she asked how the girl was doing in med school. And I said, "Oh, Pari is doing fine, she likes her courses and likes living in Chicago," when my daughter came into the kitchen sobbing and screaming "No! You said the name I've told you NOT to say!" I am forbidden from ever saying the name Pari at peril of major breakdowns. By your reasoning, if that's the correct word to be used for what you do, my daughter raped ME by her violent outburst and attempts to control my behavior. Are you going to say that autists have free rein to say whatever they want and everyone else has to humor them, and avoid saying any word they object to, and if they don't they are rapists?

Is that the sort of "reasoning" you have used to tell yourself that you and your family have been violently and aggressively abused? They use one trigger word and in your eyes they become a terrorist? Do you not realize how unbalanced that is?

A number of autistic people have come out screaming and actually killing. That was what I was referring to. My daughter has only expressed the desire to kill me, many times, and I've never said otherwise. But if I were to use your offensive hyperbole, I could say she's raped, tortured, and killed me because she's autistic. I'm sure they have welfare programs in the UK for those unable to provide for themselves. You said "But, yes, it includes rape, torture, run out of town umpteen times and another attempt being made at present,enslaved - yes, of course we're supporting the ruling class, and you didn't include defrauded, vandalized, refused public services and I could go on." If any of the crimes you mentioned were true, you should have gone to the police and taken action in court. You said it was all BECAUSE you were Asperger's. Can you elaborate, making a clear distinction showing that it was because you are Asperger's and not because you're poor? Run out of town umpteen times? How? The police have come to your house and forced everyone in your family to hit the road? Or was it for failure to pay rent? You know as well as I do that in developed countries, no one is going to force you out of town because you have Asperger's. And enslaved because you're forced to support the ruling class? Meaning you're expected to pay taxes? That's silly, all of us have to pay taxes. How could our societies operate otherwise? How do you have a computer if you're cut off from public services?

Grace Green

To All, what I've been trying to say on the topic of "autism and aggression", in particular these terrible murders, is not to excuse any violence of any kind. But I have to witness to my own experiences, and those I've seen and heard of other autistic people, that we are daily violently abused, attacked, ridiculed, bullied and cheated, not just by a few bullies, but by everyone. So I think when one of us out of - how many? - finally flips, it's more than a bit rich for neurotypicals to turn round and call us aggressive or violent. We autistic people would like the issue of the way we're treated to be addressed. That's all. And perhaps it could start on AoA.

Grace Green

Cia, seeing as you raise pacifism, I want to make it clear that I have never advocated violence in any instance. I should explain that pacifism thinks that all violence is wrong and therefore does not take sides. It does not mean allowing others to do our fighting for us. To use your example of WW2, Quakers among others sought to alleviate the dire poverty that Germany was experiencing as a result of the sanctions imposed on it by the allies following WW1. If others had taken the same attitude many believe that Hitler, and WW2, might never have happened. That's what pacifism does - avoids conflict by applying human compassion.
On the subject of education, I could answer the question posed on another thread on this same topic, "What's happened to American children?" From over here it looks as if American education is very intense and dogmatic. There's a lot more pressure on kids to achieve certain goals than there is here in the UK. Even home education has to follow a compulsory curriculum whereas here we can create one to suit our own kids, or let them decide their own! If for example, you were to give C. several different ways of looking at WW2, such as I've given above, she might feel less of a need to become independent in order to explore other views. The combination of an autistic parent unable to see more than one point of view, and a teenager needing to explore her own beliefs, would probably lead to conflict in my opinion. And I think parents bare more of the responsibility than their children for outcomes.

Grace Green

Hera, thanks for your concern. I'll refrain from saying anything about Cia in the third person. But your last sentence highlights my situation. I can't eat chocolate, or any sugar, because of my health status. I can't have a bath, or even a shower, because our electricity has been cut off two years ago, and in case you're wondering, not because of non-payment of bills. I've had no income for at least seventeen years, and my sons and I had to grow our own food, chop our own wood and repair our own leaky house, when they were still school age. Unless anyone can explain why these things have been done to us then I can only think it's because of my autism, and my father being a whistleblower against vaccines. I might have thought that some people here would be a little bit grateful for that contribution and the sacrifices we've had to make because of it. Or at least be concerned at our story. I'm saying that not to you specifically but to everyone. How come no-one else has anything to say on this topic?

Grace Green

Cia, If you don't wish to understand me that says a lot about you, and why we're having this problem.
It's interesting you say you'd no choice but to "joke" at C's expense or be rude to the therapist. This is typical of autistic people - we find it hard to contradict strangers and can end up treating family with contempt instead. I disagree that you and the therapist were not at fault. I consider your behaviour rude or worse.
My original sentence about the therapist was grammatical if read as "therapist" showing that was my real meaning!
The ways in which I and my family have been persecuted are demonstrated in thousands of documents which clearly I can't publish here. But, yes, it includes rape, torture, run out of town umpteen times and another attempt being made at present,enslaved - yes, of course we're supporting the ruling class, and you didn't include defrauded, vandalized, refused public services and I could go on. And I'm not the only Aspie to complain of daily abuse. Murdered - no - it was you who said, "If [an autistic person] comes out screaming and kills you....." implying that C had actually killed you. So it's you who are being dramatic!
You can use damage to mean injury (unlike most people here) but you misquoted me (again) and I've a right to explain myself.
I don't agree with your understanding of your religion. You don't appear to think that your God will have anything to criticize in you.
My reply to Aimee was not intended to offend. Indeed she specifically challenged me to name treatments for autism. But it was you who asked "How could they effectively treat brain damage", so my "Scroll down" was primarily addressed to you!

cia parker

Thank you, Jeannette, for your heartfelt description of how hard it is to keep going for a lifetime hoping to cope with, maybe improve, the course of a chronic disease so damaging to the very core of what it means to be human. Thank you for your prayers. I'll pray for you and your family as well. As you said, how many even dream of how much damage one shot can do?

Jeannette Bishop

When someone is sick with infection, we understand (by-and-large) when they want to check out, rest. We try to give them time, added attention, nurturing to help shore them up for the healing process, etc.

When someone is rendered chronically ill with a chronically active immune system against something innate, probably prolonged by pollution or infection that a body may be trying to rid, too often without success, or not successful enough to make a difference against what keeps coming in, we somewhat soon come to want a pill or therapy to fix it, and we want to see that person get back to acting well, "normal" shortly. We understandably do not want to spend a chronically long time in sickness nursing mode with that person (for the part of most, not without a paycheck anyway) especially if it doesn't seem to make a difference, and we don't want to see that's what a person chronically unwell, in addition to actual healing, craves, maybe truly needs to keep functioning, lots of attention that doesn't make much of a difference, or ...a more fundamental change in something societal we're a part of (most of us here see that aspect)...

It's like we as a society do not want to stare in the face the actual potential for emotional well-being to be shut down for years, maybe a lifetime, in a moment's (or a few injections') work. I think it's a potential that might even make some, despite the spectre of disease, consider allowing infections to "run rampant" (not that I think they would run rampant) to avoid inducing chronic illness via vaccination and some other practices... I want to believe that, if these occasional outcomes were fully understood to be a consequence anyway (but since we're taking quite a long time to get a societal clue, maybe not).

But when whatever the cause of chronic unwellness also impacts the ability to communicate and interact with people and possibly even impacts the ability to experience and reciprocate whatever it is socially that so many obviously seek and expect to receive ... there are further complications of unfulfilled needs and expectations ... and painful mystifications...sometimes it just appears there are a double standards or an impossible standard...and then there is strong temptation to stop even trying to get along and meet expectations...

It helped me to not feel so much like those around me were failing me to understand some of what I'm actually physically dealing with and the probable causes (though that's brought a new level of perpetration in ignorance and otherwise to fathom, but it's stopped the unanswered "what's wrong with me?" questioning over and over most of the time and the resorting to "it must be YOUR fault" or some other life failing's fault), ... it doesn't change the frequent feelings for a need for a change: change in location, change in relationships, change of life's work...it's a sort of a lifetime of "mid-life crises" with the spectre potential always that things might become more of a crisis... one cannot easily build up good memories to associate with surrounding people and places when one feels bad, or threatened with feeling bad much of the time... expectations of ethical and understanding behaviors are important, experience with life and oneself it might help manage oneself, knowledge of why has brought in some remediation through alternative health approaches, but there are periods where the bad intensifies to a new level beyond knowledge of how to endure (without prayer for me).

I hurt when people hurt, and right now I don't exactly want to stop hurting that way--it sometimes feels like the only aspect of humanity not compromised (possibly amplified) by the pollutions I cannot or at least have not succeeded to clear--but I want things to be better SHORTLY for everyone, my daughters particularly, and lately it feels like about all I can do is pray ...so I pray for all you guys, for miracles for all of us! and I keep trying, I hope not entirely futilely, reaching out online, trying to increase understanding of our plight and the causes, hoping that a broader understanding will lead to improved truly healing "healthcare" and less harm, less facilitation of harm...I send my "discretionary" income to various groups trying to bring about this ... and I'm learning (I hope) to exercise the power of faith...

and I know some of us need nothing short of miracles this very moment... so I pray for you especially...

cia parker


I appreciate your kindness, but would point out that Grace made a number of cruel and insulting remarks, I think from the standpoint that anything which an autist doesn't like is objectively reprehensible and that violent speech toward those who object to violent speech from autists is moral and ethical. I think we see too much of that in today's world:; one group is morally sanctified by their attributed status as victims, political correctness takes up their cause, and ANYTHING that group says or does much be accepted as justified reaction to their mistreatment. That is contemptible, there really is no other word which is appropriate.


hey all;
Over the years of coming here, I have come to consider this site a bit like an online family; and I respect and care about both of you, Cia and Grace.
You both have aspergers, and you both have bits of the puzzle to share. And you are both going through some very difficult times in different ways.
You both don't see eye to eye on this because you are coming from very different situations.
Grace is upset because she knows that kind of cruelty is not in her nature, so she doesn't understand how it could be in someone else with the same diagnosis. She is also , from what she has said in the past, used to people being cruel and making jokes she can't get, so that is a trigger for her.
Cia is broken down with health problems and a daughter who she makes huge sacrifices for, but who doesn't seem to like her or be kind to her at all. (And you can be kind to someone and still have autism.) Beyond the therapists who help her care for her daughter, it doesn't sound as if she has anyone much in her life who is being kind to her or supporting her, and from what Grace said, it doesn't sound as if she has anyone much looking out for her either. You both have religious beliefs, so if it is ok to add in mine; take a breath,send a bit of love/kindness each others way, and go have a nice cup of tea/piece of chocolate/warm bath/ insert comforting and relaxing thing here. You both deserve it.

cia parker

I meant "rapist," not "racist," in my comment, but it's obvious from the context of Grace's insulting comment yesterday. You can kind of see why some people try to avoid interaction with autists.

cia parker


How insulting to Aimee to act as though she had never heard of alternative treatments for autism? She said that they had tried many of them, and that there had been improvement, but that her son at 28 was still extremely impaired and would never have anything approaching a normal life. That's reality. Very few autists can be treated so as to become normal enough to live independently and happily. How condescending of you to act as though she just had not discovered the treatment which would repair her son's brain damage.

How many stroke victims can be rehabilitated so that they can move, speak, and reason as well as they did before the stroke? Very few.

cia parker


It is I who don't understand you, and I do not wish to do so. I am not myself a perky or playful person, and I would not have said Where's C, did she not come? (She was around the corner, in front of a bookcase.) Once it was said, I had the choice to act rude or to say something appropriate to the situation, it was a very minor interaction and not worthy of making a big deal about. So I started to say Oh, she wasn't feeling well, when I was interrupted by C's outburst. Again, C has to learn to keep things in perspective, or she's not going to have a job, not live with friends, or have a life which is in any way what she wants. She was at fault, not me, not the therapist.

Your outburst about therapist as rapist is ridiculous. Your sentence was ungrammatical and badly constructed and did not convey any clear meaning, except to throw the epithet "racist" in our direction.

I will continue to use brain damage and brain injury as I see fit. Another ridiculous point of contention. They are the same.

God will judge all of us. I have taught my daughter that most people go to Purgatory at death, to see in slow motion, so to speak, everything that they said or did, or failed to do which they should have done, which caused pain to others. And they will suffer and wish that they could go back to act differently or repair the damage, but it's too late now. But their repentance and suffering upon feeling what the other felt will redeem them, once their sin is burned away, and then they will be purified to enter Heaven for eternity. And some, the unrepentant sinners, will go to Hell. They will have chosen to reject God's mercy, His conditions for forgiveness, and so will have condemned themselves. I have taught her that, it's what I believe myself, and she's very interested in it. I despise the cult of victimhood. Every person is responsible for his words, thoughts, and actions. God will know how to judge the heart of every one to decide what he or she had been capable of. I would be doing my daughter a disservice to let her think that there are no consequences for hateful words, thoughts, or actions. There are. Here and now and after death. There are for everyone, autistic or not. If she can't put herself in another's place, then she needs to act by rote, reacting as she has been instructed as the kind and/or appropriate way to do, with phatic words and actions. Old-fashioned? How does the Truth become old-fashioned?

You and your family have been violently persecuted and abused because you're a high-functioning autist? In what way? Anyone been raped or tortured, murdered, run out of town, enslaved, forced to support the ruling class with their life's blood, the way millions of Christians and Jews have been throughout history? Drama queen much?

Grace Green

Hera, I, too, have frequently said that I have Aspergers. I think that's the whole point. For Cia's daughter's therapist to have behaved in such a way betrays a complete lack of understanding of us autistic people and how to treat us. If this is the limit of "autism advocates'" understanding then no wonder autistic kids sometimes rebel! I've also repeatedly described on here how I and my family have been violently persecuted and abused because of being autistic, and I've received little sympathy. Yet "autism moms" are constantly telling each other what wonderful parents they are, and us victims can see a different reality. Your last sentence makes sense - yes, all of those. We need to start talking and listening!

Grace Green

Aimee, I'm glad you've made some progress with your son's condition, which is what I meant by reversing brain injury. I don't think anyone here would use the word cure. Can we be cured of our personalities?! I think we're not supposed to give medical advice on here, and in any case I'm astonished at the comments by you and others claiming never to have heard of any alternative treatments for autism. Scroll down!

Grace Green

Friends of friend,
That's an interesting story you related. I also think that children who are autistic because of vaccine injury are subject to all the other variations in life that everyone else is. So each person's resulting personality/problems is a result of multiple factors, and it can't all be blamed on the autism. Some of us adult autistic people who contribute to the conversation here might be gently trying to suggest that we can't deal with massive pressures, social, educational and others. Just because your child is autistic doesn't make you automatically the perfect parent. I speak as an adult Aspie from a family of Aspies. And I don't mean to address this comment to any individual but just throw it into the general discussion.

Grace Green

Greg, thanks for your reply. I'm not saying that all autistic people are incapable of any of these misdemeanors, but that their motives and reasons might be misunderstood. About your examples of the boys being observed stealing I would point out that the NT doing the same thing would have been sure not to be observed! I'm trying to put the point of view of the autistic person - we are just trying to survive most of the time. We suffer horrendous gut pain, bullying which we can't understand, threats, inability to communicate, and does anyone listen? By the time that young man killed 17 people it was way too late. It's a tragedy for all concerned.

Grace Green

Cia, I'm afraid I find it hard to understand you. There is definitely a difference between brain damage and brain injury as many others here have described, and I notice some, like Laura Hayes, are careful always to use the latter. The incident with the therapist really astonishes me. You were both acting as if your daughter wasn't there, didn't exist. Isn't that similar to wishing her dead? It's not a joke, it's extremely rude and disrespectful. I'm 64 years old and I've never heard anyone in the UK behaving in that way. The spelling of therapist as "the rapist" is a quote from an American feminist whose name I can't remember, and it refers to the process of therapy which some, including myself, don't approve of. I clearly didn't use the expression to refer to yourself, which as a linguist will be apparent to you. You've spent a great deal of time recently describing your daughter's problems, and I'm very sorry for you BOTH. I know in families full of autistic people tensions can run high. I wonder if your daughter's comments might be her idea of metaphor? She may have heard people saying "I could kill you" and not really meaning it. ( BTW I also didn't say I thought you should die. Your comments to me could be seen as paranoid.) As a Quaker, I think your "hellfire and damnation" threats to your daughter could be very damaging to her, and are astonishingly old-fashioned. Do even Catholics still think like that? Has anyone tried asking her why she feels so angry towards you, and get her to talk about it? It sounds as if she is trying to express something and is feeling she won't get listened to without being dramatic. I know young autistic people long for independence without fully understanding the implications of it. It might be better to discuss how independence would work for her instead of threatening her with damnation. Or ask her how she would feel if others said things like that to her? I don't know how to respond to the rest of your comments as you seem to be full of anger, and are reading things that I haven't written, like I'm supposed to have said you deserve to die. I said I could understand why your daughter is angry. You said I wrote that it was understandable if an autistic person came out screaming and killed you. But, your daughter hasn't killed you. Might you be out of touch with reality?

Aimee Doyle

@Cia -

My son has improved, but he's still very impaired. He didn't graduate from high school, he will never hold a paying job, he will never live independently (or even semi-independently), he will never have a girlfriend. He's now happy with Special Olympics, his Disney videos, and his volunteer work at a local stables (he loves horses). Developmentally he's maybe eight years old. He will need care and support for the rest of his life. He still suffers from severe anxiety and issues with communication and other autistic quirks.

I think you see a lot of improvement in your daughter in the next decade. She's starting out on adulthood so much more functional than my son. Good luck with the housing, the job, and the upcoming moves toward independence.

cia parker


I thought the same. That we don't know what it was, how long he took it, when he stopped taking it, how it affected him while he was on it, why he stopped taking it, and how he felt while in withdrawal from the drug, if that's what it was. I'm sure it wasn't a supervised going off it. There's a lot that I'm sure we'll never know. I was reading yesterday in Dr. Sears' The Autism Book about his rare, cautious use of psychotropic medications. He says they're step three, when nothing else works, and he talks about five classes, side effects, and so on. My uncle was on Thorazine, it made him grossly obese and very calm. Even if hypothetically a medication were the only thing standing between a person and murder, if he didn't want to do the responsible thing independently, I don't know how you could force him until he committed a crime. I read that people are saying that the death penalty was made for cases like this. I assume he knew he would get the death penalty and didn't care. I also saw a kid interviewed who had been a classmate, and when they asked why students didn't reach out to include him, he said You didn't know him. And that's a good point. Does anyone have an ethical obligation to endanger himself in order to try to include an obviously disturbed person, if it's not your job? I wonder how he's passing the time, how he feels, what he thinks about. The woman whose family took him in because their son asked them to says that she was at the site afterwards and saw them taking Nick away. She shouted Why? And he said Sorry.

John Stone


It might be a question of how long ago he had stopped - the problems often get worse after withdrawal. Some people are never the same again.

cia parker

I just saw an ABC report that said that Cruz had been taking psychotropic medication, but had stopped. I think we should consider that it's possible that if he had stayed on them, he wouldn't have killed. But I know that we'll never know. His attorney wanted to confess to the murders in exchange for life in prison, but it was refused. The state is going for the death penalty. I'd better not give my opinion on that here.

cia parker

Thank you, Aimee, I appreciate your kind words. She's turning 18 on May 5, so it's still another 10 years until she's the age of your son. I was thinking about Adam Lanza and Nick Cruz being 19 when they committed their massacres. I realize that my daughter changed when she reached adolescence. I think she will improve over time, but I also think that when she graduates from high school in June 2019, she's going to want to live somewhere else, and I really don't want to live with her anymore. We're going with the therapist to a meeting in a couple of weeks about housing for the autistic, coordinated by the guy who thinks the state should set up a residence for the autistic in an empty dorm. She may live with the beloved teacher and her family, and we told her she'd better completely control the hate talk or the teacher won't let her come, fearing for the safety of her children. And I don't know how much she would expect me to pay every month. The therapist said she wouldn't say yes or no at this time when my daughter asked if she could live with her. I'm worried about what's going to happen when my daughter becomes unhappy wherever she lives in the future. I've tried to tell her that she needs to do things to entertain herself, that no one is going to spend their every waking hour amusing her, as she expects. Our county case managers have said there's no chance of state-funded housing for her. Well, there's a waiting list for rooms paid for with three-quarters of her SS money, however much it is. No entertainment. There's a new autism day program that someone funds that she could go to when she graduates. Everyone expects her to get and keep a job, but I have the obvious doubts. I think if she were living by herself, she'd just sit on the bed and starve to death, without lifting a finger to take care of herself.

I hope she improves the way your son has. Thank you for giving me some hope.

Aimee Doyle

@Cia -

I am sorry for your daughter's hostility. Her statements must be so painful to hear. You are an amazing mom - as are all the moms (and dads!) on this site. I know that you have and would do anything you could to help your daughter.

You mentioned that until she was ten she was sweet. I don't have an answer for you about what changed with her, but I know the hormone changes are very difficult for our kids. I don't know if it helps, but we went through an absolutely horrible period with my son in adolescence - aggression, self-injury, property destruction, yelling and screaming. At 28 now he is much calmer. I hope that happens for you. He still does say sometimes "I want to bite you" or "I want to hit you" - but it's more rote - doesn't have the same level of intensity (or action) behind it.

Like you, I've thought about all that my husband and I have done for our son, the sacrifices we've made, the impact on his sister. The progress has been so slow. Sometimes it feels like there's nothing left of me to give - to him or anyone else. Sometimes I'm angry, sometimes I'm sad, sometimes I'm grateful he's not worse (and I've seen worse - with him and others)

Wishing you well.

cia parker

Thank you, Hera, for your understanding. When my daughter was four years old and I could no longer deny that she had autism (she pushed a little Russian girl from the top of the slide onto the ground, completely impassively, with a little smile on her face, and then at the health food stores reached out and scratched the cheek of a newborn with the woman in front of us in line), I started to read a lot about autism, and in the process read about Asperger's. I've said here that both my brother and I reacted to the DPT at three months old, I with screaming inconsolably for several days, he with beating his head on the bars of his crib for months. I realized that our social awkwardness, my mother's too (reacted to the diphtheria vaccine at four with Asperger's and severe chronic constipation for the rest of her life), was because we had all reacted to vaccines with Asperger's.

The therapist DID spend a lot of time that hour talking to her about the fact that she's nearly 18, and if she says anything like that after she turns 18, she's liable to be arrested and put either in jail or in a mental institution. My daughter asked hopefully if she'd be able to have cats. We said no, no cats, nothing. The therapist said that only a family member would be allowed to visit for an hour once a week, and not her beloved former teacher (the one I described being attacked and injured by a student). I said I had interpreted for a Mexican boy at the mental institution, tough security to get in and out, and the residents on the floor where I was were all just sitting in chairs in the television room, not watching it, just sitting drugged around the wall. My daughter asked if she could go to the bathroom, and the therapist said yes, but someone would stay with her while she was there, to make sure she didn't injured herself. I said they'd drug her with dangerous drugs with dangerous side effects, and if it were under court order, there would be nothing I could do.

The therapist when I picked her up said she'd worked with her on a cue, "Fix it," so that every time she was veering off into saying something aggressive, she needed to self-correct on hearing the words "Fix it." She said she was free to think whatever she wanted to about me, but not say it. I said that God knew what she was thinking, and it made Him very unhappy to see her evil, ugly thoughts, and she shouldn't think them either. She will be judged for her thoughts, words, and actions, and it will be up to God to judge to what extent she was capable of doing better and showing love rather than hatred.

I am very unhappy. Until she was ten she was sweet, I used to think how strange it was that she was NEVER angry. (No, she had some violent tantrums when she was little. The day I took her to kindergarten for the first time, she ran off like a little feral animal and ran through several classrooms before they were able to corral her.) She started saying she wanted to kill me when she was ten, and she also said it to her sweet autism teacher in middle school and to her paras. I've related here how at an IEP meeting I had said that I wanted her to start advocating for herself and be present. So she came, but as soon as she came in she looked at me and started saying I want to kill you. Over and over and over. Everyone was shocked. Our county case manager later said he thought she had said it twenty times. Her beloved teacher was finally able to coax her away by asking her to show her her autism classroom. We got her to quit saying the kill word, but she replaced it with I want you to die.

I've said how I found in her assignment book from September two notes which said she wanted to cut my head off and stab me to death right away. Lately she's said she wants me to die so she can be independent, as though I were the only thing standing in her way. The other day we were talking about culture shock when traveling, and I told her how a lot of Spanish and Portuguese people honor Jesus, Mary, and Joseph by naming their children after two of them, putting the appropriately sexed one first. So for a boy Jesús María, or José María, for a girl María Jesús or María José. I told her that my Portuguese friend, the one who died last year of rectal cancer, was named Maria José. And she asked how old she had been. She was hoping that if my friend had died last year, that that meant that maybe I was going to die soon too.

It has eroded my love for her. I've told her how much I've done for her, and she said What? And I listed many expensive, nice Christmas and birthday presents, hundreds of walks to the park, playground, and nature trail, thousands of dollars of American Girl dolls, clothing, and other products, I taught her to swim myself over seven summers, roller skating hundreds of times, scouting and taking her to the scout campground, three trips to Florida amusement parks, once to Worlds and Oceans of Fun, trips to the zoo and the farm animals at a nearby park that we fed. Cooking together, hundreds of books I've read to her, art projects, pets that I took care of but she enjoyed (gerbils, mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, a rabbit, parakeets, a canary, cats, a dog. I gave her piano lessons for five years. Getting and decorating Christmas trees every year, making and decorating cookies, singing carols when I lit the Advent candles every night. Birthday parties that I planned and made cakes for and invited children to, every year until she was twelve. Trick or Treat every year, still. Easter egg hunts every year until she was ten. Celebrations for First Communion and Confirmation. I made her christening gown myself, beautiful, long, lace, with a matching cap. Instruction in English as a Second Language, ongoing. Homeschooling, because instruction at school is not presented in any way that she can understand. Thousands of hours of homeschooling.

And after I told her everything I could think of offhand, she said What else? And she still wants to kill me.

cia parker


Are you calling me or my daughter's language therapist and autism advocate rapists? This is extremely insulting and not something any normal human being would do. Once autists are institutionalized to protect them from the slings and arrows of normal human exchanges, I can guarantee you that they will simply be isolated. Fed, housed, and nothing else.

cia parker

And no, Grace, there is no difference between the terms brain-damaged and brain-injured. Is that going to be a red line in the sand now, and if anyone crosses it then they deserve to die? Does your pacifism only extend to neurotypicals and autists are allowed to do anything ?

cia parker


I think what you said is extremely offensive. You seem to be saying that if someone kids around with an autistic person, saying Where is he? when you really know where he is, then if he comes out screaming and kills you, that that's completely understandable and justified. Because we ALL know that autists just don't understand jokes, and anyone who jokes with them deserves to die. So what happened to the calls to be inclusive, and include them in our social circles and culture? I'm sure you realize that if they are THAT sensitive, then they CANNOT be included in our society.


Hi Grace Green,
Firstly, what you said came across as a little harsh on Cia.

Cia has said in the past that she is also on the autistic spectrum.I( please correct me if i'm wrong, Cia)
At the same time, you have a point that her daughter probably did not understand, and hence was upset, about the gentle teasing.
All human interactions, neurotypical or not, sometimes involve people saying things that unintentionally annoy or upset someone else. If Cia's daughters response to jokes or gentle teasing is to think about killing someone, then that is scary. And probably it would have been better if the therapist had modeled a better response for her " That is not funny, and I don't like it when people joke like that." Better than "they made a bad joke, so who can I kill?.."

And there is a point where even the kindest person in the world is going to start to have a hard time always behaving gently with someone whose go to response to problems, is writing down plans to kill them. How many times could someone tell you they wanted you dead or wanted to kill you before it started to effect your relationship with them?

That is what Cia lives with, and it has to be hard.

My son doesn't get all social interactions, and I have given people dirty looks who were teasing him because he was oblivious. ( The soccer coach who told him how great he was when it was obvious he couldn't get near the ball springs to mind). Son thought the coach was great, by the way..

At the same time, he had a friend over this weekend ( yes! A friend!) who told several jokes he didn't get. His response was to smile politely and get on with playing the game. The intention matters, in these things, and even people with autism or other social challenges have to learn to accept other peoples mistakes with some type of grace.

The thing is also there are different kinds of people are the autism spectrum umbrella. The people you describe, honest, can't lie, high in moral integrity, empathetic and caring for other people in times of trouble, are typical of autism. But there are also people being diagnosed with autism, ( normally high functioning aspergers) who seem to be social misfits with a high streak of cruelty. Do they really have the same thing as classical autism? Maybe not, but there is something wrong, and that is the diagnosis they often get, at least right now. It is also possible that they have both autism and are a psychopath. People can have more than one diagnosis, and a highly functioning methodical planner who is also a psychopath is seriously scary.
Perhaps though, in the case of the most recent young man, the tragedies he had been through, coupled with the medications he appears to have been on, and perhaps a disconnection from the reality of what he was doing, were responsible. Would more kindness, or less tragedy, or different or no medications, have been enough to tip the balance so that he didn't turn out the way he did?

Aimee Doyle

@Grace - "I didn't say "brain damaged" I said "brain injured". There's an important difference. If you search the subject on-line you'll find a wealth of alternative treatments to reverse the effects of vaccine injury."

We have been trying for 25 years to reverse our son's vaccine injury using treatments from the conventional to the alternative to the downright fringe. We've tried everything. Progress, yes. Cure, no. Reversal, well sort of, somewhat. So when you say "there are a wealth of alternative treatments to reverse the effects of vaccine injury" I'd love to know which treatments you are referring to. And how many vaccine injured kids have had their injuries reversed?

Regarding the debate between "injury" and "damage" - it may just be a matter of degree. Perhaps one can recover (fully or partially) from an injury, whereas damage is more severe and long lasting. At least, that's how I define the difference.

Greg, I'm afraid you completely misunderstand what it is to be autistic. The examples you give of Tom and Fred may be due to several things rather than lack of empathy. We suffer from severe short-term memory failure. I know this from having a diagnosis of M.E. which is late onset autism. All adults with this condition will complain of short-term memory problems. Autistic people also have an inability to understand social situations, and the fear of doing the wrong thing can prompt us into doing the wrong thing.

Grace not to discount your experiences, but I have encountered numerous autistic individuals 'misbehaving' in ways that simply couldn't be chalked up to them being confused about social cues, or forgetting.  I have witnessed autistic kids stealing food from a concession stand and quickly hiding it so they wouldn't get caught.  I have observed an autistic young man ruminating about how he could rationalize buying that energy drink that his parents told him not to buy.  These were all cases of autistic individuals being quite cognizant of their misbehaviours and the ramifications but, nevertheless, not able to help themselves and acting out their compulsions.  I am sorry, but I will forever disagree that a mentally and socially disturbed autistic person who was predisposed to violence, and also influenced by  psych drugs, couldn't also connive and commit a mass shooting.

Grace Green

Cia, I just can't believe the way you and your daughter's "the rapist" treated her. We autistic people are literal in our understandings. It's common knowledge that we often don't get jokes. I begin to understand why your daughter feels the way you say she does. I think you should feel extremely embarrassed about what you did.

Grace Green

Greg, I'm afraid you completely misunderstand what it is to be autistic. The examples you give of Tom and Fred may be due to several things rather than lack of empathy. We suffer from severe short-term memory failure. I know this from having a diagnosis of M.E. which is late onset autism. All adults with this condition will complain of short-term memory problems. Autistic people also have an inability to understand social situations, and the fear of doing the wrong thing can prompt us into doing the wrong thing. My time at school was dominated by feelings of fear, which is highly debilitating. The autistic brain is extremely complicated. I would recommend everyone here to read some of Uta Frith's books. She may not address the cause of autism but her descriptions of how we tick have been hugely helpful to many of us adult autistic people. The comments here, except those from John Stone, have reminded me of how poorly we're understood, even by parents.

Grace Green

Jonathan, I thought you were making the point that autistic people are more prone to violence than neuro-typical people. I very much disagree with that. See my comment to Cia above. As for the other offenses, I'm certain that we are not capable of working out complex crimes. those you mention like petty theft are known by researchers like Uta Frith to represent our inability to understand what we're doing. Stealing food could even fit into the problem of gut disorders and the inability to say that we're hungry! I think autistic people need much more understanding and less condemnation.

Grace Green

Cia, I didn't say "brain damaged" I said "brain injured". There's an important difference. If you search the subject on-line you'll find a wealth of alternative treatments to reverse the effects of vaccine injury.
I didn't wish to raise a debate about pacifism, which is why I described it as my "prejudice". My point was that autistic people on the whole are not interested in fighting wars, or in many other forms of anti-social behaviour beloved of neuro-typicals, and that should be taken into account in determining whether we are more or less of a problem to society. Of course, these mass killings are horrendous, but I would say, not quite as bad as the effects of war, evil totalitarians, and all the other things most people seem to approve of.

cia parker

I just saw this.


The couple who took him in after his mom died said his gun was locked up, and they thought, mistakenly, that they were the only ones who had a key. They said he loved their two dogs and six cats. They had thought he was getting happier.

cia parker

I had emailed the language therapist a structure we'd been working with: -- is something that would make me feel ----, with about fifteen adjectives. Comfortable, uncomfortable, nervous, anxious, satisfied, etc. When I went to pick my daughter up, the therapist said that they'd talked about them all, but when they got to embarrassed my daughter couldn't think of anything. The therapist said that embarrassment depends on being able to see yourself as others see you, and autistic people aren't even able to put themselves in the place of the other, much less in the place of the other judging the way the autistic person looks or is acting. We hadn't thought about it, but I guess it makes sense that nothing would embarrass my daughter. I whispered to the therapist that she ought to feel embarrassed about the way she had acted.

Aimee Doyle

There certainly were multiple red flags with Nicholas Cruz. I wonder what will come to light about his parents? Perhaps relatives will be able to explain what they tried, when they tried it, what the results were, why more wasn't done. Both are deceased now and cannot speak for themselves. Like Cia, I was very moved by the interview with Adam Lanza's father. I understand that Adam did not want his father in his life, but it did leave Nancy Lanza all alone (and no doubt in despair) in dealing with her son.

There's often not much discussion about parents when things like this happen, other than blame. All parents of autistic children, but particularly those who deal with aggression and self-injury need support. That means empathy and practical, hands-on help (two things that are in extremely short supply). Every autism parent I know has tried desperately to help their child/children and would lay down their lives if it would help. Many have tried everything and don't know what to do. Aggression in autism can be so isolating, and sometimes deadly...as seen by the deaths of parents of Sky Walker, Adam Lanza, Scott Kologi, David Adam Wilson, and Michael Litwornia.

I wonder why there isn't more support for parents of children like this - before these tragedies happen?

cia parker

This just now happened. I took my daughter to language and came back to translate while she's gone. When we went into the office, the therapist said hi to me but asked playfully if my daughter were not with me, as she didn't see her. I said jokingly, Oh, she didn't feel well... when my daughter exploded, screaming and sobbing No! You shouldn't say that! The therapist instantly changed gears and said Oh, I didn't mean to upset you, I knew you were there, we were only teasing. But my daughter continued growling I want to... I want to... and the therapist asked her what she wanted to do. And she said I want to kill her for saying that. The therapist said You should be angry at me, I started it, only teasing, your mom didn't do anything. But my daughter kept muttering I want to kill her. I said nothing.

My daughter is not and has never been on any kind of pharmaceutical drug. Well, an antibiotic at birth and for a sinus infection at six. That's all. This is autism.

Friends of friend

Interestingly I recently heard of a couple who are very highly educated in the science field. They pressured their child to the point of mental breakdown and serious rebellion. The child was then labelled as "Aspergers" while most who know the situation feel this is not the case. If there are these kinds of wrongly diagnosed children in the mix, it makes sense to me that especially if they are male, they will act out their rage. Of course they could also be physiological factors but this is an interesting possibility as well.

bob moffit

@ Greg .. with all due respect for your welcomed contributions to AoA

"With these mass shooting by autistics adolescents, Lanza, Cho (thanks Johnathan for reminding me), and now Cruze, I highly suspect that these individuals were quite aware that they were hurting others by committing heinous, evil acts. They did it anyway because they could not overcome their autistic compulsions or drives."

I was surprised to read that Lanza, Cho and Cruze were diagnosed as autistics .. but .. I can't confirm that they were? Here is a quick summary of what is published regarding them. (quotation marks are mine)

"Adam Lanza, a 20-yerar-old "mentally ill" man who reportedly had a preoccupation with mass shootings, in particular the 1998 Columbine massacre, killed his mother and then drove to the elementary school, where he killed 26 people ..."

"Seung-Hui Cho had previously been diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder. During much of his middle and high school years, he received therapy and special ed. support .. after graduation Cho enrolled at Virginia Tech which was unaware of Cho's previous diagnosis or the accommodations he had been granted at school. In 2005, Cho was accused of harassing two female students, and after investigation a Virginia special justice declared Cho "mentally ill" and ordered him to attend treatment."

"Florida school shooter Nicolas Cruz's attorneys referred to his chronic battle with "mental illness"" and depression exacerbated by the recent death of his adoptive mother"

As I said, I was surprised to read that all three had been diagnosed autistic .. but .. I didn't find any evidence of that.

However .. what I did find was all three had been declared "mentally ill" at some point in their extremely troubled lives .. and .. all three at one time or another .. received "treatment" for mental illness. I suspect by "treatment" .. they were prescribed Psychotropic medication .. defined in medical dictionaries as any medication capable of affecting the mind, emotions, and behavior. Some medications such as lithium, which may be used to treat depression, are psychotropic.

(Many of these prescribed "treatment" drugs come with an FDA mandated warning the drugs may cause thoughts of suicide and homicide .. (otherwise described as ideation) .. and to call your doctor if you begin to have such thoughts)

In any event .. it is only my humble opinion .. but .. I think there are far more serious consequences when psychotropic medications .. which are well-recognized and widely known to induce compulsive ideation of suicide and homicide in the mentally ill ... than the "lack of empathy" for others that .. as you suggest ... many autistics exhibit.


According to Minnesota Public Radio, “There have been more than 1,600 mass shootings since Sandy Hook in 2012.”

Regarding mental health:
Note this statement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions: “We met with, this morning, our Office of Legal Policy, to work with our partners in Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, across this administration, to study the intersection of mental health and criminality and violence and to identify how we can stop people before these heinous crimes occur.”

But HHS will not be receptive to any suggestion that its vaccination program is contributing to the neurological damage suffered by an unknown number of the shooters.

Jeanne J

It was reported with Cruz. Two individuals at two separate times contacted the FBI concerned that this person wanted to commit gun violence. And twice, the FBI dropped the ball. I agree with you that issues of acting out and aggressive, often violent behavior can be part of the brain dysfunction of autism. I agree that not dealing with the narrative of aggression in autism minimizes the enormous drain that not properly treating and ending the actual causes of autism has had on our country (and world). But, with this young man, his actual final act of violence had SOOO many opportunities to be headed off, but none of it worked. Cruz's gun massacre, to me, is like several witnesses standing by, watching a speeding train, with no one at the controls, saying, "Yup, that train is going to derail" and doing nothing about it.
-multiple incidences of cruelty to animals and pets, and no indication anyone thought that was a red flag.
-stealing mail from neighbors, and no foreseen consequences.
-at least 20 responses from Broward Co sheriff's office for complaints from neighbors, and no indication that he was called before juvenile court for legal consequences.
-expulsion from two schools (presumably for violent acts toward students and staff) and just sent on to a regular high school, with no indication of follow up.
-investigation by the Broward Co department of child and adult services from a report of him video-taping him cutting himself on social media and reportedly wanting to purchase a gun, with the agency closing the investigation with a notation that he was not being abused by his mother (whoopee!)
-unfortunately, the family who lovingly took him in, knowing he was probably depressed at his mother's death, and only requiring him to lock up his gun as a condition of housing (rather than saying either no, or controlling the access to the safe it was locked in).

cia parker


Again, I would have to say that it may depend on the individual. I have never seen any indication that my autistic daughter felt any distress on seeing another's problem or felt any desire to help. They used to say that that's what autism meant, being confined by the limits of their "self," unable to transcend them.

I think that what they're going to have to do is make available institutions where those who show signs of being dangerous could be confined for as long as was necessary. I don't know who should make the decision as to how long was necessary. On the one hand, there would be outcry because his right to liberty was being violated, on the other, once he DID kill or seriously injure someone, the outcry would be Why did no one keep an eye on him, stop him? They should be humane places, obviously.

How could anyone be constantly vigilant of a potentially dangerous person? It is no one's job to do that, and I'm not sure it would be legal unless they had broken some law. Do you have in mind a police detachment to surveil and follow the individual 24/7? After the Sandy Hook massacre, an article went viral by the mother of an autistic boy who had acted violently on many occasions to her and her other children. The police had been called a number of times. But there was nothing they could do until he killed or seriously injured one of them. Why should families live in fear like this?

I don’t think lack of feeling or empathy is core to autism - I am sure it can happen but what we most often see is a failure to read or pick up complex social cues. A mutual friend of ours told the story of a group of young autistic people engaged in a running race where one fell over and the others all stopped to help. Concern was immediate, the race was forgotten, when “neurological-typicals” would have pressed on regardless. This kind naivety is also something I am frequently aware of with autistic people.

John, down below in one of my comments, I also referred to autistic people lacking empathy, but I think I should clarify things.  I don't think it is so much them lacking empathy, or missing social cues, but autistic individuals' compulsions overriding their empathy.  Reflect on Mommy imploring --begging!-- her autistic child, Tom. not to get up early and rearrange items in her cupboard.  She asks, 'Do you understand Tom'?  Tom responds, 'Yes mommy, I understand.  It is frustrating for you when you can't find stuff.'  Imagine also Dad telling his adolescent, autistic son, Fred, not to stop strangers in the street and ask them if they recall a certain episode of  'Friends'. Fred also responds, 'Yes Dad, I understand, it's not considerate to interrupt strangers and force them into conversations that they don't like.'   In both these cases the social cues are crystal clear, and both Tom and Fred are conscious of how their behaviours impact feelings.  Yet, what does Tom do the next morning, and Fred do the next day?  Tom still wakes up and rearrange her mother's cupboard, and Fred still stops strangers in the street to talk about 'Friends'.  In both cases the autistic compulsions overrode all empathetic feelings.  But, this is not to say that Tom on another occasion won't think of Mommy and bring her breakfast in bed, or Fred won't move mountains searching for that special Christmas sweater that he thinks Dad will like.  In both these cases there were no compulsions that interfered with the empathetic gestures, and, likewise, in the example you gave, there probably was none that stopped those autistic runners from stopping and attending to an injured runner.

Yes, autistic individual can and often do feel empathy.  With these mass shooting by autistics adolescents, Lanza, Cho (thanks Johnathan for reminding me), and now Cruze, I highly suspect that these individuals were quite aware that they were hurting others by committing heinous, evil acts.  They did it anyway because they could not overcome their autistic compulsions or drives.  This is all the more reasons why we should not discount the mitigating, autistic factors in these shootings, and how they may pose a unique, difficult challenge.  Perhaps with your potential neuro-typical mass shooter you can deter him, tap into his empathy with therapy and counselling, but this may be impossible with the autistic suspect who is driven to act out his violent impulses.  With such cases the only solution may be extreme vigilance.  Should there be any signs that an autistic person may commit a mass shooting, you make sure as hell that he is not in possession of weapons -- what wasn't done with Lanza -- ,or, if he were to express the desire, you report it immediately to the police -- what wasn't done with Cruze.

cia parker


I support the armed forces of developed countries, who try to deter the malefactors and defend the vulnerable. As I said, we're studying the buildup to WWII now in our homeschooling. I photocopied a picture of Neville Chamberlain yesterday to add to our packet. C has to learn the phrase Munich Agreement and "peace in our time." If the whole world had continued to promote appeasement and never taken on Hitler, what would have been the result? If Israel didn't defend itself constantly, what would happen? Pacifists rely on stronger people to defend them, and if no one does, then what happens?

I agree with Johnathan. We're not talking about sweet defenseless children who are picked on, and that's the only thing which makes some of them become aggressive. Their brain damage damages them in many ways, and many of them show it in violence enacted against innocent people. My daughter's adored, endlessly patient, kind autism teacher from five years ago was attacked by one of her autistic students, who attacked her and caused serious injury to both her knees when he pushed her down and kicked her, and many bruises from his physical attack of her. There's no reason to deny this very serious problem. What do you do with violent, brain-damaged people?

Jeanne J

Please don't forget that Nikolas Cruz was adopted. No one has any idea what his pre-natal wellness was. No one has indicated how well (or not) he bonded with his adopted parents. Some adopted children with poor pre-natal health (including illicit and prescription drug use) have poor attachment issues. And, it is VERY clear that this young man had emotional/behavioral issues all through his life. He was cruel to neighborhood pets and animals - multiple times! One neighbor indicated that he would steal mail from mailboxes. I don't understand how the police could have been called to his house at least 20 times, and he did not have a record. And the final straw for me was reading that he was engaged in cutting behaviors and no thought he should be hospitalized for a psychiatric evaluation. And THEN, he would not have been able to buy a gun! SO MANY PEOPLE DROPPED THE BALL!!!!

cia parker


I think you'd have to say that it depended on the individual. And I don't think most typicals would race past a fallen runner without stopping to help him. I think the lack of language is a huge obstacle in the development of empathy: if you haven't had experience in talking to yourself about a situation in which someone is distressed and drawing similarities to oneself, I don't see how you could with little or no language.

I paused for a couple of minutes trying to think if my daughter is ever kind. I don't think she ever is. She likes some people who are cheerful and outgoing and talk to her. She can't say much back to them. But I can't think of any instance of her being kind to them or anyone else. I've suggested she give presents to people she likes for birthdays or Christmas, saying I'd give her money if she could think of something they'd like or saw something in a store, but she's not interested and has never done it. I've suggested she draw a picture to give to me as a present, but she's totally disdainful of that. She's never shown any concern about people or animals we've seen in real life or in a video who are in distress, nor tried to help them. Personally, I think in most autistic people, the brain damage prevents development of the area of putting yourself in someone else's place.

cia parker

I saw in that article that the FBI had someone tell them in January that Nick was very likely to become a school shooter and told them many things to support that. The FBI director has been fired as not adhering to protocol already in place. I'd like to know more about that. That's really hard to take. A very specific warning last month and they just let him proceed.

cia parker


How could they effectively treat brain damage? The conventional answer is with dangerous drugs. I think intensive ABA type treatment to establish language circuits in the brain is a better answer, but it's not one that anyone's doing at this time. And Nick Cruz was 19. What do you do with them at that point, when they're legal adults?

John Stone


I think they often do rather more than just bite their moms but it rather escapes my point in which is not simply the violence of high school massacres (which may in some cases have an autism component) but the general problem of autism and violence which you raised. But the ideation of terrible acts might conceivably have some of its roots in such things as ignored pain. I would not dismiss it.

Jonathan Rose

But Grace, I agree with you: if autistic kids are violent, it's because they are brain injured, and we should stop doing that to them. That's precisely my point. And yes, autistic people don't often wage war, because their brain injuries render them incapable of joining the armed forces. They're also often incapable of holding down any kind of self-supporting job. And the notion that autistic kids don't commit petty theft or fraud is a myth: yes, they can lie, and stealing food is a very common problem with these children.

John, there's no doubt that gastrointestinal distress among ASD people is a very painful and shamefully neglected problem. It may well explain why autistic kids sometimes bite their moms. But I'm not sure it explains why they commit homicide: something deeper is operating there.

Aimee Doyle

@Cherry -

I agree with you that we need to stop injuring children with chemicals in vaccines, toxins in pesticides, and toxins in air, water, and food. How about we stop supporting politicians that vote for corporate profit over people?

I'd add that GMOs are not good for children. Too much electromagnetic radiation from screens is not good for them. And I don't think psych drugs are a good idea either (with the caveat that sometimes, perhaps for short periods of time, in certain individuals, they can be useful). Other areas where we need vote for politicians who are willing to buck industry lobbyists.

I'd add also that we need better education and services for those who are already injured. We need research for better treatments and therapies (and cure for those who desire a cure). In terms of the latter, how about getting people who actually care about treatment and therapy on the IACC?

John Stone


I don’t think lack of feeling or empathy is core to autism - I am sure it can happen but what we most often see is a failure to read or pick up complex social cues. A mutual friend of ours told the story of a group of young autistic people engaged in a running race where one fell over and the others all stopped to help. Concern was immediate, the race was forgotten, when “neurological-typicals” would have pressed on regardless. This kind naivety is also something I am frequently aware of with autistic people.

cherry Misra

Grace Green- Right on ! and to all others here who gave thoughtful comments and information- Many thanks. , I would just like to go back to the basics. Stop injuring childrens bodies and brains with chemicals in vaccines. Stop psychiatric drugs that make people yet MORE abnormal (, and without informing the patients that they are very addictive and difficult to withdraw from.). Stop the chemicals in the environment that create or combine with other chemicals to cause physical disorders. Let human children be normal mammals once again, living on a safe Earth. IMHO, If our society cannot understand this simple logic, we can only keep on begging the parents to try their best to protect their children.

Grace Green

Jonathon Rose, your statistics display your prejudices. Here's another way of looking at your hypothetical school of 1000 students. As a slice of society it contains 13 autistic people prone to violence (because they're brain injured, and could be effectively treated if society wasn't trying to cover up the fact that They caused it); 20 non-autistic people who delight in aggressive bullying and will probably become violent criminals. It probably also contains a large number of non-aggressive petty thieves, and fraudsters (something that autistic people really are incapable of). And as a Quaker, here's my "prejudice" ; a large number of men and women who will be applauded for entering the armed forces and go on to kill abroad (something else autistic people would be deemed incapable of.) So you see, we autistic people may see things in a different light from you!

cia parker


I just read your article, also very interesting. Wow, that photo of Cruz is one of the scariest I've ever seen, he looks LOT like Adam Lanza. I wouldn't stay in the same building with someone who looked like that.

So, they had gotten 20 warnings about Cruz called in just recently. So there's one answer right there. The police and social services need enough funding and enough backup, enough authority and support, to be able to lock someone that scary up proactively. That's one problem with a society which always mistrusts authority: the potential criminals have their liberty respected too much. It's a pendulum which is probably going to be swinging back the other way.

cia parker


The article about Adam Lanza by his father (it went to the New Yorker from Autism Speaks) was very moving. His parents did EVERYTHING possible for him, loving, supportive, helpful, always looking for ways to reach him. I saw a paragraph which mentioned empathy:

"Both autism and psychopathy entail a lack of empathy. Psychologists, though, distinguish between the “cognitive empathy” deficits of autism (difficulty understanding what emotions are, trouble interpreting other people’s nonverbal signs) and the “emotional empathy” deficits of psychopathy (lack of concern about hurting other people, an inability to share their feelings). The subgroup of people with neither kind of empathy appears to be small, but such people may act out their malice in ways that can feel both guileless and brutal."

I disagree. From my experience, I think that the lack of concern about hurting other people and the inability to share their feelings IS core to autism, not just to psychopathy. There are probably ways to develop empathy, I think starting from a lot more attention to building language neural circuits in the brain to come closer to normal development of human emotions. Although language doesn't seem to have been as big a concern with him as with most.

At one point, after going into great detail about all the many things his mom did for him, and descriptions of how he had gone deep into severe psychopathy, it said Maybe his mom should have taken him out more to socialize with others. Jesus Christ (and that's maybe the third time in my life that I have used that as an expletive.) That's right, torture and drag the parents through the mud. Sure, taking him to the mall with a cousin would COMPLETELY have solved the whole problem.

He shot the mom four times. The father says he's 100% certain that if he had been available, Adam would certainly have shot him. It was once for the mom, once for the dad, once for the brother, and once for Adam. I remembered when I read it that at first they thought it was Ryan who had committed the murders, that Adam had taken his brother's ID with him to cast guilt on him. Again, Jesus f- Christ. The father says at the end that he had a dream from the perspective of one of the victims. Adam at the classroom door, arms raised, absolute evil radiating from him. He says that it took him a long time to come to the point he was at now, but he says there's no question now. He wishes that he had never been born. After reading about his childhood, the hikes, the jokes, the t-shirts the father had printed with a witticism of Adam's, the endless search for solutions: he was cheerful and personable until adolescence, it's painful to try to figure out where and when the psychosis became so severe they should have given up and locked him away. But psychosis with canniness and a lot of executive ability to plan and carry out one of the most evil acts in history. I am tortured. I also wish that he had never been born.

They debated on whether to toll the bells 26, 27, or 28 times. 27 if you counted the mother as an innocent victim. After reading that article, I think it's clear that she WAS an innocent victim. I remember that at the time they said that the mom had decided to put him in an institution, and when Adam found out he went berserk. They talked about why did she have guns in the house: the article said they went target shooting with him having read that it was important to try to share the interests of the Asperger's person. The mom didn't seem to have any suspicion of what he turned out to be capable of.

And Peter says that one of Adam's problems was that he was impervious to physical pain. My daughter has also always been very insensitive to physical pain. I don't think physical abdominal pain is always present, and isn't always the reason for the crimes. Just a lot to turn over and think about.

John Stone


I fully accept that violence is a significant feature of autism, but also much of it may be related to things like medical issues, say relentless gastric distress which many autistic people cannot even explain, doesn't get treated and is sometimes politically unacceptable even to mention. Much of it may be a rather separate issue from general social/cultural violence. And I think this ought to be mentioned in such a context. Most psychiatric drugs would probably exacerbate gastric problems as well. People in pain are on a short fuse but the predicament of autistic people is often truly terrible.

Jonathan Rose

In fact it has been confirmed from a number of sources that Cruz had been diagnosed as autistic:


By the way, we often hear that autistic children are more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators. That may be true, but to conclude that autism makes you less prone to violence is a gross logical fallacy, simply because the autistic population is far outnumbered by the non-autistic.

To illustrate, let's assume that in a school with 1000 students, 2% (or 20 students) are autistic. I've cited elsewhere a study showing that two-thirds of autistic minors are violent, so here that would amount to 13 violent autistic students. Let's further assume that of the nonautistic students, 2% (or 20) are aggressive bullies, and they attack all 20 of the autistic students, because they're perceived as weird and vulnerable. Then among the autistic students you would find more victims (20) than perpetrators (13), but the likelihood of violent behavior among those autistic students would be vastly greater (67% to 2%).


Bill, here is Adam Lanza's dad discussing his son's diagnosis with Autism Speaks.


I'll be glad to "dispute" the comment from Greg, above. Direct, interpersonal "violence", such as an autistic person lashing out at their immediate family/caregivers, is something very different from the type of "violence" that results in mass-casualty school shootings. I've seen no definitive confirmation that Adam Lanza actually *HAD* ASD, much less that he was even alleged to have had.

Bill, I knew my comment would irk some here.  Bill, let's be honest, an autism diagnosis is a lazy label to cover-up vaccine injuries and account for its accompanying stereotypical symptoms.  Buying into such labels and making definitive pronouncements about what an autistic person cannot do, in my opinion, is an hazardous endeavour. Is it so unlikely that an autistic person could be a mass shooter? Is it as Linda explained, 'Most people with autism lack the kind of executive functioning skills necessary to plan and carry out the sort of attack'?  Really?! Temply Grandin and Ari Ne 'eman are high functioning autistic individuals, would anyone suggest that they lack executive functioning in planning and premeditating an act -- speaking generally and not suggesting they could be mass shooters?

Bill, as stated, in recent history we have two individuals that have committed horrendous mass shootings that are suspected of having autism, and I don't see why we should twist ourselves in knots disputing that this is possible.  I also say bullocks to the argument that their diagnosis are just suspicions without confirmation.  With the media's obsession in portraying autism in a positive light do you thing they would leave things 'hanging' if these adolescents weren't really autistic?

Also Bill, yes, you right, I should have mentioned it, I also feel that psych drugs may have played a huge part in this tragedy. But, again, I am opposed to discounting the influence of autism.  It could have been the case that we had an emotionally and socially disturbed young man, and who was already prone to aggression, and the psych drugs that he was on severely aggravated the situation and resulted in the mass shootings.

cia parker

If you look at the photos of Adam Lanza and Nick Cruz, you can see that they are (were) abnormal. I read a lot about Lanza at the time, and I believed that he was on the autism spectrum. I was shocked by the obvious lack of alignment of Cruz' eyes, which shows brain damage. I don't know enough about him to say if I think he had autism, but it's extremely likely, especially if you want to use the term spectrum. Does it really make any difference? Is it important to make up another term to put Cruz into for another mental disability, in order to feel more positive toward the autistic?

cia parker

I agree with Greg and Jonathan. It's just another form of political correctness to insist that autistic people are not violent, and if they are, it's only because they have been bullied or neglected. Do we say the same thing about schizophrenics, who not uncommonly commit acts of physical violence because of directions from a voice in their head? My daughter has never been on any kind of psych drug, yet she expresses the desire to kill and has been very disruptive at school over the years. She has attacked our dog in her playpen a number of times, hitting her with a real bone in the head.

Autism is brain damage. There's no way I could say how much of the violence is within the autist's ability to control, especially since there are so many of them, very few of whom I know personally. But I learned last year that one of the things that vaccine encephalitis destroys in many cases is the ability to follow story lines. It has always distressed me that my daughter can't follow story lines, so is really left out of books, movies, conversation, emotional involvement with news stories, etc. If you can't follow story lines, then you can't put yourself in the place of another person, can't feel compassion or empathy for them. And then, if you feel you have been slighted in any way, it may give rise to the feeling that you have the right to punish that person or that group that neglected you, or failed to appreciate you, or failed to act in some way as you would have liked them to. Not rational, not fair, not mature, but if your brain doesn't work normally, what can you do? What can we do to protect ourselves from this childish revenge-seeking?

david m burd

Greg (and All),

Sorry to say you left out the highest death toll (maybe still the record) by an autistic student at Virginia Tech in April, 2007, when Seung-Hui Cho murdered 32** students in their classrooms with pistols (not with an idiotic-phrased 'assault' rifle). **many more wounded.

Cho should had never been enrolled at Va Tech -- but "political correctness" ends up admitting many to colleges that should not be, and his family and relatives were not silent about Cho having barely functional, typical autistic behavior. Interestingly, Cho's records are still sealed, (my best guess being political with Pharma hiding all the psychotropic drugs he had been taking ),

Rebecca Lee

A symptom of lead poisoning is anger and impulse control issues. That, coupled with mercury is a pretty volatile combination in a teenager.
It reminds me of the song I was just listening to, “it’s all over now, baby blue.”
“Yonder stands your orphan with his gun,
Shining like a fire in the sun.”
We are reaping a bitter harvest.


The medical industrial complex can call it whatever it wants. Clearly there are more neurodevelopmentally damaged children at present (environmentally caused in majority of cases, pesticides, vaccines, plastics...) parenting skills questionable in many cases (many parents exceeding the number of children they can effectively and properly care for). Add to that the fact that the community does not do due diligence in preventing crime. The FBI were tipped off about this young man's danger potential. They didn't act. He also should never have been allowed to buy a gun.


I'll be glad to "dispute" the comment from Greg, above. Direct, interpersonal "violence", such as an autistic person lashing out at their immediate family/caregivers, is something very different from the type of "violence" that results in mass-casualty school shootings. I've seen no definitive confirmation that Adam Lanza actually *HAD* ASD, much less that he was even alleged to have had. I DO KNOW that we were told he had several "psychiatric diagnoses", and that he had been given several psych drugs over his short and tragic life. I also know that psychiatry is a pseudoscience, and a drug racket. There's no doubt in my mind, that psych drugs are far less safe, much less effective, and much less necessary that the psychs claim. So I find it odd, and revealing, that Greg fails to mention the psychs and their drugs. Also, the *media* *says* that this latest shooter in Florida, Cruz, *MAY* have had ASD, but I haven't seen that confirmed yet. And I've seen NOTHING yet, about Cruz's psych & psych drug history. The media seems to be leaving some key details out....
As for the BOGUS "Reactive Attachment Disorder", it's just another TAX-FUNDED RESEARCH stream, which is unlikely to produce anything of value. Except research jobs, university departments, PhRMA profits, etc., We all need to remember that the DSM-5 is nothing more than a catalog of billing codes, and all of the diagnostic allegations in it were INVENTED, not discovered, to serve as excuses to maintain stigma, and $ELL DRUG$. Also, any tragedy like this most recent school shooting will provoke strong emotions, and we think least well, and least clearly, when we're emotionally upset. Let's honor our outrage, then clear our heads, and get back to work. But let's also not be distracted from the harms inflicted on our children by a system that's running out of control for profit, at OUR expense....
The lame-stream media is already abuzz with "mental health", and "mental illness", so let's not let them confuse ASD with "mental illness"....
(c)2018, Tom Clancy, Jr., *NON-fiction


Most people with autism lack the kind of executive functioning skills necessary to plan and carry out the sort of attack committed by Nikolas Cruz. Why are we so prone to suggest and believe the reports of autism with no substantiation? I am offended that every time one of these horrific cases occurs an autism diagnosis is thrown around by people who have no specific knowledge of either the person or the diagnosis. There are other, much more likely diagnoses that could be linked to this sort of act, especially when one knows the facts of this young man’s life, but without specifics we needn’t speculate. I’ve seen other groups offended by speculation. Instead of additional speculation, let’s refuse to participate in inappropriate diagnosing.

Jonathan Rose

Contrast this post with the 2012 post about Adam Lanza reproduced above. Back them we absolutely ruled out any connection between autism and violent behavior. Today we admit (however reluctantly) that autistic young people "may be terribly violent". True, this violence usually doesn't rise to the level of mass murder -- but now, in addition to Adam Lanza, we have the Scott Kologi and Nikolas Cruz cases staring us in the face. Yes, drugs may well be aggravating the violence, but if we don't admit that autism plus drugs can make people violent, doctors will go on prescribing the drugs.

Yes, it is very painful to acknowledge that autism, in addition to all the other burdens it imposes on our children, may also make them violent. But sometimes you have to deal with painful realities. If we don't -- if we tell the media not to talk about the autism-violence connection -- the violence will only get worse and victimize more people, autistic people especially. Olmsted and Blaxill were entirely right to say that our society is now sunk in deep denial about the human costs of autism. Let's not be complicit in that denial.


I'm sorry, I take exception to this narrative that autistic kids or teens if rhey're violent it's often only self-directed, and it is highly unlikely that such aggression would escalate to them targeting their communities. The hard reality is autistic kids and teens are indeed prone to aggression and violence, and it's often not just SIBs. Who here will really dispute that autistic kids and adolescents are not known for striking out at their parents and caregivers, siblings, peers, teachers, or even strangers? Yes, autistic kids and teens are often bullied, but being often the victim does not necessarily mean you're also not often the victimizer.
That autistic kids and teens are prone to aggresion is also not mere anecdotes, the link below refers to a study that found parents reporting over half (58%) of their utistic kids had aggressed towards others.

Will the autistic teen take his aggresion to the next level and target his community? The article from Autism Society that I linked yesterday in another thread said that research has not shown autistic individuals to be more prone to such violence. Yet, this is similar to saying that research has not shown that vaccines are linked to autism. The fact that you haven't looked does not make it so. Yet, we know that Adam Lanza was autistic, and now we have Cruze suspected of the same. That's two autistic individuals from a community representing 2% of the population committing two of the most devastating mass shootings in recent history. I would suggest this does not sit well with the claim that autistic.teens are unlikeky to commit mass shootings.

I suppose we are not apt to consider autistic individuals as mass shooters because we believe the planning and premeditation that goes into such acts are not consistent with tbeir.disability. Indeed low functioning autistic individuals often behave disorderly and unthinking that planning and schemming are hard for them, but I am not sure this is necessarily true for high functioning autistic individuals. Also, the detachment and lack of empathy that are common to autism may indeed serve as added facilitators for these horrendous acts.

In sum, as controversial as this may sound, I would suggest rather than searching for another label or diagnosis to dismiss the notion that autistic adolescents are prone to horrendous violence such as mass shootings, we might just want to reexamine this denial. Yes, no one wants to pick on kids with a disability, but not being truthful about their condition and struggles is also not helpful.


Grace Green

Reactive attachment disorder doesn't just look like autism, it's another pseudo-psychiatric excuse for the many symptoms of iatrogenic brain injury.

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