Asperger's syndrome and school shootings; read a really interesting article

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SuZir, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    We had rather in depth article about asperger's link to school shooting type of crimes. I found some info in it new and interesting and wanted to share. No use giving you a link because you wouldn't understand a word so I paraphrase.

    First the article points out that after Newtown shooting there has been some media attention to asperger's linked to shootings. And that also Breivik has (among other diagnosis) asperger's. They also tell that they had hard time to make experts talk because they were afraid this type of articles could stigmatize aspies. They also strongly remind that connection between asperger's and this type of crimes is anything but clear and if there is one, it is complex. And they point out that instead of lacking empathy aspies feel empathy differently. So that was nice (and I think article is well written all together.)

    However when they have studied kids who had made threats of school shootings and similar crimes (less than hundred kids altogether, but more than 50, some had made preparations, some not and investigators think more than half of them could have commit the crime in principle, but of course they don't know if any of them would had), they have found out that 10 % of those kids were aspies compared to less than 1 % of the all kids in that age. Also depression was much more common with these kids 20 % against less than 10 % and also psychosis was much more common (12 % to 1-2 %.) The researchers think that aspies being so much overrepresented in this group has many comp+lex causes. Biggest they think is bullying. It is known that kids with aspergers are much more likely to be bullied than others and often they also have harder time overcome it. And bullying is considered one big factor behind these type of crimes. They also hypothesise that for aspies this type of revenge crime could be their way to communicate non-verbally their hurt over being ostracised when words fail them. And that with aspies tendency to almost ritualise their special interests, they could normalise the crime to themselves, if that kind of revenge fantasy ends up to be their obsession. (they also point out that revenge fantasies are very common especially with teens when they feel themselves hurt, so it is not abnormal to have revenge fantasy, but aspies could get stuck.) They also point out some danger markers with aspie boys. Other than being bullied and having bad peer relationships, special interests related to guns, violence as well as violent fantasies are cause for concern.

    Maybe the most interesting part of the article was a story of young man with aspergers. He was not part of that group they had identified as making threats and who ended up treated because of that. But he too had seriously planned this type of crime. He hasn't done anything criminal, but he planned and trained. Build bombs etc. His special interests was comics and he very much identified certain very violent character. He collected knives and planned massacre. He happened to tell about his thoughts to some celebrity who he apparently idolized and this celebrity was smart enough to point him to direction to certain organization that works with troubled and/or violent youths around here. They already had a group that was specialised to treat kids with lots of fantasy violence. he has gotten help and has aimed his interests to other topics.

    Rest of it was about this organization and how while we have put lots of effort to stop domestic violence there is not at all same level of support etc. available to deal with that 80 % of violence that happens outside of homes. This organization is very low threshold, non-judging (and also non-diagnosing) type of place and I have heard lots of good about their work with several special groups (like violent teengirls etc.)

    Good read.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Skip the simple answer of "bullying". It's more complex than that. MUCH more complex.
    Lack of early diagnosis and appropriate interventions and accommodations is probably the biggest single contributing factor. Some get neither, some get a diagnosis but not the proper interventions and accommodations.
    If the systems (school and medical) don't get you figured out before about the age of 7, a kid with complex issues (either something like Aspie, or a mix of dxes) ends up being badly treated by school - by teachers, by the way the curriculum is designed, by the way "free time" is handled... all of that coming before bullying really kicks in.
    been there done that. Lived with the severe depression, extreme anxiety, and psychosis... all secondary, and not one shred of it necessary.

    Even ADHD kids have a higher rate of anxiety and/or depression. Complex kids? In some ways, I'm surprised the numbers aren't higher.
  3. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Why is that? Is it not in english? -RM
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    That is correct - it will be in some other language.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    In our country at least, maybe because it is so big and shootings happen a lot, I don't think it's made one bit of difference. The child was more than an Aspie, if he even had the right diagnosis. He was obviously extremely mentally ill. Worse, he probably had antisocial personality disorder mixed in there. The biggest issues to come out of Newtown have been gun control (which probably won't happen...many Amercans, for better or worse, like their guns too much to give an inch) and more help for the mentally ill (which I hope does happen). It is more political than about any disorder. As it ALWAYS is in the That's what we've been hearing about across the pond :)
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wow, amazing that the celeb pointed the kid in the right direction instead of just calling the police. BRAVO~!

    Interesting info. 10% were Aspies as compared to 1% of the regular population.

    And bullying is a part of it.

    I would like to see more written on this, and also, more hair splitting in regard to where mental illness and antisocial personality disorder come in as co-morbid conditions. Just saying ...
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Terry? I don't believe that only 1% of the population is Aspie. There's just TOO many of us who never got diagnosed.
    It's part of the problem with stats. Quote them all you want, but... we don't know how accurate the stats actually are.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Insane, I thought it said that of the kids who had problems with-violence, 10% had been diagnosed Aspie, as compared to 1% of others. IOW, this is a study of kids with-issues, not the general population.
    I tend to believe the 1 in 100 general population stat for kids born after 2000.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member