Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Making a Bad Situation Worse

Last week, we turned on the news to learn of a tragedy in Aurora, Colorado.  A young man walked into a movie theater and started shooting.  All together, this person's actions led to the murder of 12 people and wounding 58 others.  My heart goes out to everyone touched (directly and indirectly) by this senseless act of violence and I hope they are able to quickly find peace.

This tragedy was compounded by Joe Scarborough, the host of the MSNBC morning show, Morning Joe.  On his program on Monday morning, he made the following statement..... "As soon as I heard about this shooting, I knew who it was.  I knew it was a young, white male, probably from an affluent neighborhood, disconnected from society -- it happens time and time again.  Most of it has to do with mental health; you have these people that are just somewhere, I believe, on the autism scale....I don't know if that's the case here, but it happens more often than not.  People that can walk around in society, they can function on college campuses -- they can even excel on college campuses -- but are socially disconnected."

There is nothing to support Mr. Scarborough's allegations.  Autism, in any of it's forms, has never been linked to violence, especially not on this scale.  Autistic individuals are NOT sociopaths.  Autistic individuals have difficulties understanding social cues.  And they are more often the victims of violent crimes then are the perpetrators.

An autistic individual made a video following this program yesterday.  He starts of by introducing himself saying, ".....I am an Autistic individual and I am NOT a murderer."  Kerry goes on to explain the many faults of the broadcasted statements and the harm that they have on the efforts to educating the general public about Autism.

I join with many others in asking Joe Scarborough to retract his statement.  A petition has been started on change.org that is trying to reach 5,000 signatures (currently over 4200).  I urge you to join me.

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to invite you to Voices of Sensory Processing Disorder. This is a community website where bloggers can share their experiences, victories, tips and everyday sensory challenges with others. And we want you! We’d love to share your writing.

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    Regards, Jennifer