Thursday, February 21, 2008

Blogger Polly Kahl sent me a disturbing article today about a 13 year old with Asperger's who stabbed schoolmates - and was "committed." The article pisses me off for many reasons. Not the least of which is the portrayal of Asperger's a "mental illness." You can read the article HERE.


Last year a boy with Asperger's in Sudbury, Massachusetts murdered a schoolmate with a knife.


But there's no emergency. No epidemic. Autism is beautiful. Really. Trust us. Or ask those young men. Visiting hours are......


I also ran this over at Age of Autism to reach a large autism audience.

15 comments:

Polly Kahl said...

The thing that upset me was that the article mentioned Asperger's at all. The real issue behind the stabbing was bullying. Inserting Asperger's into the article gives the impression that AS was somehow responsible for the stabbings. That is not only ridiculous, but it's dangerous to give misinformation like that to a general public which is only now finally becoming aware of AS and what it's all about. This was irresponsible reporting to say the least.

Drama Mama said...

Oh my God.

I just read Jodi Picoult's book, 19 Minutes, where she examines a similar, Columbine-style massacre at a school. I liked it because it presents all sides, and well, she looks at the murderer as a kid who is, well, someone's kid.

Where to begin with all of this, right?

Petra said...

Kim,

As you know, this particular topic is near and dear to my heart. I worry, I really do, especially with the Middle School years looming at the horizon. Z's been doing great overall, not the least in the social arena. But anxiety provoking situations (social and otherwise) continue to be difficult.. and if the people that are with him during the particular anxiety provoking situation are not sufficiently plugged in to understand what is happening and how to help him 'get unstuck', things can get ugly in a heartbeat (extreme fright/ fight)...

And no, when the above happens (and TG it's happening a LOT less than it used to), it's not 'beautiful, and a difference that needs to be celebrated' at all!!!! Z certainly doesn't like 'loosing it' (another big step in the right direction is that he can NOW verbalize what happens to him, what he feels, etc); in fact, it embarrasses the heck out of him (and that embarrassment then 'feeds the fire').

And his 'distress signals' are really not THAT hard to read, and frequently all it takes to help him 'get grounded again' is to ask him 'Are you OK?'

I certainly don't expect Z's environemt to completely 'get him' and adjust to HIS way of perceiving things 100%. He needs to learn to function in a primarily NT world. But is it THAT much to ask of the NT world to 'pay a little attention to his body language, slow things down, and show some kindness and empathy?'

Petra said...

OMG, did the, obviously uneducated, reporter of this article really write 'Asperger’s syndrome, a mental disorder characterized by lack of social skills'???

Now who's the 'real criminal' here? I think the reporter, who obviously did NOT take any time at all to truly understand what Asperger's Syndrome is and isn't.

serenity said...

Hi Kim, thanks for coming by my site and commenting. it's such a thrill to hear from people on a post like that. Thanks again!

Amanda said...

Sad to say AS was the least point of interest in the whole sorry story which is sadly becoming an all to common tale.

This is my third straight comment and no one has interrupted me either directly or by behaviour because currently we are a kid free house!! AND we're going to remain kid free until about 3pm tomorrow AND we're going out for food and friends. I'm now going for a soak in the bath to prepare for a night out and no-one's going to be in there with me or nicking my bubbles or asking for help with the computer/video/dvd....HEAVEN!

Kim Stagliano said...

Amanda, you lucky dog! Enjoy! Welcome, Serenity.

Kim Stagliano said...

PEtra, you're right - it's a BULLYING issue and kids are bullied for all sorts of reasons. I should think the Aspergian kids have it especially rough though, so I do think their diagnosis comes into play. I know Z is such a great kid and you're an amazing Mom for the work you've done for him.

Amy said...

I think it is a parent's duty to teach their kids not to pick on other children...especially someone who might be different either physically, emotionally, financially - whatever. I am mortified by school violence, but at the same time, I just hurt for the kid who felt the need to kill others, then themselves.

Kim Stagliano said...

Amy, you're so right. But many parents are not too thrilled by the fact that my girls walk the halls with their kids. It's sad but very true. And if you remember young Buddy Hinton from the Brady Bunch? His Dad was a shmuck of a bully too.

Tammie said...

Hi Kim,

I was watching the evening news after I had run through your last several posts so this is sort of off the topic of the news article - although I agree - it was a bullying issue - was the reporter tagging on the AS as a way to gain attention? What a jerk.

Anyway my question after doing a poor google search is this - has anyone reported any finding of what the rate of autism is in premature babies?

Its just something that has stuck in my head as reports that the number of vac. have increased you'd think it would be apparent in premies as often they do not alter the vac. schedules for premature babies, not to mention that reports show we are having more babies premature - myself included with one 6 weeks early. They just do what they can and never tell you to watch for anything later down the road. Of course now he's a teenager but still, you gotta wonder?


??? I think the report on CBS with do babies feel pain in ICU got me wondering. Sorry for veering way off :o(

Kim Stagliano said...

Hi, Tammie - veer away! I saw that report on CBS too. Watching their foreheads wrinkle to judge pain - very interesting.

I do know lots of twins, who were preemies with at least one diagnosed.

Women are having more premature babies = why?

And in you vaccinate a 3 pound baby with 12.5 micrograms of mercury (as was the amount in the Hep B) it will have a greater affect than a 9 pound baby. But how much, no one knows, because science hasn't actually tested injecting mercury into babies. That said, according to the EPA, you'd have to weight about 275 pounds to assimilate and detox 12.5 mcg of Hg, so does 3 pounds versus even 20 pounds make a difference? There's also the fact that preemies detox organs (kidneys, gall bladders, livers) might not be working as well as a full term baby.

Tammie said...

Thanks Kim!

It just shocks me that in the info age no one seems to really want to address any of this.

I mean this was 17 years ago, he was just under 5 pounds, my first and I remember thinking as they tell you yep he's fine, that doesn't all this "stuff" have some sort of effect on him, now or later? Shouldn't I be given a list of things to watch for?

Just disappointing at the lack of information or studies and I don't have a child diagnosed with autism or AS but I do see issues and similiarties of some of his social skills and that mom alarm rings just a little to say hmmm.

Thanks for letting me vent Kim!

Kim Stagliano said...

My pleasure - we always appreciate the breeze. ;)

Amanda said...

The MMR vaccination issue was in the news again here in the UK due to the out break of measles caused by lack of immunisation in the herd population. The whole topic of the discussion was that there were too many studies and no conclusive guidance for parents. The most annoying thing was the last throw away comment was that Guys and St Thomas's had published a study that disproved (again!) Wakefield's theory. I would have liked to have heard more about that. The thing is no one has been able to replicate Wakefield's findings and the guy is now up before the GMC. Understandably some people are still thinking no smoke without fire but I can't help thinking they're looking in the wrong place because otherwise another study (and there have been quite a few!) would have been able to duplicate Wakefield's results.