Self diagnosis of Aspergers?

hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)December 19, 2012

People all over the board keep mentioning that the Newtown killer has Aspergers or was autistic like it was an absolute truth.

David mentioned yesterday that it seemed that the mother has diagnosed him by herself. Since then, I've been looking for any report that a family doctor or psychiatrist who actually treated the boy has confirmed this...but no. The closest thing I have found of a source are the reports that say "Neighbors report to such-and-such news that Nancy Lanza had told them her son was autistic/ had Aspergers/ insert mental disorder here."

Since it seems that people with Aspergers do not display these character traits... does it seem that Nancy Lanza's diagnosis of her son might be wrong?

Does anyone have a link confirming from the kid's pediatrician or any medical professional confirming that he did, indeed, have Aspergers? Or are we just perpetuating false information?

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I think mom diagnosed the kid with Aspergers and told everyone that was why he was so weird. Mom took off on a three day spa vacation last Tuesday thru late Thursday night leaving the son alone. The next morning he shot her in the face four times as she slept.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 8:54PM
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We really don't know anything factual and verifiable about this person or his mother.

It will all come out in time but in the meantime speculation about conditions such as autism are not helpful especially to those dealing with autism every single day.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 9:18PM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

What hasn't been mentioned much is that special needs children and special needs teachers were killed in CT.

Here is a link that might be useful: Special Needs Children

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 9:34PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Likewise, it is irresponsible to speculate on what treatment the mother sought for the gunman. We have no idea what kind of evaluations were sought, what kind of an IEP may have been in place or anything of that nature. It is wrong to draw any conclusions at this point as far as whether or not his family could have prevented this situation.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 2:04PM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

IEP..sounds like you're on the TEAM too. :)

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 2:57PM
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It might be that she desperately wanted him to have Aspergers, because she was really afraid that he didn't have it. The descriptions of his behavior are kind of generic, describing many mental illnesses and learning difficulties. Aspergers is rather benign compared to having a son who is paranoid schizophrenic. And maybe he had both.

Had he actually been diagnosed with anything? Was he receiving any treatment for anything? So far we haven't heard about any therapy or medications he might have been taking.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 12:55PM
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I haven't seen anything about Lanza's mother having left him for two days? Link? There have been reports that she told friends of a planned move to (possibly Washington State), and that she planned to put him in some sort of controlled setting (school, institution) where she could still remain in contact with him.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 1:29PM
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Just before the shooting, Nancy Lanza was on vacation alone at a luxury resort in New Hampshire, friends said Wednesday.

She checked in at the Omni Mount Washington Resort & Hotel in Bretton Woods on Tuesday, December 11 and left two days later, the hotel said.

>Soon after she left the hotel, authorities say, her son Adam Lanza, 20, killed her and opened fire at the elementary school. She checked out Thursday afternoon. Her son went on a shooting rampage Friday morning.

It was not unusual for her to take road trips alone, according to her friends. She seemed to be in good spirits during the trip and felt comfortable leaving her son unsupervised in recent years, they said.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 1:59PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

It sounds like nothing will ever be known for certain by the public. The shooter is dead. The families of the victims aren't likely to push for more information to be released. The grief is too raw and entirely too public. There might be some civil suits against the Lanza estate but that won't be in this news cycle. The worst remaining damage will be to the father, brother and those suffering from Aspergers Syndrome.

Somewhere in the past, certainly by the time of the divorce, there is a court appointed psychologist who diagnosed the syndrome or not. Since it was for a juvenile dependent, those records are likely sealed. Who is to say that was the diagnosis or that there was no additional condition that contributed to the tragedy totally apart from Aspergers? It is entirely possible that two conditions could exist at the same time.

This isn't a TV drama that has all the loose ends tied up by the end of the show. Short of the investigation leading to some sort of conspiracy to manipulate Lanza, we are unlikely to ever know the facts but all sorts of misinformation is flooding the tabloids leading to undeserved hostility and fear toward those who have any of the Autism Spectrum conditions. That is truly sad.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 4:29AM
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A few reports from people who had dealt with Lanza indicate that he was very odd, didn't talk directly to people, rarely made eye contact, and had sudden outbursts of temper. Maybe the Aspergers was just a handy shorthand to describe his behavior, and not a definitive diagnosis.

Or, it could have been an official diagnosis, but not the only mental health issue he had.

Since most spree killers, from what I read, are paranoid and narcissistic, psychopathic, plan their rampage weeks or months in advance, fully expect to die during their rampage, mostly by suicide, I'd say that Lanza had a whole host of other issues. Asperbergers, if he had it, was the least of his problems.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 6:51AM
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Good article in the Wall Street Journal

In his last few years, Adam Lanza shut himself off from the outside world almost completely, his troubles slowly escalating as his family splintered....

Here is a link that might be useful: School Gunman's Downward Spiral

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 11:56AM
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I'm a bit of a loner. By choice. I think so, anyhow.

Until Friday night. Monday night, Tuesday night....

I'm aware that it's good for me to get out. If I sit here all day with just me and this forum, I can really get a crazy mind. I'm exaggerating a whole lot, but I'm serious.

This morning I read this thread while my Google News page was loading and then clicked on this selection of comments which are compiled from the comments generated by this article

The article, I have Asperger's; I am just like you is a short piece written by a successful journalist at CNN who has Asperger's and has learned to largely overcome its limitations.

The comments are selected so I can't be sure the stories they relate are typical, but comments like

"Zena Kitty: My son had no friends. No one stood up for him. Children and adults alike were very cruel to him and would even take a step or two backwards when they first met him, as if they could catch Asperger's from him. They shunned him, refused to allow him to participate in social groups, and taunted him mercilessly. In the end, he killed himself. I miss my son. He was my hero and my best friend.

and these two,

"Always Hesed: This will be my fourth Christmas without my son. He too had his issues. ... He took his own life at school in front of a couple hundred students. I have a daughter as well who is now diagnosed bipolar, and two other children with Asperger's symptoms. It can be exhausting dealing with all the social fallout and rejection they have all experienced. ... If it wasn't for my faith in Jesus Christ, I can honestly say that I would probably not be here.

Rebecca Batchelor: Autistic people are also more likely to be the victim of bullying and violence, rather than be the perpetrators of it.

My mind immediately recalls the many times I've read stories about the young kids who are bullied and taunted by their classmates and their peers to the point that the poor kid commits suicide. It happens. We've all read such stories.

Perhaps Asperger's itself is not a direct cause of Adam Lanza's rampage, but perhaps the world's reaction to him... his classmates', his mom's,... tipped him, just as it would with a "normal" person, into despair and isolation. A dangerous combination.

Just speculation on my part.


    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 12:23PM
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david52 Zone 6

The kid had been out of school for some time, I believe.

I'll go back to the 'His Mom Diagnosis' being the only source of info on what specific mental issue was troubling the kid.

And I'd be surprised that they went to a psychiatrist who diagnosed what ever, and then they went off to the gun club to shoot off 30 round magazines in Moms' Bush Master, bonding over bullets.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 12:15PM
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"Rebecca Batchelor: Autistic people are also more likely to be the victim of bullying and violence, rather than be the perpetrators of it."

So true. So shameful.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 4:07AM
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