Expert: No Link Between Autism, School Shootings

Dec 27, 2012

Former classmates of the gunman in the Connecticut school shootings say Adam Lanza may have had an autism spectrum disorder.

An expert says there is no link between autism and premeditated violence, and cautions about the harm such a stereotype could have on individuals and families living with the disorder. Denise Sawan Caruso is president of the Autism Society of Ohio and a board member of the Autism Society of America.  She says individuals with autism tend to live in the moment and are more spontaneous, meaning they are unlikely to plan a complex event.  Lanza has been described as shy, socially awkward and anxious, which Sawan Caruso says are traits of autism and many other disorders.  Sawan Caruso says any suggestion that autism might have had an impact on the mindset that led to the shootings is harmful to the more than 1-point-5 million law abiding, non-violent individuals who live with autism each day.