Autism reporting: Know the basic facts
By Robert Moran
In December 2012, a young man walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and killed 26 people, 20 of them children. We later learned that he’d killed his mother before going to the school.
His many issues relating to social isolation came out in the following months, including the fact that he had Asperger’s syndrome, which is an autism spectrum disorder.
As an autistic person, those subsequent headlines startled me, and not just because innocent people were killed. I talked to some people online after the shooting, and this was the first time some of them had ever heard of Asperger’s syndrome. They first heard about it as a result of a mass shooting at an elementary school.
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