As a parent and educator, I extend my thoughts and prayers to all who have been touched by the horrific violence that occurred in Florida. As an autism advocate, I feel I must express my concerns about how quickly the media reported that the perpetrator was diagnosed with autism. Autism is not the reason this tragedy happened! By reporting this diagnosis, the media is creating a connection between a diagnosis of autism and the act of committing violence. I am concerned that insinuating that autism is the cause of this tragedy will create irrational fear. The Autism Society of America made the following statement on February 15, 2018:
“We ask that those reporting about this tragic event not suggest or imply any linkage of autism and violence. Implying or suggesting that a person who is diagnosed with autism is violent is not only wrong but hurtful to the over 3.5 million individuals living in the United States and any other individual with an autism diagnosis.”
I have the fortunate opportunity to know and work with children and adults with autism on a daily basis. There are many unexplained reasons why this act of violence occurred, but autism is not one of them!See more tips on 30Seconds.com – Inspire and be inspired!