Tuesday, 3 June 2014

California Shooter Apparently Had Aspergers

I first came across this little tidbit of information in a Globe and Mail article titled "Autism does not equal murderous rage".

I'm used to seeing autism parodied as the punchline for a joke.  Most of The Big Bang Theory's plots revolve around it.  And before I stopped watching Glee, there was an obnoxious character who claimed Aspergers somehow exempted her from common courtesy.

The autism = violent is a new one for me.  Granted, perhaps it shouldn't be, given how much time and energy I've spent dealing with Alex's aggression.  For him, violence is a tool which gets him what he wants (not having to do what's been asked or getting a toy from someone else).  He literally doesn't understand that other people can feel pain when he doesn't and thus if he pinches someone, they'll hurt and that's why that's bad.

This is such a polar opposite from what Elliot Rodger did that it's hard to figure out where to start.  The concept of being violent in revenge would never occur to Alex.  It's a pragmatic tool and vengeance is the antithesis of pragmatism.  It literally doesn't help anyone.  Ditto targeting random people.  How is that useful?

It makes me feel a little sad and weary to think of yet another hurdle to be overcome.  This may not make sense to non-geeks, but I find myself thinking of Emma Frost's speech to the students in Astonishing X-men about how mutants have to hold themselves to a higher standard of non-violence than everyone else because norms expect them to be violent. 

I'm still hopeful the new behaviour program we're starting can help Alex to understand that violence isn't a good tool.  While he's still a little boy rather than striking fear as a full grown man.

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