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View Diary: Are any bills being contemplated that address the education/mental illness/ gun linkages? (111 comments)

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  •  I don't think this is justified: (4+ / 0-)
    The story of Adam Lanza is the story of a kid whose parents were able to take him out of school because they didn't like being told he needed psychiatric help.  
    For one, I am not aware that this is even true.  But more importantly, supposing it is true - that Lanza's parents were told that he needed psychiatric help, but that they thought a better approach might be to home school him - would you blame them?

    Would it even be self-evident that this was wrong?  I've known plenty of kids who were really unhappy and dysfunctional in a school environment (a very odd environment, when you think about it), especially very bright kids, and who did just fine when educated out of school.

    Mental illness is one thing; predicting rare violent acts is quite another.  Preventing the latter by diagnosing the former is largely a fantasy.  Better to find ways of spotting specific risky behaviours perhaps.

    •  I don't know the truth of that statement either (1+ / 0-)
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      DarkLadyNyara

      but it is not uncommon for parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to opt for home schooling because their children are targets of taunting and bullying at school and teachers and administrators are unable or unwilling to put a stop to it.  

      I likewise have no evidence that this was the case here but we should be careful in assigning motives to actions.

      A petty criminal is someone with predatory instincts but insufficient capital to form a corporation. --Clarence Darrow

      by stlsophos on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:36:35 AM PST

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      •  Needs clarification on a couple of counts... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stlsophos

        Most important, whether or not Lanza had an autism spectrum disorder like Asperger's syndrome, autism has never in any way been linked to planned sociopathic behavior like Newtown, Columbine, VT etc.  

        Aggression in autism spectrum disorders IS an issue for quite a few with ASDs but it manifests itself as immediate "fight or flight" behavior, generally in reaction to sensory overstimulation of some type.  These behaviors are typically fleeting and often referred to as "meltdowns" because theres nothing methodical or organized about the behavior...it's oftenjust flailing or "lashing out".  

        These horrific murders had nothing to do with autism...mental illness perhaps, but autism isn't a mental illness, it's a developmental disability.

        Second, it is pretty uncommon for parents who have kids on the autism spectrum to home school, since schools are the primary delivery system of behavioral interventions for the vast majority.  Home schooling does happen of course but it's not a routine or preferred choice in our community.  

        "Those dunes are to the Midwest what the Grand Canyon is to Arizona and the Yosemite is to California." - Carl Sandburg

        by Critical Dune on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 11:56:33 AM PST

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        •  There is nothing in my post to suggest a link (0+ / 0-)

          between ASD and violent or sociopathic behavior.  I merely suggested another reason why Lanza quit attending school.

          I agree that one is a developmental disability and the other a mental illness but there seems to be an increasing number of ASD individuals with a dual MI diagnosis, often bipolar, ocd or odd.  Treatment for these individuals is complex and expensive and states often assign one or another division within their mental health agencies for primary treatment responsibility and then do not have the resources within their network to carry it out.  When the two diagnoses cohere in one person, it becomes much more complicated to treat the person and what we call one or the other is far less important.

          Again, I didn't suggest that home schooling is either routine or preferred for ASD individuals.  But when the school is the source of the student's meltdowns, removing them from that environment makes sense and some parents do choose this.

          I don't believe you gave a very careful reading to my post or you would not have responded to points I never made or intimated.  I have worked for 32 years in the developmental disability field and my knowledge and experience comports with what I originally posted.

          A petty criminal is someone with predatory instincts but insufficient capital to form a corporation. --Clarence Darrow

          by stlsophos on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:28:40 PM PST

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        •  Not sure the medical profession is equipped (0+ / 0-)

          Before we go identifying and labeling kids "psychos", (and you know some peers will call them that) we need to make sure the medical profession has effective and safe solutions.  Today, 1 in 10 take a SSRI drug.  These miracle drugs have help millions.  But they also can cause violent outbursts. One of the shooters at Columbine  had "therapeutic levels" of a prescribed SRRI.

          Suppose teachers identify 1,000 kids in need of psychological help (one of which may go postal at some future date) and all 1,000 see their doctors.  800 are prescribed an SRRI because of depression.  How many of these will have a violent reaction and create more Columbines?  I would like to see studies as to the role SSRIs do or do not play in these shootings.  

          Even Democrats can be asses. Look at Rahm Emanuel.

          by Helpless on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:29:04 PM PST

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