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I am growing more disturbed the more I read about Nancy Lanza, the mother of Adam Lanza, the shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Frankly, I feel uncomfortable going to this place, because she is unable to defend herself, now.  However, I have so many questions.  My son is 22 years old.  He has Autism Spectrum disorder.  He is very high functioning.  He is not "brilliant".  He has a very hard time distinguishing between reality and fantasy.  Even at 22.  He has some "savant" skills. He can figure out almost any video game and play it to the highest level.  He can memorize dialogue from any movie or You-tube video that he loves almost instantly.

This is what I find disturbing. My son has a lot of trouble handling and expressing his emotions appropriately. He sometimes, even at 22, has trouble distinguishing  between fantasy and reality.

Placing any weapon in the hands of a person who's troubled, who she obviously knew had issues, puts her almost in the same category as her son.

She must have been in a state of denial about Adam.  What could she possibly have been thinking, training him to use a weapon?  

Had to put this out there, I find this so upsetting!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Great points on that, VC (5+ / 0-)

    Thanks for sharing.

    "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

    by Cali Scribe on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 12:15:53 PM PST

  •  I feel the same way. (6+ / 0-)

    I would never have a gun in the house because two of the three of us are bipolar.  This woman had some serious issues herself.  

    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

    by CherryTheTart on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 12:29:16 PM PST

  •  Denial is a powerful drug. (8+ / 0-)

    My wife has worked in schools with children with clear, clear autism - repetitive finger and hand motions, highly impaired social interactions, paucity of verbal communications - only to find parents return rating scales suggesting "normal" behaviors at home.

    It's hard.

    The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

    by teacherjon on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 12:30:14 PM PST

  •  What was his condition? Do you know exactly? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    viking crone, sboucher

    Has an officially released report from a treating physician or one sufficiently familiar with his history and records.been posted or are you getting your diagnosis from some blogger or some family friend that had tea and biscuits with the mom? The schools he attended have not released any information either. So, how was he a danger to himself or others  before this event?

    Romney is George W. Bush without brains.

    by thestructureguy on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 12:31:26 PM PST

  •  Yep. Mom of an autistic daughter here. My thoughts (3+ / 0-)

    have been much the same. Why would she keep weapons in the house around her son? Did she not realize what a risk that was?

  •  My grandson too (4+ / 0-)

    He's nine and doing better every year but autism spectrum disorders will be with him his entire life.  

    I agree with the author that the mother is not here to defend herself so it seems unfair to pile on.... but..... no matter how I shake up all the elements and all of the thoughts and all of the emotions I have about this shooting.... when things settle, the mother's culpability always rises to the surface of how I feel about it.  The entire thing is evil.  The young man was sick/evil/badly raised??? take your pick depending on your point of view.  But the Mom?  Irresponsible, misguided, deluded and like spinning the bottle and having it land on the same result each time, I'm angry with her.  Very angry with her.  WHAT was she thinking?

    I had worried for my grandson's safety in future years because young men with ASD are much more likely to suffer physical trauma as the result of impaired and inappropriate communications, as a result of being unable to organize thoughts to answer a direct question promply.... they will often disassociate or will invade space or reach inappropriately for a badge or a gun holstered..... law enforcement officers will often misinterpret the inappropriate verbal responses and physical gestures as drug use or aggressiveness and respond protectively by using physical force.

    It's up to his parents, and to me to a lesser extent, to make sure that he is prepared for his adult life with his disorder, to make sure that he is safe and that those around him are safe, that he understands right from wrong, that he knows he is loved and is able to access his emotions in positive ways.

    So so sad.  Cannot even say how sad I am over all of this.

  •  Any person (5+ / 0-)

    who takes on the responsibility of gun ownership also takes on the responsibility to secure that weapon or weapons. Anyone.

    It doesn't matter if every single person in your household is neurotypical and in perfect mental health.

    My father is an avid hunter and has been all his life. His guns are and always have been kept in a locked gun case. To this day I don't even know where he keeps the keys. His ammo is in a separate locked case. Ditto for those keys.

    Even neurotypical people can go through temporary periods of depression where they could use a firearm against themselves if one is readily available. It's just irresponsible for anyone not to keep weapons locked up, period.

  •  The Lanza family (4+ / 0-)

    was pretty clearly a family with lots of serious problems. It's unlikely that anybody will be able to put together a coherent explanation of how all this came about with the information at hand.

    I have a background in mental health. While it is possible to identify people who have significant problems in functioning in the world around them, it is not possible to predict with great certainty who will and will not become seriously violent. The only good predictor of future violent behavior is past violent behavior.

    There are a lot of people claiming that adequate funding of mental health programs would prevent incidents like this. Better mental health services would be of real benefit to a lot of people, but there's no guarantee something like this. This was a family that could have easily the best available psychiatric care, yet apparently didn't seek it. James Holmes who shot up the theater in Colorado was under active psychotherapy.

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