Neurodiversity Bloggers, Autism and Violence

Note from Wallace:

This blog post from October 2015 remains thought-provoking. For my part, I would suggest that beatifying us autistic folks is no more reasonable (or realistic and practical) than demonizing us.

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The mass shooting in Oregon by Chris Harper Mercer and his mother’s publicly writing about his autism diagnosis have stirred controversy in the autism community as to whether or not his autism was responsible for the mass murder of innocent people.  A facebook page was created implying that numerous autistic people were shooters and that autism is associated with violent crime and murder.  After a plethora of protests and petitions, Facebook removed the page.  In response, there were a flurry of articles published on the internet by a list of authors that reads like a who’s who list of some of the most prominent members of the neurodiversity movement, including Michael John Carley, Emily Willingham and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and Matt Carey of the Left Brain Right Brain blog.   The common theme of these articles is that there is no association whatsoever between autism and violence.

Renowned writer Andrew Solomon also weighed in, writing in a new york times article about autism shooters, asking why no one was suggesting diabetes and pattern baldness as causes of mass shootings if they were suggesting autism was one.  See Gadfly’s answer toward the end of the post.

This is nothing new.  The Newgate shootings of Adam Lanza less than three years ago are still fresh in the minds of most people, particularly Lanza’s diagnosis of Asperger’s.  Well-known neurodiversity advocate John Elder Robison was quick to write a response absolving autism for blaming murderous behavior.  The IACC, which has had several members of the neurodiversity movement (and zero pro-cure autistics) serving on it since its inception also wrote an article disputing the association between autism and violence after the Lanza shootings.

Aside from the fact that all of these writers advocate neurodiversity, another common denominator in all these pieces is the nearly complete neglect to cite any scientific evidence that there is absolutely no association between autism and violent crime.  The trivial exception to that being Carey’s citing a study by  Ghaziuddin and the studies by Mouridsen in Denmark purporting not to show an association between autism and violence.  These were the three publications cited by the IACC’s statement on the Sandyhook shooting.

What does the actual literature show?  One of the problems of Ghaziuddin’s report was that he only did literature reviews of isolated cases and neglected to check court records to ascertain the relationship between autism and violence.  This is an old paper nearly twenty-five years old.  What do other more recent publications have to say? Only the abstract of Mouridsen’s 2012 paper is available online and I have not been able to read the entire paper.  One limitation of his 2008 paper is that it only includes convictions and not arrest data such as cases of people on the spectrum that were thrown out for lack of evidence, let alone killers who committed suicide.

Are these writers correct that there is no general association between autism and violent crime, particularly murder?  The short answer is probably yes, though it is still questionable (at least to Gadfly) how much is known about the prevalence of violence in autism spectrum disorders.

However, even if there is no clear-cut association between autism and violence and the vast majority of autistic persons are not prone to violence, particularly murder, could there be a subset of those on the spectrum who are predisposed to violence and murder as a result of their brain dysfunction, including co-morbid mental conditions that appear in addition to the symptoms of the ASD?  The answer to this question appears to be yes also.

Various case studies have been reported in the literature that gives suggestive evidence (though not specific proof of this).  For example Baron-Cohen reported on a 21-year-old man who would take a knife to his 71-year-old girlfriend.  Psychiatrist Donna Schwartz-Watts cites three case histories of individuals on the spectrum who committed murder.  She concludes their illness was in fact related to their crimes.  Newman and Ghaziuddin(author of the original 1991 study concluding there was no relationship between ASD’s and crime), in the journal of autism and developmental disorders, stated that there was a relationship between some forms of autism with premorbid psychiatric conditions and certain violent crimes (I have not read this article, but the reports on it).

Psychologist Matt Lerner writes about how theory of mind, impulsivity and other problems may in fact be related to violent crime in some (emphasis added) autistic individuals.

Though the research in this area may have its limitations and not come to any definite conclusions, it would suggest that there is a small subset of persons on the autism spectrum who are predisposed to violent acts, including mass murder.  Part of the reason for this may be comorbid psychiatric conditions such as schizoaffective disorder, depression, bipolar, and other things that accompany some of the many forms of autism.

To answer Andrew Solomon’s question.  Diabetes and pattern baldness are not brain conditions that affect behavior, autism is.  There is no comorbidity with mental disorders documented in diabetes and pattern baldness the way there has been in autism.  It’s another neurodiversity comparison between apples and hurricanes.

The neurodiversity movement often try to separate comorbidity from autism, saying that the seizure disorders that accompany autism are separate from the autism itself.  We should just regard this as epilepsy and not part of the individual’s autism.  Even if the research proves that some mass murderers have a form of autism with comorbidities, they will state that it is these comorbidities that are the culprit and not the autism per se.  However, I believe when epilepsy and comorbidities exist they are all a part of one brain disorder with the autism being one symptom.  I don’t believe you can separate one from another.  They are all part and parcel for the course.  Therefore, I suspect it is likely that in a small number of cases (though not the vast majority) there is an association between murder and autism.  I concede that further research may have to be done to completely validate that conclusion.  However, I don’t think it is helpful for members of the ND movement and others to claim there is no association whatsoever between autism and murder when at least some scientific evidence would seem to contradict them.

 

 

 

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Sole Survivor of a Flurry of Mass Shootings Opposes Firearms Regulation

Even as the rate of all other gun-related crimes had been decreasing in the United States for decades, the rate of mass shootings had steadily increased as gun show loopholes were found to circumvent bans on assault rifles, mental health centers were defunded by the government, and the NRA captured both political parties. Experts on television declared that the solution to massacres in movie theaters was to add more guns to theaters; to slaughters in malls, it was to add more guns to malls; and to school shootings, it was to add more guns to schools. Soon enough, the United States was overflowing with guns.

And Americans were angry, very angry, because their political system was corrupt and unresponsive to the plight of the middle class and the poor. Both parties had catered to the wealthy business elites in exchange for their campaign contributions and for cushy jobs in the private sector. The combination of mass resentment and rage together with millions upon millions of state-of-the-art firearms boded ill for the nation’s survival.

In 2017, Texas alone sustained 362 mass shootings. The survivors fled the state, leaving it barren, but there was no escape. New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and all the other southern states erupted in gunfire as the mentally deranged, the marginalized, and the dispossessed as well as the jihadist terrorists vented their frustrations by spraying bullets in crowded places. Militarized police forces were deployed and demonized by fear-mongering right-wingers who awaited the prophesied End of Days. Militias went to war against the police, eventually leaving the southern states desolate and bereft of human inhabitants.

Liberal lawmakers took the loss of the southern half of their country as an opportunity to push for mild gun control laws, but they were ousted from office by NRA-backed candidates who merely had to call the liberals “communists” to win popular support even as the voters were cut down by hooligans’ gunfire soon after they left the U.S. Capitol.

Again, the survivors fled to the north, but the northerners found they had to arm themselves or be shot to pieces by the traumatized southerners. Through 2019 the mass shootings continued and looked increasingly like a civil war.

In 2020, the U.S. population dropped to around 100,000 proud, patriotic Americans.

Before the government fell, Congress again debated whether to regulate the shrunken gun industry that was still pumping out firearms and selling them to the beleaguered remnants of American civilization. Congress decided against halting the nation’s impending collapse, insisting that the Founders had been rabid anarchists who intended for the country to resemble not fattened, spoiled Middle America but something like the Wild West which was truly the land of the free and the home of the brave.

As one Republican representative said, “The Founding Fathers upheld everyone’s right to bear arms for the purpose of stocking a militia. A militia has to be powerful enough to take down the government if the government should fail to uphold the law. Therefore, every American citizen has the right to carry even weapons of mass destruction to keep the government in check.”

Cosmopolitan Americans from abroad rushed home to attempt to salvage their nation, but were cut down by gunfire soon after they stepped off the tarmac.

Canada and Mexico, too, moved into American territory and were promptly blasted en masse by Americans boasting the latest in military hardware. Thereafter, foreigners kept their distance.

When survivors in Montana realized that the government had neglected in their last firearms bill to allow for the sale of newly-designed magazines capable of carrying 400 rounds of ammunition, they nuked Washington D.C., rendering the country lawless.

In 2021, after a series of further mass shootings, there were only twelve Americans left alive. Six of the survivors engaged in a Mexican standoff over a dispute about who spilled beer on the shoe of whom. All six pulled their triggers and died in a hail of bullets.

The remaining five Americans deemed it wise to spread themselves out across the land to keep alive the American Dream. One, however, Howard Derringer, was mentally ill and hunted down the others, executing them with an assortment of submachine guns until only two Americans remained: Derringer and a former bus driver named Mark McEwan.

Before Derringer could locate and shoot McEwan, Derringer succumbed to an unknown ailment in 2023.

Mark McEwan was the sole survivor of American freedom. A peaceable man, McEwan allowed foreigners to observe his actions without launching a crazed assault on them.

He spent the bulk of his time agonizing over whether to impose restrictions on the use of firearms. One day, standing before a mirror, he gave a speech to himself.

“I speak to you today as president of this great nation,” he said, “having just voted for myself last week. I speak to you also as someone who is terribly thirsty. There’s no water for miles. Aside from that, I feel it’s incumbent on me to take up the issue of arms control. There’s no NRA anymore, so passing a ban on assault rifles would be feasible. I could throw all the long guns I see into a river.

“But as the last American, I also feel I have a duty to honour the American spirit. For that reason, I’ve decided not to control the use of firearms. Instead, I’ll shoot this sonuvabitch, blowing my brains out with a Colt M4 carbine. Let the blessed guns inherit the earth.”

With the loss of Mark McEwan and of the United States, China became the world’s largest gun manufacturer. In 2025, China annexed what had hitherto been the American heartland, honouring those previous generations of brave American souls who had eked out a living under the constant threat of being shot like a Third World dog in the streets, by turning that territory into a giant gun manufacturing facility.

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Conspiracy Theories – The Website For The Well Informed Paranoiac

Conspiracy Theories is the hard hitting website that isn’t afraid to investigate and expose the dark forces that seek to prey in so many devious ways upon the general publicum. We are here because you need us! We are ever vigilant against those evil people, organizations, nations and cultures that are out to handicap and repress our great American lifestyle.

The following are the dark, sinister plots we have uncovered this week:

Conspiracy Theory # 3,482- Valiant researchers have discovered that dentists around the world have been weaving minute, low grade diamonds into the threads of dental floss for years.

These small specks of the hardest mineral known to man slowly erode the base of teeth with each flossing, eventually leading to the destruction of the enamel protecting their sensitive core. Read more Conspiracy Theories – The Website For The Well Informed Paranoiac

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Help your town. Become a criminal

If your city is like most others in this great country, it is no doubt struggling to pay its bills and balance its budget – unless your town is Beverly Hills, in which case you can stop reading now.

No one knows how our cities have fallen into such financial distress.

Could it be that for decades tax rates have steadily declined while we citizens have relentlessly demanded safer bridges, better schools, and daycare centers for our pets? Read more Help your town. Become a criminal

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NRA Starts Big Push To Get Guns Into The Hands Of As Many Wackos As Possible

Realizing statistically that whenever there is a gun related mass murder by a mentally ill individual or group that gun sales go up out of fear that they will be outlawed.

Because of this gun manufacturers have started pushing the NRA to get more guns into the hands of as many psychopaths as possible.

A secret email has been acquired by a hacker and turned over to Washington newspapers who in turn exposed it to the reading public. Read more NRA Starts Big Push To Get Guns Into The Hands Of As Many Wackos As Possible

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