Blame Game

WITH UPDATE     The calamitous events in Connecticut have wrenched the hearts of families everywhere.  Who cannot identify with the pain of those parents who lost their little ones . . . or might have?

Then, as details about the shooter began to emerge — and the terms Aspergers and Autism began to be part of the coverage — we ached as well for those parents who, despite their compassion, had to be wondering how the association of those terms with this unspeakable tragedy might affect their child’s already complicated life.

In the last few days, several excellent articles have appeared that address the alarming insinuations being thrown around about autism’s possible role in this horrific crime.  None have addressed this aspect more comprehensively and powerfully than Princilla Gilman’s OpEd in the New York Times.  Of particular importance is her clear differentiation between a “neurodevelopmental disorder” and a “mental illness.”  Don’t Blame Autism for Newtown should be read and shared widely

After that, take some time to look over a fascinating list compiled by an LDS mom of 4 children on the spectrum.  Her name is Shareen and she writes the blog Butterfly Kisses and Pixie Dust (which we have added to our list of Family Blogs on our Links Page).

UPDATE:  In our urgency to counter the defamation of children and families dealing with Autism, we may have been too willing to just let the term “Mental Illness” — and families dealing with that — take the heat.  KSL.com Content Manager, Lindsay Maxfield, enlightens us on the subject from a very personal point of view, explaining that there is also a “spectrum” of mental illnesses, only a very few of which are ever likely to produce violent antisocial behavior.  Her article is The Mentally Ill Aren’t Always Who You Think They Are.

One of our “Sunday Uplift” postings was a musical tribute dedicated to the Sandy Hook tragedy.  Prepare to be moved by Alex Boye and friends

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