Southfield, MI (October 8, 2015) – The Autism Alliance of Michigan (AAoM) and the autism community at large, across Michigan, send sympathies and share personally in the tragic loss of so many innocent lives in the state of Oregon shootings, which took place this past week.
Recent media reports have suggested a link between these shootings and Asperger’s syndrome, a high functioning form of autism spectrum disorder.
We have multiple concerns regarding the community perception of this situation for persons with autism and their families.
There is absolutely no credible evidence that suggests a link between autism and planned violence. To suggest a causal relationship between the shooter’s behavior and autism is wrong and harmful to Michigan’s children and adults living with autism. Please don’t judge people with autism based on what is being reported about one individual.
This unfortunate event should prompt a call for action by our schools, colleges, community mental health and vocational rehabilitation agencies, criminal justice system, and clinical providers. We know that an unhealthy, unsafe obsession with guns and/or violence, combined with significant social withdrawal, may be red flags for violence, suicide, and/or other tragic outcomes, regardless of diagnosis.
The Autism Alliance of Michigan is a professional autism organization in the State of Michigan, leading community inclusion and safety initiatives, navigation services and advocacy efforts.
Anyone in the State of Michigan who would like to learn more about autism, or those touched by autism who have concerns about behaviors, crisis situations, or a need for assistance, please contact, https://autismallianceofmichigan.org/ or call (877)436-AAOM.