What's the chance that Adam Lanza was autistic?

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Foxxtale
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04 Jan 2013, 8:56 am

according to this study: http://www.drtomoconnor.com/4050/4050lect07.htm
mass murderers are also overwhelmingly male (94.4%)
typically are between the ages of 20-29 (43.3 %)
and are white (62.9 %)

Lanza seems to have fit these stereotypes as well...


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04 Jan 2013, 9:12 am

TPE2 wrote:
And was also some news that he was taking some anti-psychotic (I could be wrong, but I imagine that anti-psychotics are not the standard treatment for ASD).

If anything, I imagine more schizophrenia or schizotypal personality disorder than an ASD - begin to indiscriminate kill innocent children seems more typical of some kind of cognitive distortion or delusion (when, in your bizarre "reality", you have a valid reason to kill that children - perhaps they are nazi soldiers in disguise, or something like that...).


Said drugs are often given to those with an ASD who're prone to aggressive outbursts during meltdowns (the "keep grandpa in bed", type deal), but it also helps with the things that cause said outbursts, like frustration and anxiety, so it can stop if beforehand, not just sedation (not that said sedation does much for someone with an ASD who's really "high" from anxiety). You hear of people saying "it's the drugs!", well, it's far more likely to happen when someone is off them due to what the medication actually does.

Psychosis is one possible explanation for these things, though it's one of the rare ones; Jared (Gifford's shooting) and the "Joker" are seen as examples of this (both Schizophrenia). There's really no known motive for Adam, so it's all speculation.

Martin Bryant's (AS) reason for his hasn't been released. Anders Breivik's (Schizophrenia to begin with, but said to have AS later on) is well known. Same with Cho (Selective Mutism).

Bullying and past trauma is a reason for these things, as is acute emotional stress. This is stuff that removes inhibitions; obviously it needs to combined with other things, like no one to talk to, the "right" personality, an obsessive and festering mind, and/or other things.

Psychopathy is another (one of the Columbine individuals).

Organic brain disease is theorized with Whitman.



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04 Jan 2013, 12:41 pm

Aitrean wrote:
In 99.9% of cases in which a person is socially awkward, and yet, incredibly smart, they are autistic.

What a load of nonsense. What studies do you base this ridiculous claim on?



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04 Jan 2013, 1:34 pm

emimeni wrote:
Well, no diagnostic papers have been released to the media, and the guy is dead now. So, the fact that he was autistic is pretty low, but not nil.


I agree.



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04 Jan 2013, 4:41 pm

Foxxtale wrote:
according to this study: http://www.drtomoconnor.com/4050/4050lect07.htm
mass murderers are also overwhelmingly male (94.4%)
typically are between the ages of 20-29 (43.3 %)
and are white (62.9 %)

Lanza seems to have fit these stereotypes as well...


Fox includes gang violence and robberies in his research. Hempel excludes gang violence and robberies and comes up with a much different demographic listed below, from the same link, from research that spanned 50 years, in the US, up until the year 1999.

Quote:
Hempel et al. found the following characteristics of mass murderers. They are generally:

male
single or divorced
40-50 years of age
have paranoid and/or depressive conditions
recently suffered a major loss related to employment or relationship alcohol plays a very minor role
death occurs by suicide or at the hands of others (police)



idratherbeatree
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04 Jan 2013, 4:43 pm

I believe the chance is about 1 in 88.


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04 Jan 2013, 5:38 pm

We don't want to throw schizophrenic persons under the bus either.

I remember reading in an abnormal psychology textbook way back in 1984 that the average person with schizophrenia was actually somewhat less likely than the average member of the general public to commit a crime, was in fact more likely to be victimized. For the sub-category of paranoid schizophrenia, the person is slightly more likely to commit a crime, but it's marginal.

So, we come to the not very remarkable conclusion that we should treat people as individuals.



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04 Jan 2013, 6:44 pm

Yeah. Schizophrenia doesn't make you violent, either. The statistics show an elevated risk for schizophrenia in general (which is still many times lower than the elevated risk for simply being male). However, if you account for the increased amount of drug abuse in that population, you find that schizophrenia is not a direct correlation. It's more like schizophrenia increases your risk of having a drug addiction, and people with drug addictions are more likely to be violent.

(I need to caution you, though: This is correlation, not cause and effect. They might have a common cause, like increased impulsivity, or be related to environmental factors. So you cannot conclude from this that drug addiction causes violence; only that there is some sort of relationship.)

In any event, people with schizophrenia are as likely to be violent as the general population, once you account for the fact that their lives, in general, involve more stress. If a violent person gets schiozphrenia, they continue to be a violent person. There are some situations in which schizophrenia may be directly related to violence, especially paranoid schizophrenia; people may try to "defend themselves" against a hallucinatory/delusional threat. Usually by the time it's this bad, the person is obviously ill and will be quickly sent to a hospital to be stabilized. But as I've said, the risk isn't increased. I can only guess that people respond to their delusions and hallucinations in a way that is in keeping with their general character. Someone who would punch the man who looked at his girlfriend funny may also, if he got schizophrenia, punch that same man because he believes that the guy is stealing his thoughts. A more retiring personality might have led him instead to hide in his basement and stay away from people wearing red sweaters to avoid the thought-stealing.

That's just my theory about it. I haven't read any research on schizophrenia and personality. But it seems plausible, and could be tested, so I think it's something we ought to look into.


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05 Jan 2013, 1:29 am

idratherbeatree wrote:
I believe the chance is about 1 in 88.

Touché...



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07 Jan 2013, 10:50 pm

Ryan Lanza, Adam's very own brother, was the first person to state Adam had Aspergers. This was the first day the whole tragedy happened too. Not to mention Ryan knew it was his brother Adam before being told, and how he could know, i'd only guess Adam showed warning signs we haven't heard about.

Years back during the parents' divorce, there were records stating Adam has been diagnosed with Aspergers, however i have no idea what quack diagnosed him, and it seems the diagnosis was for the divorce more than anything else. It was why Peter Lanza paid Nancy such a huge amount of Alimony and then some.

Too bad they didn't get help for Adam with that money.



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07 Jan 2013, 11:28 pm

It's possible but he had other things wrong with him.


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08 Jan 2013, 12:00 am

Verdandi wrote:
That is still hearsay, unfortunately. It does sound plausible.

If you look at the Columbine shooting, several people gave false information to reporters, and there's no truly logical or rational reason why some of them did so. At this point, I'm still going to hold out on believing this until I see someone who actually diagnosed Lanza say so. This seems unlikely.

Boulevard press. I avoid it for a reason. I'm not going to pay for something that says trivial stuff like "celebrity X is now divorced with celebrity Y" or generalizes "all *insert type of people* are a possible danger to us!". The final nail in my personal boulevard press coffin was the statement "people who play "killergames" (<- idiotic term used for the shooter genre of games here in Germany) are most likely killers/mass murderers/public/school shooters".

I play them too but I never killed anybody.
So what?

I'm German, does that mean I'm a little Hitler/nazi who shoots everybody who admits he's jew?
No.

I'm most of my time at home and being busy with my obsession. Does that mean I am planning a rampage?
No.

According to media and stereotypes, I would always fit the stereotypes of a killer/mass murderer.

Here is an example. The example lists stereotypes I heard/read created by media concerning what makes you a mass murderer (warning: heavy usage of sarcasm):
  • I am a human - Check.
  • I am a withdrawn person and live my life mostly within my room - Check.
    => of course, this automatically means I am a sociopath, misanthrope, psychopath, etc. - Autocheck.
  • I am male - Check.
  • I am white - Check.
  • I have the hair colour of some other random mass murderer in history - Check.
  • I have short/mid/long hair - Check.
  • I think a lot - Check.
  • I was bullied a lot for a long time - Check.
  • I am single - Check.
  • I have just a few friends - Check.
  • I am ending my teenage years - Check.
    => of course, if I end my teenage years, I will fit into the other criteria: 20-something year old male white guy who was bullied - Autocheck1.
    ==> of course, this automatically means if I grow out of that group, I'll hit the 30-something year olds - Autocheck2.
    ===> I'm older than that? No problem - Autocheck3.
  • I am spending most of my time in front of the PC - Check.
  • I am definitely not normal in behaviour (and am suspected to have AS and soon am working on a diagnosis) - Check (eventually double-check later).
  • I have troubles socializing (in school) - Check.
    => of course, this automatically means I am considered a nerd/geek/failure/whatsoever - Autocheck.
  • I make checklists - Check.
  • I believe in a god (which, of course, automatically means I'm some religious terrorist :lol:) - Check.
  • I play (first person) shooters/"killergames" - Check.
  • I'm a German - Check.
    => of course, this automatically means I am a (neo-)nazi and thus overly violent - BIG AUTOCHECK.
  • I listen to *insert music genre here* - Check.
    => in case it's more than one (x), check x times - Autocheck*x.
  • I actually check my checklist - Check.
  • I now think check as a word looks and is funny - Check.


If I had to believe media stereotypes concerning what makes you a mass murderer, I would have been dead since long (either by suicide or by police) and there would be no living people on this planet anymore (so in that case, most likely suicide). :lol:

The best you can do is probably ignore such statements and move on with your life. Time usually makes people forget that, the killergame statement was forgotten too by now. It just happened that now the trend is: Everybody who is in the slightest mentally/socially disabled (apparently even if you are additionally physically disabled and in a wheelchair) runs in danger of being seen as such a person. After the next incident it will be people who listen to heavy metal music again or some other dumb "stereotype" (you can't really call that, it has no long-livity as stereotypes do in my opinion).


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08 Jan 2013, 1:18 am

emimeni wrote:
Verdandi wrote:
Correlation is not causation. You can indeed say that autism wasn't responsible for anyone going on a shooting spree because there has never been a link established between autism and planned violence like that.

I don't know who this Wrong Planet member is, but so far there has been no confirmation that Lanza was autistic, just a lot of speculation.


THIS!


I agree. I think associating in this way is ignorant prejudice. Like the woman who. Clutches her hand bag every time she sees a black man. My gf said that if autistics wish to be accepted rather than cured they need to understand that it comes with this sort of garbage. I personally do not understand this view either what does acceptance have to do with bigotry?



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08 Jan 2013, 3:34 am

... *Shrugs*

Meh. Personally, I'd rather shoot up a fertility clinic.
Kids ain't done much of anything yet. They don't even get how fvcked up the world they've been dumped in IS. People who want to breed though... THOSE bastards have it coming for wanting to inflict existence on someone against their will.


Black humour aside though... he might have been and he might not have. I don't much care, to be honest.
It is quite plausible that he might have been. Mundies do tend to treat us quite badly, often without even realising they're doing so. The average person is casually hostile towards difference of thought, and we tend to receive a lot of that hostility just for not being subject to the same flavour of idiocy that they are. As such, revenge against the neurotypicals is not an unexpected result... Also, going for that which will hurt them most. The problem with this sort of revenge is that they don't see it as such, as people in general aren't aware that they do anything wrong to justify revenge against them... SO they tend to just view it as random evil (because they're stupid enough to believe in such things).
BUT that is just one possibility of many, and at this stage in the game not only will we likely never know... but it shouldn't influence our lives anyway. I'd spare maybe a moment's pity for anyone getting worked up over this... before advising we all chill out and focus on the next meal.



Last edited by Magnanimous on 08 Jan 2013, 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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08 Jan 2013, 9:51 am

KevinS wrote:
thewhitrbbit wrote:
There were several reports that seemed to confirm he had the diagnosis.

Honestly, it doesn't bother me. There are evil people in the world, evil AS people and evil NT people.

I'm not going to put my head in the sand and pretend that there are no evil AS people anymore than I will pretend all AS people are evil.


Well, that's if you believe in the concept of 'evil'. I don't. When he was a little baby, and his mother was holding him in her arms, there's no way you could say, yeah, that baby was "born" an evil murderer.

He was mentally ill, yes. But evil? No, I don't believe that. I don't believe in evil.


I believe there is undeniably such thing as good and evil. However, the things we label as good and evil are not good or evil. Good and evil are in everything. People aren't good or evil. They are just people. Some aspects of things might be evil, but for the most part most things are not evil.


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08 Jan 2013, 11:36 am

It seems like Adam would fall somewhere on the spectrum, yet there's still so much info we aren't even aware of or know.
Maybe he just hated all people and was a sociopath (conduct disorder).
He doesn't seem to be a typical Aspie.
He never seemed to have any learning disorders. They said his elementary school academics were fine.

They blame video games, guns, it's all so ridiculous.

It's obvious the Lanza family was in denial. Ryan suspected his own brother of being the shooter prior to the public or anyone finding out who the shooter was. So i'd bet Adam showed warning signs. Why his family ignored them (Peter (the dad) and his brother) is beyond me.

It's clear the mother had her own mental issues she was dealing with at the time. The father should have stepped in to take responsibility for his son. I guess he was too busy playing favorites with Ryan, his heir.

What a sad case...

I know tons of people myself included who own guns, play COD and other video games and would never harm anyone.
The media is horrible, they just look for scapegoats.

The issue should be when is it time for non-family to intervene?
Every time the school tried to help, Nancy wouldn't let them and would insist only she could help Adam. That is irrational of her.

At what point could someone outside that family actually step in?

I think the final time Nancy pulled Adam out of HS was since they were going to intervene seriously. She didn't want that so she home schooled him at that point. If he was out of the school, then they had no say over his care.