Note For Anyone Writing About Me

For anyone who wants to write about me
I am an Autistic person. I am not a person with autism. Don't call me one. FYI, also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore anyways.
My name is Alyssa, I'm a triple major in mathematics, mechanical engineering, and Chinese. I'm currently studying abroad in Tianjin. I have an About. I'm Autistic. I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

In Response to Connecticut

Trigger Warning: Mass Murder, Violence, Ableism, blaming the first two on autism, discussions of previous

Yesterday, there was a shooting in Connecticut. This is a tragedy, and I wish for none of this to ever happen again. It is horrible to think about, but it happened. I wish it had not. It is wrong. Lydia's Nameless Things Dismantle is a good response. It explains well how I feel when I hear what happened, when I think about the tragedy, the loss of life.
I've stayed away from the news. I don't really want to hear what all they have to say. I know they will blame it on my neurology, regardless of the killers neurology being mine or not. They will say it was.
I have, however, read some responses. This is my comment on one, a good one.
It is just as hard for me to imagine that the killer could share my neurology as the neurotypicals find it for theirs. The only difference is that they have the power to make people think he had mine and that it means mine is to blame, and I can’t.What his neurology actually was is irrelevant to this statement.
We can't actually talk about this continuous pinning of shootings on autism without talking about the stigma of disability, especially disabilities that are based in the brain. We can't  actually talk about it without talking about the power differences between Autistic people and those who keep pinning mass murder on the way our brains are wired.
People keep saying that now is not the time to talk about this, but the instant the accusation has been made, the time to talk is now. The "no politics in a tragedy" rule is broken by the attack on my neurology, and I am allowed to defend myself, no matter how political, long-winded, or anything else you could call my defense. I am not the one derailing the conversation about a tragedy. I am the one answering an attack on the very core of who I am, and I am permitted that answer everywhere and everywhen such an attack happens.
Autism does not equate to violence. Sociopathy does not equate to violence. Lack of empathy does not equate to violence. Mental illnesses do not equate to violence. In fact, it leads to disproportionately being the victim, not the perpetrator, of abuses.
Read that again. You blame brain differences that lead to being disproportionately victimized for leading people to commit crimes. That is backwards. That is the opposite of the right thing to do. That is what happens, every time. That needs to stop.
Every one of us needs to answer this, every place we see it. Some of us already have. These are some answers.
ASAN Statement on Media Reports Regarding Newtown, CT Shooting
Statement from Michael John Carley on the Newtown, CT Shootings- GRASP site.
AWN’s Appeal to Media Sources Covering Newtown, CT
Experts: No Link Between Asperger's,Violence-ABC News
Connecticut school shooting: People with Asperger’s unlikely to break the law, experts say-thestar.com. Note that untreated mental illness does NOT make you more likely to be violent any more than autism does.
Recent Tragedies Not Related to Autism-ICAA
AANE Statement on the tragedy in Newtown, CT
CNN Expert Says for Autistic People "Something's Missing in the Brain"-ThAutcast
You Can Call Me Angry, Just Don't Call Him Autistic-Kim Stagliano
Can I hide somewhere until it's over?-Autistic Hoya
Praying for Time: The Sandy Hook Shootings, Mental Illness, and Ableism-That Crazy Crippled Chick
Plea from the scariest kid on the block-Neurodivergent K
The Pain of Being Linked by Asperger Dx to a Mass Shooter-Psychology Today Blog
ARI Autistic Global Initiative Committee's Statement on the Newtown, CT Tragedy
Fox News And The New York Times Abet Media Effort To Falsely Link Autism With CT Shooting
I'm Autistic: Please Don't Fear Me...(Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting)
You Are Not Adam Lanza’s Mother-The Girl Who Was Thursday
On the Guns Thing-The Global Sociology Blog
Responding to Fear With Facts- Diary of a Mom. That's where I made my comment.
Stepping Into the Void-Diary of a Mom again.
Mother with Asperger Syndrome Grieves Sandy Hook Elementary Victims-Paula C. Durbin-Westly Autistic Advocacy Blog
Unspeakable-Reinventing Mommy
Gun Violence and the Search for a Scapegoat- Autism Edition-Liz, includes a list to other responses as well
CT Shootings-Autismum
Words-Mama's Turn Now
Autism, empathy, and violence: One of these things doesn't belong here-Emily Willingham
My Broken Back-Raving Mother From Hell
Evil. Insane. Mentally Ill. Autistic.-Living My Social Work
When Children Die, It's Time to Grieve and Reflect, Not to Scapegoat-Disability and Representation
No, You Are Not Adam Lanza’s Mother and Yes, Your Kid’s Privacy Matters-Disability and Representation
Asperger’s ( does not mean lack of empathy) Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting USA-Robyn Steward
Autism, Empathy, and Violence: Asperger’s Does Not Explain Connecticut Shooting-Emily Willingham
Thoughts on Newtown, and Love to the Autism Community.-Raising Rebel Souls
Autism, empathy, and violence: One of these things doesn't belong here
"I'm an autistic person, not a killer."-Hello TOTKO
The Connecticut Tragedy and Autism-Yeah Good Times
There really aren’t words, but I’m going to try anyway-The Caffinated Aspie
In the Wake of Tragedy-Balanced Imperfection
Defending Autism as We Mourn-Sailing Autistic Seas
I Won't Go Back: The Sandy Hook Shootings and Asperger's Syndrome-Amy Gravino
When You Tie Shootings to Mental Illness-Ashley Miller
You Are Not His Mother-Ashley Miller
You Are NOT Adam Lanza's Mother
One Truth About Autism and the Sandy Hook Elementary Tragedy
Diary of a Mom responds on Facebook
Autism Society of America responds on Facebook
Autism Cannot Explain This-The Autism Life
That's Just Not What Autism Is-The Autism Life
Darkness Stealing the Light-Red Vines and Red Wine
Red Vines and Red Wine responds on Facebook
Judy Endow responds on Facebook
Jill Herschman responds on Facebook
A Legion For Liam responds on Facebook
Common Threads Resource Center responds on Facebook.
Mommy Buddy From the Planet Autism responds on Facebook
See Connor Conquer responds on Facebook
Living on the Spectrum: The Connor Chronicles responds on Facebook
Open Letter to the World-Traveling Show
Neuroatypically Speaking
‘YOU ARE NOT ADAM LANZA’S MOM’: AN AUTISTIC PERSON’S PERSPECTIVE ON THE VIRAL ARTICLE BY LIZA LONG-likeicouldn'ttakeyou on Tumblr
asyluum on Tumblr
feministrocker on Tumblr
macabremachinations on Tumblr
thepiratehook on Tumblr- Warning, this one is angry. This person has that right.

For a small can of science, check Are Autistic People Natural Born Criminals? It's from 2010 and still relevant.

Even Autism Speaks is in on this one, with a message that I agree with. This might be the only statement of theirs I ever approve of, but this one is good.

As much as possible (Pinterest doesn't seem to like Facebook posts, and not everything has an image to pin,) I am compiling responses here as well.

5 comments:

  1. great post, thanks for sharing all this! Thanks for sharing mine as well :) (courtney from A Legion for Liam)

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  2. Great post, Alyssa, and some very thoughtful analyses of how we so often distort our reactions to the differences related to those who are somewhere on the autism spectrum. There is no logical connection between autism and violence, except, as you point out, in the direction of violence _toward_ autistic people...

    Pat

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  3. Excellent and thoughtful post, Alyssa--often what we see illogically expressed is public fear of anyone who is different in a way that can be labeled. I think occurrences like the events of Newtown are far too complex to have ANY succinct answers. Evil is evil; it has no logical explanation, and certainly no link to autism, bi-polar disorder or any similar condition.

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I reserve the right to delete for personal attacks, derailing, dangerous comparisons, bigotry, and generally not wanting my blog to be a platform for certain things. As long as we stay within those ranges, discussion is AWESOME.