Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Zisk, Alyssa Hillary. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Zisk, A. H. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Moment for Her Son.

Trigger Warning: Discussion of Mass Murder, Institutionalization, and probably family abuse.

The whole "I am Adam Lanza's Mother" thing went viral. I want no more readers. I want to be responsible for no more hits to that (Please. Don't go read it. Don't look up her name. Don't try to figure out who he is. Just remember that he exists and that what's already happened will affect him forever.) But there is something that needs to be said, among the arguments where so many are forgetting about her son. Unless the entirety of "Anarchist Soccer Mom" is part of an elaborate hoax, she really does have a 13 year old boy who she just compared to a mass murderer with her full name. His pseudonym won't keep his identity secret from anyone who knows her. His classmates, his teachers, will know that his mother compared him to a mass murderer. There is no way that can help him, none at all. Saying such things is not brave. It might be from the heart, but it is not brave and it is not good. It is a way to make the child feel even more broken, and worse, that he is doomed to be a mass murderer.

Let's all take a moment to think about her son, her 13 year old son, who is going into school today, and whose classmates know his mother compared him to a mass murderer because they know who she is and she used her real name, even if she changed his. It won't protect him from the people who know the mother, not even a little bit, and if you think she's going to let him stay home, I think you seriously misread the dynamic in that household. He'll be at school, or she'll escalate it until she's "forced" to bring him back to that mental hospital. Take a moment to think about the son of the woman who wrote "I am Adam Lanza's morher." He's a person, too.
Take that minute. Think about the fact that he, too, is an person, that he, too, has feelings, that he, too, has a future, that he, too, is the subject of all this publicity that says he is like a mass murderer, or even that he could be.


  1. Sometimes a depressed, overwhelmed parent will do stupid things. When I read it I thought, "She is hoping someone will take her problem off her hands. That someone wont blame her when she sends him to an institution." I was sad for him, too. Especially after reading the pleas from autistic adults asking her to acknowledge his acts of empathy and to not clamp down so hard. Tough love works on neurotypical kids, not ASD kids. But she is desperate and doesnt know. Her son is not a regular kid and they are locked in a battle for power. I hope they both dont lose.

  2. (About the removed comment: You don't get to defend that sort of thing here, and a meltdown and a mass murder are very different. Don't you DARE compare them.)

    1. I came to your site earlier today and read the removed comment. It bothers me that you say "Debate, discussion, disagreement are encouraged" and then chose to remove that comment. I have been reading your blog for a while and have felt that you have been open to discussion. I am curious as to why you chose to deny this option here. Would you mind elaborating?

    2. Most of the time, I let things stay. I even engage obvious trolls, often. But saying that violent meltdowns are equivalent to the potential to commit mass murder? That's actively dangerous.
      Debate has limits. When it's making a statement that has the potential to get more people like me locked up or get more of us killed in police encounters (that happens a lot already) and factually inaccurate at the same time (violent meltdowns and mass murder are NOT correlated, BTW) it can't stay here.
      Talking about how your child has these issues anonymously? Fine. Asking for help? Fine. Saying that these issues mean that the classmates already know there is the potential for mass murder? Not fine, and not staying.

    3. I'm not sure the author implied that they were particularly correlated, more that they were worried that it would happen because of the violent nature of their daughter, but I understand your position. I certainly don't think they were asking for more people with ASDs to be locked up! It seemed more like another cry for help from a desperate parent. Considering the current situation though, I do think that children who have violent outbursts in schools already have a stigma and the concern of others regarding their potential for mass murder. I'm not saying every person with violent outbursts has this potential, but that if we ignore those kids and don't recognize these situations, we are perpetuating the current situation of ignoring children that actually DO have that potential. Not every child falls in that category, but it is hard to determine which ones do and which ones don't. Hence the problem with our mental health system. As a psychologist, I've seen it happen too many times where children who have violent tendencies end up killing siblings or parents. It's not mass murder, but it is still a problem.

    4. I don't think she was TRYING to correlate them, but it was implied, and she wasn't asking, but that's what happens.
      I can understand worry about violent outbursts, and those do need to be dealt wit. We need to keep an eye out, but pretending that we only need to worry about kids who have violent outbursts in terms of the mass murder thing is both inaccurate and going to further stigma.
      Talking about the problems with our mental health system is legitimate. Talking about things that actually are problems (children with violent tendencies winding up killing siblings/parents, abusive parents killing children, autistic children getting murdered by parents/caregivers, basically anything along the lines of someone killed someone) is also legitimate and needs to happen.
      Saying that someone has the potential for mass murder, though, is saying they have the potential for a very planned act of purposeful violence, which is not at all like saying they have the potential to be dangerous when set off and which I can't contribute to the conflation of. Saying that the classmates already know that the person has the potential to be like Adam? That's pretty squarely in the mass murder category.

  3. I just want to tell you... I couldn't agree more. I was sick when I read what that woman wrote about her own son. ANd I am more sick seeing how viral it has gone. I wish I hadn't read it. I wish no one ever had.

  4. This kid needs help, and it needs to be the right kind of help, that which is not directed by ableist psychiatrists. Same goes for the mother. I suspect that she too is dealing with mental illnesses, and is in deep denial about it. She reminds me a lot of John Best Junior.


I reserve the right to delete comments for personal attacks, derailing, dangerous comparisons, bigotry, and generally not wanting my blog to be a platform for certain things.