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Monday, December 17, 2012

Jamilah Nasheed Deletes Tweet About School Shooter and Asperger's Syndrome

Posted By on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Looks like State Representative Jamilah Nasheed from the 60th District in St. Louis has had second thoughts about a tweet she put out last evening. Here's a screenshot (and our apologies for the quality):


It's been widely reported that Adam Lanza -- the 17-year-old who killed 27 people on Friday inside a school in Newtown, Connecticut -- had Asperger's Syndrome, a mild form of autism.
But it's also been widely reported that such a diagnosis explains nothing, because the syndrome is not correlated with violence. (In fact, according to one recent article in New York Magazine, it's practically fashionable to have Asperger's.)

Also, Asperger's is not a mental illness per se, but rather, a development disorder. Which is probably why people responded thusly to Nasheed's tweet:


As we said, this tweet no longer appears in her Twitter feed -- probably because she had no intention of offending anyone with Asperger's. Nor did she likely intend to go against the grain of the mental health field, whose practitioners tend to prefer saying that mental illness is something that you treat, not "fight" against.

But Nasheed appeared to want to make the point that something was wrong with Lanza's mind, and that we need to pay attention to mental health aspect to this tragedy.

In that sense, she may have a point - however inelegantly stated.

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