Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Violent crime doesn’t fit in the autism puzzle

Date:
December 19, 2012
Source:
Saint Joseph's University
Summary:
As investigators begin to piece together a profile of Connecticut school massacre gunman Adam Lanza, much is being speculated about his possible Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis. But to suggest a tie between autism and violent, sociopathic tendencies is to undermine the large body of research and progress that’s been made in understanding the disorder, says a leading autism expert.

As investigators begin to piece together a profile of Connecticut school massacre gunman Adam Lanza, much is being speculated about his possible Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis. But to suggest a tie between autism and violent, sociopathic tendencies is to undermine the large body of research and progress that's been made in understanding the disorder, says autism expert and Executive Director of the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support at Saint Joseph's University Michelle Rowe, Ph.D.

Related Articles


"We know that children and adults with autism are often misunderstood," she says. "Small talk is not especially easy. Those on the spectrum have trouble understanding sarcasm. They struggle to understand basic social rules -- how to take turns, how to make eye contact.

"We also know that people with autism are not sociopaths. There is no evidence or research that suggests a link between autism and planned violence."

Rowe points to critical differences in the brains of so-called "neuro-typicals" and those on the autism spectrum.

"The prefrontal cortex (the front part of the brain, just above the eyebrows, that most people know as the frontal lobe) helps "neuro-typicals" make sense of the world," she explains. "We make eye contact and assess facial expressions. This is the brain's way of helping us connect with people. Without that skill -- that ability -- wouldn't we all be misunderstood?"

It's a much different world for people living with autism than it was just 10 years ago, Rowe adds. Awareness is at an all-time high. Services are expanding and those on the autism spectrum are being mainstreamed in schools all across the country.

"We've come too far and we know too much to revert back to the days when people with disabilities were locked up out of fear," says Rowe. "We shouldn't fear autism-- not now-- not when we understand more than we ever have about it."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Saint Joseph's University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Saint Joseph's University. "Violent crime doesn’t fit in the autism puzzle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121219173944.htm>.
Saint Joseph's University. (2012, December 19). Violent crime doesn’t fit in the autism puzzle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121219173944.htm
Saint Joseph's University. "Violent crime doesn’t fit in the autism puzzle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121219173944.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 3, 2015) Super Bowl champions Sidney Rice and Steve Weatherford donate their brains, post-mortem, to scientific research into repetitive brain trauma. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Newsy (Mar. 3, 2015) Researchers found an abnormal protein associated with Alzheimer&apos;s disease in the brains of 20-year-olds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Researchers gave lidocaine to 112 patients, and about 88 percent of the subjects said they needed less migraine-relief medicine the next day. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins