December 21, 2012

On the front page of the Dec. 15 newspaper, The Post reported that the Connecticut shooter “may have had a form of autism” [“Parents’ breakup devastated Lanza, ex-neighbors recall”]. This statement was incredibly irresponsible. There is no link between autism or Asperger’s and this kind of premeditated, organized crime. But because The Post said it, the message to readers was that this must somehow be relevant to motive.

As it is, children with autism, including Asperger’s, often have a hard time fitting in with their peers and are too often the targets of bullies. I wonder how many of them went to school following the Newtown, Conn., shooting only to be further isolated, to be shunned by their peers or to have taunts like “watch out, he may shoot” thrown at them.

Julie Reiley, Bethesda

The writer is an advocate for special education rights in Montgomery County.