I have been noticeably and purposely quiet on my blog for a few months now. At times I feel like I have nothing to say and then at others, I have so much to say that I don't even know where to start. In light of the tragedy that occurred Friday, my silence is breaking because I cannot stay quiet. It seems that nearly everyone has been affected by this horrific event in some form or fashion. As a parent of a child the same age of the majority of those who passed away, I am constantly putting my own child's image in that situation. My own 5 year old daughter who is completely innocent and doesn't know the first thing about real evil in the world. She isn't yet aware that people kill. I'm betting most of those children were just as unaware.
But there's another thing that bothers me beyond the images in my head. I'm sure you can guess where this is going.
The shooter was Autistic. My little boy is Autistic.
When I first heard the speculation I was outraged. Autism does not cause someone to murder. A man with a cocktail of issues operated on his own will. It's not Autism's fault. Yes, sometimes Autistic individuals may hit, yell, kick but that is in the moment because they are frustrated with by a sensory issue or not being able to get their words out. That's a whole heck of a lot different than pre-meditated murder. What this guy did took effort and planning, something that's not a hallmark of an Autism outburst. He knew what he was doing when he grabbed those guns.
So please, I beg you. Do not be afraid of Autism. Do not be afraid to let your child be in the same classroom as an individual with Autism. Be responsible and teach your children that Autism does not cause an individual to kill. Tell your children what Autism is. Learn for yourself what Autism is. Do it for Autistic people everywhere. Do it for my own Autistic child. Awareness is key.