| TIFFANY PINCKNEY 23, starved by her sister, 2005. | ZAIN AKHTER 12, Strangled by her mother, July 2010 . | AJIT SINGH 12, forced to drink bleach by his mother. February 2010 | BENJAMIN BARNHARD 13, shot by his mother, August 2011 | BETTY ANNE GAGNON 48. tortured to death by her sister and brother-in-law. November 2009 | CALISTA SPRINGER 16, smoke inhalation-chained to her bed by her father and stepmother, February 2008. | CHASE OGDEN 13, shot by his mother along with his sister Olivia, October 2010 | CHRISTOPHER DEGROOT 19, locked in apartment set on fire by bis parents, May 2006 . | CHRISTOPHER MELTON 18, gassed by his mother. June 2010 | DANIEL CORBY 4, drowned by his mother. March 2012 | FARYAAL AKHTER 2, strangled by their mother, July 2010 | FRANCECCA HARDWICK 18, locked in a burning car with her mother, October 2007 | GEORGE HODGINS 22. shot bv his mother, March 2012. | GERREN ISGRIG 6 years old, died of exposure after his grandmother abandoned him in a remote area, April 2010. | GLEN FREANEY 11, strangled by his mother. May 2010 | JEREMY BOSTICK 11, gassed by his father. September 2009 | JEREMY FRASER 9 years old, died of recurrent leukemia alter his mother withheld the medication that would have saved his life. March 2009 | JORI LIRETTE7, decapitated by his father, August 2011. | JULIE CIRELLA 8, poisoned by her mother. July 2011 | KARANDEEP ARORA 18, suffocated by his parents, October 2010. | KATIE MCCARRON 3 years old, suffocated by her mother. May 2006 | KENNETH HOLMES 12, shot by his mother. July 2010. | KYLE SNYDER 9, shot by grandmother, October 2010. | LAURA CUMMINGS 23, tortured to death by her mother and brother. January 2010 | LEOSHA BARNETT 17, starved to death by her mother and sister. May 2011 | Melissa Stoddard 11, tortured to death by her father and stepmother.December 2012 | Matthew Graville 27, tortured to death by his half brother, July 2012 | NAOMI HILL 4, drowned by her mother, November 2007 | NOE MEDINA JR. 7 months, thrown 4 stories by his mother, August 2011 | PAYTON ETTINGER 4, starved by his mother, May 2010 | PETER EITZEN 16. Stabbed by his mother. July 2009 | ROHIT SINGH 7, beaten to death by his father, September 2010. | ROBERT ETHAN SAYLOR 26, asphyxiation during catastrophic police encounter, January 2013 | RYLAN ROCHESTER 6 months old, suffocated by his mother because she believed him to be autistic, June 2010 | Paul Childs III 15, shot by police while holding a knife pointed at his own chest, July 2003 | SCARLETT CHEN 4 years old, drowned by her mother, July 2004 | CHRISTOPHER MELTON 18, gassed by his mother. June 2010 | STEVEN SIMPSON 18, doused with tanning oil and set on fire during his birthday party by party crashers, June 2012 | Steven Eugene Washington 27, shot in catastrophic police encounte. March 2010 | TONY KHOR 15, strangled by his mother, October 2009 | Torrance Cantrell 8, killed by church parishoners during a brutal exorcism, August 2003 | TRACY LATIMER 12 years old. gassed by her father, 1995. | WALTER KNOX HILDEBRAND JR 20 years old, died of a seizure induced by his brother's physical abuse. November 2009 | Alex Spourdalakis 14, stabbed to death by his mother and caregiver who premeditated his murder and also killed the cat, June 2013 |ZAHRA BAKER10, murdered and dismembered by her stepmother and perhaps her father. October 2010.ERNEST VASSELL10, shot in a catastrophic encounter with police. September 2011.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

You Are NOT Adam Lanza's Mother


Dear Ms. Long,

You are Not Adam Lanza’s mother. Adam Lanza’s mother, by all accounts, kept four registered handguns and a great deal of ammunition in the home she shared with her son. She took Adam to the shooting range and taught him how to use them. Have you taught your son how to use a gun knowing he has threatened to harm himself and others? Did you teach him to use a knife as a weapon?

You are Not Adam Lanza’s mother. When you feared your son was a danger to himself or others you rushed him to a mental health facility and sought treatment. When you felt his school placement was not appropriate you attempted to place him in a safer environment. Adam Lanza’s mother allowed him to learn how to access the elementary school where he entered and murdered people. She taught him how to use weapons to do so. She taught him how to drive himself to the murder scene. Have you done that?

Autism is frequently thrown around as some sort of a rage inducing mental deficiency. I am the mother of an Autistic son. My son does not speak. He is probably one of the most patient people I’ve met in my life. At the point where he loses his temper, Mother Theresa would lose her temper. Even an implication that attempts to conflate Autistic meltdowns with murderous rage places an entire population of children and Adults who are already terribly abused at horrible risk for harm. You are stating that an accurate diagnosis has not been made on your child. You do not know what Adam Lanza’s mental health concerns are, and yet you are republishing an article about life with your son under the inflammatory title “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother”. Kindly apologize to my son and the many families in the Autism community that you have placed at risk for seclusion, restraint and the other by products of fear and ableist bigotry.

You are NOT Adam Lanza’s mother. To make this statement is opportunistic, disrespectful to the Autism community, disrespectful to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and dangerous to your own son and his wellbeing.
Apologize.

Mrs. Kerima Cevik
Proud Mother of an Autistic 10 year old Son 

71 comments:

  1. Ms. Long never said her son was autistic. She mentioned that several different diagnoses had been tossed around- so I suspect she find none of them appropriate. Trying to get mental health support in this country, especially for kids, is extremely difficult. Every time something goes wrong and there is a mass shooting, parents are blamed for not doing enough, not getting their kids help, etc. So I can understand Ms. Long's pain- especially if she has, like me, possibly been inundated with emails suggesting that "a parent like her" is to blame.

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    1. Joeymom, I never said she said her son was Autistic. Read what I wrote. I appreciate you input, I stand by what I said.

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    2. she doesn't have to apologize to anybody. your whole point is she is giving these false relations to autism - but if you're saying she never said her son was autistic, how do you even write the article saying she needs to apologize to your autistic son?

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    3. http://sarahkendzior.com/2012/12/16/want-the-truth-behind-i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-read-her-blog/

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    4. I think that regardless of what else she was saying the most important takeaway from her piece was that we need better help for mental health problems of all kinds in this country. I think we can all agree on that and once there is better resources for those with mental health issues you can argue the specifics all you want, but in the mean time we should stand together on this issue instead of bickering.

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    5. ms. long never said he wasn't autistic, either

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    6. She didn't say that the original author needed to apologize for the fact that her son was autistic. She said that the original author should apologize for potentially stigmatizing those in the autistic community as potential murders and aggressors. Part of the problem is not the original article in itself, but the tags attached to it.

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    7. Why do we leap to assume this is about autism? It is not. Somewhere, someone in the mainstream media may have made this assumption, but it's important to get our facts straight. The blog referenced by Ms. Cevik's blog title wasn't about autism, either. It was about one mom telling her story about her son with mental illness. I've survived this same situation, having to hospitalize a 12 year old in manic psychosis. This is real and we need help, but as long as we blame the parents and don't open up a national dialogue about mental health parity and reducing stigma, we are not making any progress. Least of all, would one expect the autism support community to be up in arms and taking this personally! We should all be working together.

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    8. The problem here isn't that she posted that her child needs mental health parity, or even that he needed to be institutionalized (though the fact that she's mistreating his is a problem in itself).... the problem is that her inflammatory rhetoric is saying that BECAUSE he has mental health needs and because he had a meltdown, she believes he could be the next Adam Lanza. That's increasing stigma, not decreasing it.

      And the problem is that this is going viral, creating an image of children with mental illnesses as little monsters who are bound to grow up to be killers.

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    9. I don't think she's conflating. I think she's a candid,funny writer. It's not an academic article, and if it's part of the discourse regardless, it should be appreciated as a far more personal entry. I can't believe that readers would be so dead to the personality of the post that they would come away assuming that blood lust was synonymous with autism. That seems conflation.

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    10. Ms. Long has a right to express how she feels and so do you, but no one has the right to stifle the views of another in America.I have an Autistic son and I wasn't offended at all.

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    11. ...Did you even read her blog? She describes a child who flies into uncontrollable rages and threatens to kill himself and others. He legitimately has issues that are not being dealt with. Telling her she's "stigmatizing" mental illness for reporting on a child who exists, whose issues are real, and who can't get help is absurd. And this idea that she "conflated" her child with Autistic children is just as irrelevant. She didn't. She talked about the ideas that had been tossed around, none of which are certain. But you'd prefer to shame someone into an "apology" because they bothered to tell the truth.

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    12. That wasn't the message I got at all. If it was, I'd be right there with you. But what I heard/read was that there were few-to-no real resources for her and her son. That nobody has any real idea of what is going on with him and that short of dropping him into a hospital for a few days, there was really nothing that could be done for him.

      I think the author should apologize for deliberately mis-representing Liza's message for her own ends.

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    13. Ok really, read both articles. The "I am his mother" was written and posted by a woman who IS NOT HIS MOTHER. The perp shot his mother to death before he shot those children. The woman who wrote that article has a son who falls somewhere in the autism spectrum. She DID say that, along with conflating Austim spectrum disorders with murderous rage.

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    14. I recognize the pain on both sides here, and I'm sad to see the polarization.

      I don't see any claim in Liza Long's piece to the effect that ANY/ALL mental illness is indicative of violence. Rather, there are SOME people -- and some parents who both love and fear them -- who do present dramatic inclinations to violence as a part of their particular illness. Surely we must grant that there are SOME forms of mental illness that correlate with violence. That need not even mean particular *diagnoses* that correlate with violence -- just particular patterns, even in a child, of unpredictable oppositional intensity with volatile eruptions of rage.

      If your child is living out *those* patterns, now (regardless of whether you made questionable choices in the past, which we all do), what supports do we, as a society, offer?

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    15. For those who give opinion and/or personal experience; those are your experiences alone. I feel that having an autistic child makes me more aware of what a disorder can do if it becomes out of control. People are all saying that autism can't possibly linked to such, but I am sorry; this society doesn't know enough about autism spectrum..which has many ranges, to say that people with autism could never do this. It is impossible to know what else could have triggered his premeditated thoughts. And just because it is not precedent, doesn't mean it can be a new situation. What affects knowing how to use a gun, being around weapons; we don't know. I still say it stems from his autism, but what else is a factor that played a role in the violent side of autism. And anyone who says that autistic children are just sweet all the time is delusional and good for them, however I know for a fact and know many with autism, that it has ranges and many levels and certain stimuli trigger the bad behavior, not saying it would teach them to kill, however teaching them how to kill is really stupid and I don't even let my 8 year old son play with water guns. I know he has no fear. He was also diagnosed with self-injurious behavior, because when he gets upset he will hit himself, however he will hit or kick anyone that is in his way. 90% of the time he is happy, loving, excited, or calm. 10% he is upset, crying,screaming, kicking, scratching, and throws stuff. This is not because we are not raising him correctly, it is because he can't have his way, or we have stopped something he is not ready to stop. So for those who only believe what the medical Dr or the media says is just silly...learn from others experiences and your own. Experience is more reliable than partial studies that the science does. We still barely no anything about Autism!!!!! Just outraged..and saddened by the loss of the children and the families who have to suffer. What else could have been wrong with Adam that medical Dr's and his mother missed or did not disclose? Just saying. And of course this is strictly my experiences and my views alone.

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  3. Anarchist Soccer Mom does not say that her child is autistic. "We still don’t know what’s wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators. He’s been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work." She does not claim that her kid is autistic. She says that nobody knows. She does not seem convinced that any of these diagnoses are correct.

    She in no way "conflate[d] Autistic meltdowns with murderous rage." The conflation is what's going on in your response, not in her essay.

    We don't know what Lanza's diagnoses were. We don't know yet whether or not he was autistic IN ADDITION to whatever was wrong with him that made him do what he did. He could have been a sociopath who was autistic. He could have been a sociopath who was not autistic. Maybe he was a schizophrenic who heard voices telling him to do what he did. I have no idea, and neither does anyone else.

    Irresponsible voices in the media blaming autism for Lanza's crimes are the proper target of rage. Hers is not one.

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  4. This is disgusting. For one mother to selfishly and aggressively attack another mother who is laying out her soul in an effort to ask for help for the mentally ill...I just don't know what to say in response to this really. You should be ashamed of yourself and YOU need to apologize to everyone who deals with the mentally disabled on a daily basis. Your experience is not the experience of every person. And did you even read the essay by Ms. Long!? She never said her son is autistic. I hope like hell you are a better person and mother than this extremely selfish post makes you out to be.

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    2. I read her blog thoroughly. Unlike her and you, I am not equating my experience with hers or yours. I am saying her post, by mentioning a host of potential pathologies in a personal opinion piece about her son, and equating him with a person who killed young children is not only in need of help, but also placing her son and all those in every community whose label she threw out there at risk for retaliation. YOU need to watch your tone this is my blog therefore my house and I'll delete your comment if you go further.

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    3. why should she apologize? how did she "selfishly and aggressively" attack ms. long? is everyone who "deals with the mentally disabled" a special class? Are they exempt from any sort of scrutiny or criticism whatsoever? They are in very powerful positions. Power breeds corruption. She put her own son at risk by very publicly putting him in the same category as a mass murderer. Why are you defending her? How is the fact that Ms. Long never said her son is autistic proof that Ms. Cevik didn't read the article? Did YOU read Ms. Cevik's article? Really now. The only one, beside Ms. Long, who should apologize is you.

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    4. Let's stop pointing fingers. This is ridiculous ErikBlaine.

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    5. Also you are a dictator Kerima. You won't let anyone challenge your opinion? Way to block out any dialogue about mental illness and this article.

      And I realize the hypocrisy of my former comment. hahahhaha But seriously, I am sickened by your assumptions and what you took from Ms. Long's article.

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    6. Mononokehope -- did YOU read the part of Long's blog where she talked about how her husband had sent their son to prison for not doing his chores....years before he became violent? And how he was physically abusive with the boy?

      This is about way more than criticizing a woman who's doing her best. It's about a mother who has been complicit in her son's abuse for years, and is not seeking national pity (at his expense) when he has meltdowns after the years of abuse.

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    7. Why are you attacking a fellow mom? We have enough to rise up against without defending ourselves when we speak from the heart. Ms. Long was reaching out and begging for help. You react with hate and demands. I pray you get help with your overwhelming amount of anger.

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  5. Why should she apologize for expressing her feelings? Why do you vilify her for doing so? What are you so scared of?

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    1. We're scared of being stigmatized as violent because of what she wrote. This isn't just an Autism issue, it's a mental health issue. Sure we need services. I could use some counselling. What we don't need is neurotypical people implying that the non-neurotypicals in their lives are violent because of mental illness.

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  6. All of you attacking Kerima should be disgusted and ashamed. I'm Autistic. Wanting to stop ableism and bigotry is not the same as wanting to deny support for those of us who need it. Kerima is incredibly brave to speak out against this wave of ableism, and I applaud her for it. You should take a step back and re-examine your own prejudices.

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  7. I am not sure how Kerima is fighting ableism by vilifying another mother and her experiences and telling that mother that she HAS to apologize for sharing her private moments and concerns.
    Some kids are autistic and not dangerous and some are. I believe that's why there is a 'spectrum' in the name.

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    1. Have you read Ms. Long's blog completely you will see that her son was the victim of sustained abuse. Please read her entire blog before you comment on mine

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    2. Umm Alex, is there something special about autism that means that spectrum = violent? Some people who use computers are not dangerous and some are. Maybe that's why there's a spectrum of computer use. Since studies have shown that autistic folks are not more violent, I think you'll find the analogy holds.

      When someone publicly (and wrongly) implies that being labeled "mentally ill" predicts violence (as YOU are), I'm pretty sure that others can disagree and be kinda mad.

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  8. It's sad that even now there has to be so much hate. She bared her soul about her struggles with her son. She never equated autism with murderous rage. She gave a frank essay on her life without malice. Why you felt the need to respond with hate so soon after a tragedy is beyond me..... It's also pretty incomprehensible to blame Adam Lanza's mother with no reputable facts about why he did it and their life. So sad.

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    1. "She never equated autism with murderous rage." Not in so many words. But by saying her son was probably autistic, and then publishing his picture under the words "I am Adam Lanza's Mother", she made the very blatant statement that being probably autistic was the same thing as being Adam Lanza -- IE, a killer. This wouldn't even be viral if she hadn't attached her story to the idea that this was also Adam's story.

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  9. Kerima has been an ally and she knows all the damage the horrible things that are said to and about us can cause, if you autistic like me or if you have other disabilities or a mental illness. The problem with the first article is that the moter seems to believe that every kid who has outbursts and is also disabled will become a murderer. Including her son.
    That's what I think Kerima read the article too.
    Unless you are autistic, mentally ill, have other disabilities or are a close ally who has seen too much PTSD by talking to us, and does not want this for your own kid, you cannot really understand.
    the mother in the first article compared her child to the most hated man right now who committed a horrible act. and by saying she cannot understand her son and that she is afraid of certain things he does, she put lots of other disabled and autistic kids in the same box.
    The reasons outbursts happen vary and the article is not a cry for help. It is demonization of her son and other kids.
    She could have asked for help without evoking a murderer's name so that readers can have a possibly false picture of her son. And people who read that will have the same picture when an autistic kid melts down (because they might be in pain, for example) in public: "future murderer"

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    1. She was not demonizing her son and other kids. She equated Adam Lanza's history of lack of help for mental illness with her own child's struggle for help to show that this is a pattern in our society. She was quite clever to do this, because now thousands of people are discussing this and feeling impassioned. If she had asked for help without relating her experience to this recent case, she would not have received as much publicity so quickly, and this discussion has to start now (it should have started a long time ago).

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    2. Yes, they're feeling impassioned. But not in a good way. Because what they're discussing isn't how to help a victim (this boy) but how to stop a killer.

      Imagine if she'd said "I am Hitler's Mother" and then posted a picture of an mentally disabled person. Would you consider that to be a call to help the mentally ill or a call to stigmatize them? It's basically the same thing. We have no evidence that Adam's mother repeatedly sought out help and didn't get it. All we know about Adam is that he's a mass killer. And she doesn't say "My son is suffering and no one will help him." She says "I'm afraid of my son."

      This isn't about helping children like "Michael." It's about scapegoating them.

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    3. What history of lack of help for mental illness? Where has that been reported?

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    4. It would have been better if Liza Long had clarified that she can *identify* with Adam Lanza's mother in one respect. There's this parallel: she has experience with surprisingly intense violence in her son, and her worst nightmare -- his erupting in extreme violence -- is one that she is not sure she can forestall.

      It's sad that in trying to give a human face to one demonized population (parents of pathologically violent youth), she risked associating her son's violence with mental illness as such.

      Then again, if she had argued only for a better social safety net for *violent* mental illnesses, that would be a terrible message too. So, there was some wisdom in saying that mental health, as such, needs more reflection and attention...

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  10. I am the mother of a child with ASD, and the sister of someone with severe mental illness and cognitive impairment. Ms. Long simply shared with readers the very real experience of living with someone with severe mental illness. She did not vilify anyone. She shared. She attempted to start a dialogue of about the need for services and support, and she deserves our applause for being open and honest about her fears and struggles rather than keeping them to herself.

    Her point is clear: What is missing from this post-Sandy Brook world is dialogue. Our experiences as parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles are unique. No one person speaks for all of us, including Ms. Long or Mrs. Cevik. What we need is to start speaking and listening to one another to come up with solutions to a broken system that allowed this massacre to happen in the first place, regardless of the perpetrator's diagnosis.

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  11. I don't understand. She never said her child is autistic. In fact, the original author wrote: "We still don’t know what’s wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around "

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  12. If you read further into this woman's blog, it turns out that two years ago--before the boy started having these violent ideations--his abusive father had him sent the little 11 year old to prison 4 times for refusing to clean his room.... and that he was repeatedly abused by his father while his mother tried to continue encouraging joint custody.

    Go back 2 years on her blog and it's full of little snippets about this abuse and the fact that she is participating in it rather than stopping it (e.g., threatening to send him back to prison when he "pokes' his brother in the car, which is normal 11 year old behavior). When you take a child and make them believe they're a criminal (sending them to prison and institutional schools) for ordinary behavior, guess what--it leads to increased violence and emotional outrage.

    And yet she's using this as a national speaking podium to convince America that people with Autism Spectrum disorder are innately dangerous? By claiming that being the mother of the next Adam Lanza, just because she's the mother of an autistic spectrum child, she's painting all people on the spectrum with the same brush: we're potential murderers, we're inherently dangerous.

    In the end, I think she may be touching on a truth when she says "I am Adam Lanza's Mother" -- but not because her son is an autistic kid or the next Adam, but because like Adam's mother she is perpetuating abuse and violence. The vast majority of autistic spectrum people never hurt anyone -- in fact, they're more likely to be genius mathematicians than murderers-- but in cases where they do, take a close look and you'll see abuse, bullying, and violence against them at the root of it.

    This is in no way to excuse Adam Lanza. A child can't free himself from a n abusive situation, but a 20 year old can. Adam needed to find a better way, obviously. But let's not let his evil turn us into him and encourage us to turn against the vulnerable children in our midst by persecuting autistic children or encouraging abuse perpetrators and enablers like this woman.

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    1. I think you are missing the point. Have you ever lived with someone with a psychotic disorder? Have you had a psychiatrist (or ten) tell you that aren't strict enough with your child? Many of us will try anything, even against our better judgement, in an effort to help our children.

      Ms. Long is seeking to start a conversation. She NEVER said her child was autistic. She said she doesn't know what the issue is causing her son's mental illness. She did say she is seeking help for him, and that there is no system in place to find that help. The lack of a support system is the issue at hand.

      It is time to stop being so defensive and over-reacting, especially when putting words into someone else's mouth (or blog as the case may be). It is time to have a conversation.

      No one is blaming people with ASD. No one is accusing people with ASD of being a source of violence. You know who's doing that? We are. The Autism community. Yes, it is the Autism community that is creating a problem and a controversy where there is none. We need to cut it out and focus on creating a healthy way to help ALL children and adults struggling with mental illness (regardless of their ASD diagnosis or lack thereof).

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    2. ASD is a neurological disorder, a different wiring of the brain not a mental health concern. The title of the Article begins by equate herself with the mother of an Autistic mass murderer. Go and read Ms. Long's blog posts and you will find a very disturbing history of suffering on the part of her son. I am quite familiar with caring for loved one with severe mental health challenges and pathological aggression. So again, I stand by my post on my blog.

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    3. Thank you for posting this! It is a neurological disorder, not a mental health illness!

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    4. I'm sorry, but being abusive does not count as "trying anything to help." Her own blog acknowledges that her husband was physically abusive while she encouraged shared custody, and that he attempted to control and silence the boy by locking him up in prison... BEFORE he started having violent ideation. The fact that a child can be pushed to violence by abuse does not in any way justify that abuse.

      And there is no way in which posting your child's photograph under the words "I am Adam Lanza's mother" can be seen as beneficial to that child (who is a real human being who will have to live that down for the rest of his life)

      She said her son might be autistic, or might have one of another set of disorders. The exact diagnoses doesn't matter. What matters is that she saying that just because he had a meltdown when she took away his electronics, he should be seen as the next Adam Lanza ... and in the process she was seeking social validation of her and her husband's mistreatment of him. And she's received it, in spades.

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  13. this is what she said ...We still don’t know what’s wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators. He’s been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work.
    She never claimed that autism is to blame. I think you may just be overreacting.

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    1. http://sarahkendzior.com/2012/12/16/want-the-truth-behind-i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-read-her-blog/

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    2. Seriously? this sounds like exasperation from a worn out mother of difficult children. I'm sure you've said or thought some things that if shouted at a jury would sound just as vilifying. Weve all been there, everyone understands that its just frustration talking. Parents arent killing their children (I hope), this isnt new. If more parents acted on the things they say in frustration there would be a lot fewer children alive today. As someone who loves someone with Autism (a lot of someones, actually) I understand your knee-jerk reaction, but bitter condemnation isnt the way. Thats not what helped my brother and this isnt whats going to help your son either. If you disagree with me feel free to bitterly lash out or delete my post. But you know Im right. Send my love to your son. Hugs and Smiles.

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    3. Actually, parents of children with Autism, mental illnesses, and other disabilities ARE killing their children, and even if they weren't, this trend of parents talking about these children as if they are burdens, and talking about their "fantasies" about killing or abandoning their children is NOT OKAY. Even if one of these children never found the blog posts or stumbled onto any of these writings, do you really think feelings like this don't have an effect on how the person parents? Even if you don't take into account those things, you know that reading this has an effect on other people on the internet who may be non-neurotypical, right? You know we use computers and stuff sometimes, right?

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    4. Youre right. No one should ever say anything mean to anybody ever. That would be nice, wouldnt it? Unfortunately the fact still stands that there is no legal qualification one needs to become a parent even though there should be some kind of standard. For the child's sake, some people should simply not be allowed to be parents. And then there's reality. People mistreat others, say things they later regret,etc. This is the human condition. So instead of venting about other people venting on the internet, why dont you do something about it? Change comes from person at a time. I think Ill smile more today. What will you do?

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    5. Thank you. As a person with mental illness I find it really tiring to read again and again that anything Liza Long says in public about her kid is OK because she suffers so much from a child with mental health issues. Well, it's not so fun to BE a child with mental health issues either, and I expect it's even less fun when your mother is comparing you to mass murderers on the Internet and in several international newspapers.

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  14. I read the original blog as being written by a mother frightened by a child increasingly violent and out-of-control. She is identifying with the mothers of these other killers. She is afraid that she will be joining them.
    I'm not familiar with the history of her blog; however, I didn't take anything regarding autism from the piece. I don't recall autism being mentioned in reference to any of the other young men who killed so horribly...and she doesn't discuss autism as a diagnosis for her son or Adam Lanza.
    I think any anger should directed toward media continuing to report that Adam Lanza's issues stem from autism when nothing about his health has been confirmed. I'm no expert on autism but think sociopathy (which is certainly a personality disorder!) would be more realistic explanation than autism.

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  15. Thank you. Someone needed to criticize that god awful article.

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  16. I think, regardless of her son's true diagnosis, titling the original article as such and putting ASD in the mix, was irresponsible and inflammatory. I applaud you for writing this.

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  17. I hope you all understand that this deep tragedy has nothing to do with mental Illness. There are thousands of mental patients that do not kill. Sure they are some argument that there is no relation.

    We do not know why this has happened but we do know how this happened. And I can tell you that in China, the same thing happened on the same day. This man wanted to Hurt children, and he did. But because of the strict gun control protocol in China.

    No child was killed that day.

    You have to stop using guns. Only very dangerous third world countries exceed your deathrate by guns. All countries were guns are illiegal the deathrate is nothing compares to the US. Europe, Australia, and many many countries were guns are illegal it is all so clear.

    You need to get rid of all these guns. There has been enough killing in your country.

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  18. The mother of that 'other' blog is not a caring soul reaching out for help. One only has to read her other blog posts - the detrimental way she speaks about everyone in her life to see that she uses her children to gain pity Further, no caring parent throws her kid under the bus like that - putting out very personal psychological information about her Teenager??? It makes me wonder if any of it's even remotely true.

    Her blog went viral. That was not a fluke. This was contrived. She is using the tragedy to promote herself. She's been interviewed and will be on the news some more. Make no mistake. This was not her plea for better mental health care. Her son isn't even diagnosed according to her story - something that raised pretty big red flags. If he's been an inpatient like she claims, he'd be diagnosed.

    This is simply another media whore out to catch the spotlight.

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  19. Ok, seriously!! The woman who wrote the blog is seriously Misunderstood!! I am autistic and have 2 children who are autistic.. She only wanted to help people understand that she needs help in getting what her son needs.. it is her cry as she is afraid of her son becoming a person responsible for a doing a horrific crime one day that might just can be prevented.. People, please,.. I do not think she is using this horrible tragedy to put herself in the limelight..She is a misunderstood mother and she is looking for help for a son she loves. So in getting him help to diagnose whatever exactly is his mental disorder, and getting him the right treatment, it just may prevent him from becoming her worst nightmare.

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  20. I don't believe the author of the article in question intended to offend anyone with autistic children. She was just trying to shed some light on a huge topic by sharing her personal experience. I get how it's a touchy subject for parents of children with autism. My daughter has a diagnosis of ADHD and ASD, however, I was do not feel that she owes me an apology. The fact that you advocate for the autism community tells me that your heart is in the right place. Maybe there was a miscommunication somewhere? The article is a post from her blog (The Anarchist Soccer Mom) and was originally titled "Thinking the Unthinkable". It was republished by The Blue Review with the name 'I am Adam Lanza's Mother'. What happened to all those innocent adults and children is heartbreaking. I think the change of title was a way to get people's attention as a means to try and prevent another tragedy from happening. Unfortunately, we cannot predict what each individual will do, sane or insane. I was wondering, where you got the information? How did you find out that Lanza's mother used to take him to the shooting range... etc.?

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  21. I like how most of the people defending the article claim to have authority because they have a child or family member who is autistic. You know that most of the people complaining about the article are actually on the spectrum themselves, or are non-neurotypical in some way, right? Have any of you stopped to think about that before posting? Do you think you know more than us? Do you think your feelings about the article and the surrounding issues are more important than ours? Why do you think there is such a disparity between our comments and yours? I'm just curious.

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  22. I stand by my post. For information on her hobby and her son please see the 60 minutes piece on the shooting, as well as ABC's coverage and interview with her friends. She also homeschooled him, as she was retired and comfortable financially.

    Lisa you are missing my point. It is harmful for Ms. Long to potentially destroy her son's privacy by her online actions. Every label used in her article also brings harm to nonviolent members of the communities who carry those labels. Children will go to school on Monday. And those students with Autism, ADHD, or any mental health concern, will be further harmed and sustain more isolation, bullying, and maltreatment by teachers and staff terrified they might harm their classmates. Misinformation and stereotypes are dangerous. There is a time and place for everything. And the internet is not a parent support group. This is the time to mourn the lives of children gunned downed before their time. Her article is part of a tide of negative press glorifying the killer, driving the cases of catastrophic encounters between Autistic wandering young adults and Law Enforcement to increase and more special needs young people will die because a culture of fear is being promoted. There is a stereotype that presents Black males as aggressive and dangerous. My brother is a Black male. Should he be isolated, feared, and mistreated because this stereotype is promoted? He is a law abiding medical professional and should not suffer abuse if some other individual who happens to share our race, commits a horrific crime. She is a parent and should protect her son and seek help in appropriate ways if she cannot manage his care. The internet is not the place to reveal private health information about your child or discuss his challenges. He can easily read what she posts. You don't have to agree with me. Unless you see the damage that posts like Ms. Long's wreak on children and adults, you cannot understand. You cannot undo that kind of harm.

    Unless Ms. Long has seen the harm children in institutions come to she should not speak causally of dropping her son off at a mental health facility and calling out for police on top of that. But that is another topic. People who are victimized anyway are at serious risk for further harm such that they cannot go about their daily lives safely. That is wrong.

    I want to thank everyone for commenting. I read everything and appreciate your input. Be kind to one another.

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    1. A 60 minutes piece and ABC News is where you're getting your tidbits to make all these grandiose assumptions? Think about that.

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  23. Dear Kerima - THANK YOU for your post!

    Even in the (less than) 24 hours since Ms. Long's blog post has gone viral, I have found myself having to defend my autistic brother against more and more sudden outbursts of bigotry and hatred. I'm sickened and highly disturbed by those and thank God that he isn't one for using the internet too often.

    To those who still defend Ms. Long and her actions with her son "Michael", PLEASE go read some of her other blog posts. In them you will find CONSTANT threats of violence and violent fantasies directed at all three of her children. If you do not wish to go digging, this is a very good summary:
    http://sarahkendzior.com/2012/12/16/want-the-truth-behind-i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-read-her-blog/

    As much as many people do not want to believe it, Ms. Long is indeed just trying to grab attention in the wake of a horrible tragedy. She is the one that needs mental help, not her potentially abused son.

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  24. You are making a lot of assumptions about Adam Lanza's mother. Did you live in her home? Did you see what her son was like so that you could have something to base all of your assumptions of her being a horrible, irresponsible parent? I think not. Not one of us knows and you're using this to base an attack on a mother who is crying out for help?!


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  25. Being a person with mental illness, I find the rebuttal to Anarchist Soccer Mom to be both triggering and unnecessarily insulting toward co-survivors and those with mental illness. I was left with the impression that people with mental illness will be further stigmatized because of your contribution to society. What you have explained to me is that autism is somehow above mental illness. Is it not true that some autistic people experience mental illness too?

    The reactionary idea that autistic people will now be persecuted with restraints and such is so over top!! Hate to break it to you, but people with mental illness have been regularly mistreated by those ways by the mental health community. We are incarcerated, homeless, abused by mental health workers, abused by other mental health patients, misdiagnosed, forced into compliance by the use of restraints and excessively medicated. Truthfully, I would have a lot more solidarity with you if you demonstrated a more tangible degree of respect toward mentally ill folk while defending the autistic community. It could have actually worked out well for us to join forces.

    So you don't want a cruel fate to fall upon your son, an autistic child who has been described as having the disposition of a Buddhist monk, well join the club! Mentally ill folk are equally virtuous and yet we are often misunderstood and feared to the point where autistic folks don't want to even be associated with us because they buy into the stereotypes and myths of the mentally ill. I realize that autism is not a mental illness and you have made it clear that autistic people don't want to be mistaken as having a mental illness.

    Does that demonstrate compassion and solidarity with the mentally ill with regard to stigma? Not really. I am not impressed and I think that while everyone deserves their time on the soapbox (including myself) that this rebuttal reads more like a rabid pro gun control and extreme autism awareness rant than serving the purpose of contributing positively to the public discourse on stigma and the contributing causes violent crime.

    Furthermore, the venomous way in which you have judged and criticized a deceased killers mother is both stigmatizing and ignorant. Ive interpreted that you believe that you are also a far more superior parent based on premature information that has been leaked by the media before a formal criminal investigation has been completed. We don't have access to Adam Lanza’s treatment records to know exactly what he had and how that was being managed. So what we know from what little has been gleaned from his closest family members is that he may be autistic and have a personality disorder. From what I read, Anarchist Soccer Mom admitted that there were a variety of diagnoses that were brought to the table as possibilities and wasn't discussing autism specifically.

    Lastly,though members and co-survivors of the autistic community find solace in your dogmatic words, please know that you have sincerely offended a member of the mentally ill community and created further complications to what could be a very important discussion on stigma. Don't think that you're above the disgusting practice of attention grabbing- by writing such an insensitive and inflammatory statement you have left me with the impression that it may do you justice to consider getting a mental health evaluation yourself. Thanks again for tooting the autism horn! I appreciate what you have done to polarize and divide stigmatized communities on this very important issue.

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  27. Both of these "open letters to society" make valid points, from differing points of view. However, Ms. Long was simply trying to find a way to empathize and say something of value in the face of one of the most horrific events in our country's history. Ms. Cevik, I suspect you both have similar good intentions in making your statements, but you could have made yours without "bitch-slapping" Ms. Long in yours. You've probably hurt the feelings of someone who said something that made sense to a large number of people. Just because you have a different take on this epic tragedy doesn't call for that. You're perpetuating an anger, which is what eventually grows into another senseless tragedy. You should retract this statement, apologize to Ms. Long, and make your own point without putting down someone else's.

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  28. "i've read a handful of the comments (AND both essays) and I think that both women have a valid point. One is saying that because of a lack of intelligent answers she fears for others, the other says that when she read it it hurt her and minimized her struggle. neither woman should apologize, and both women should be held in high esteem. both women put others before themselves (either by taking your own child, the soul that you love as your whole heart, to a mental hospital, or by putting a beautiful child's feelings and thoughts as your first priority) and are eloquent and heart felt. i empathize with one woman and i feel the other" (a comment on my personal FB)

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  29. It's super great for you that your autistic child is so sweet. However, MY autistic child has kicked the principal and thrown a stapler and slapped his aide recently. My friend's autistic child has tried to strangle her and has come at her with kitchen shears in the last few weeks.

    It's not all cake and sunshine and roses for all of us here. There are those of that DO live in fear of what their kid is capable of. And even though I doubt her kid is ASD, I appreciate the spotlight being thrown on how very DAMN LITTLE is being done to help people with these issues.

    I haven't seen anyone coming for my son with pitchforks ready, btw. I think the above posters suggestion for a mental health eval for YOU is spot on.

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