A relative of Newtown, Conn. shooter Adam Lanza told investigators that Lanza had a form of autism, CNN reported on Sunday, Dec. 16, according to a law enforcement official , who spoke under the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the investigation.
Adam?s older brother, Ryan Lanza, 24, was first identified as the shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary school. Adam Lanza had Ryan?s identification on his person at the time of the shooting. Ryan Lanza was taken into custody on Friday, Dec. 14 and questioned by law enforcement officials. Ryan told investigators that not only did his younger brother Adam have a personality disorder, perhaps paranoid schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, but that Adam was autistic.
On Friday, Dec. 14 Lanza, 20, donned black fatigues and a military vest, drove to Sandy Hook Elementary school, shooting his way in and then slaughtering 26 innocent people, 20 children no older than seven-years-old, and six adults.
Authorities have offered few details about Lanza, but one of Adam?s family members, an aunt named Marsha, described him as a ?quiet nice kid? who had ?issues with learning.?
Reportedly Nancy Lanza, Adam?s mother, ?battled? with the school board at some point made the decision to home-school Adam, who is described as ?quiet, withdrawn, very, very bright.?
Risk factors for violent offending in autism spectrum disorder: a national study of hospitalized individuals.
L?ngstr?m N, Grann M, Ruchkin V, Sj?stedt G, Fazel S.
Centre for Violence Prevention, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. firstname.lastname@example.org
Little is known about risk factors for violence among individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study uses data from Swedish longitudinal registers for all 422 individuals hospitalized with autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome during 1988-2000 and compares those committing violent or sexual offenses with those who did not. Thirty-one individuals with ASD (7%) were convicted of violent nonsexual crimes and two of sexual offenses. Violent individuals with ASD are more often male and diagnosed with Asperger syndrome rather than autistic disorder. Furthermore, comorbid psychotic and substance use disorders are associated with violent offending. We conclude that violent offending in ASD is related to similar co-occurring psychopathology as previously found among violent individuals without ASD.
Although this study does not answer whether ASDs are associated with increased risk of violent offending compared with the general population, careful risk assessment and management may be indicated for some individuals with Asperger syndrome.
PMID: 18701743 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]