I sat in my car yesterday watching the rain hit my windshield in huge droplets, one after the other, listening to the heartbreaking updates on Sandy Hook. It seemed fitting that it was raining, the drops representing the millions of tears falling across America right then for the children. I was crying too, I’d been crying all day.
I was on my way to my daughter’s pre-school holiday party. At the beginning of this day I was going to stay home and send my husband instead thinking I could get the house cleaned up. The events of Sandy Hook changed my mind. I wanted to see my baby, to hug her and tell her I loved her. It had become so clear what mattered — forget cleaning the house. On my way I drove past the elementary school where my first and third grader were. I wanted to take them out of school so I could be with them —so I could protect them. But I knew I couldn’t do either. One question was consuming me; who could do this to children?
Last night I received my answer, Adam Lanza, a twenty year old with some form of Autism, possibly Aspergers. A boy with Aspergers, like my son, and like one in 88 male children. Suddenly I went from thinking of him as an absolute monster to identifying with him and I didn’t really want to. I immediately became frightened that people may start connecting Autism and violence which would be a mistake. Because a child plays alone, is socially awkward, has quirky movements, is overly bright, has outbursts…and is declared “weird”, does not make him a killer. To live with Autism in a society that provides next to no education on special needs to other children or help for the children with the disability certainly can create problems. I hope this wasn’t the case. Autism is a spectrum disorder which means basically no two children are alike. It would be unfortunate and create more problems for all to be labeled “dangerous”.
What happened at Sandy Hook was unthinkable. I am praying for healing for all involved.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
- One Truth About Autism and the Sandy Hook Elementary Tragedy (profmomesq.wordpress.com)