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Experts: Don’t Blame Asperger’s For Newtown

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Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza.

Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza.

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - There’s has been much talk about what impact, if any, the Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza’s reported Asperger’s Syndrome had on his violent action.

CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jonathan LaPook has been following this development.

“Asperger’s is a mild form of autism which is a condition that affects about 1 in 88 children in America,” he explains. “With autism, kids have problems with communication and social interaction; with Asperger’s they tend to be kind of quirky, they can be obsessed with single subjects. But they tend to be very highly functional.”

And, he stresses, not violent.

“I asked around the world today to find out, is there a link between violence and Asperger’s and the short answer is ‘no.’ There’s really not a lot of studies out there but right now there’s no evidence that suggests that people who have Asperger’s are more likely than anybody else to commit homicide, violence, or any other problem like that.”

And both Asperger’s and autism, LaPook stressed, are not forms of mental illness. They are neurodevelopmental disorders or disabilities.

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