What a child with Asperger’s and her sibling would like you to know…

Yesterday I posted this on Facebook:

“There are reports coming out that the CT school shooter had Asperger’s. Please on behalf of my sweet girl and others like her, PLEASE correct and stand up to any ignorance you see on this. My child with Asperger’s would rather die herself than harm another soul.”

We told the kids about the shootings yesterday. They were obviously sad about it and had a lot of questions, most of them pertaining to their own safety, which is pretty normal for kids.

Today we talked with Riley (12) and Seth (10) about the shooter allegedly being diagnosed with Asperger’s. Riley immediately felt fear that people would think every person with Asperger’s was bad. Seth says he felt scared for Riley.

This is what Riley would like you to know:

“Note to everybody, I am not a bad person. Just because that man with Asperger’s shot those people doesn’t mean that I’m bad. Just like when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor everyone thought every Asian person was bad but they’re not. Consider what my mom said about this, and it’s true that I would rather die than hurt somebody.”

Seth says,

“Not all people with Asperger’s are bad, and most are really nice.  I know a lot of them that are really sweet. My sister is really nice and she would never harm anybody. I’ve never met a mean person with Asperger’s.”

We are so sorry for all the people who lost their loved ones.


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7 Responses to What a child with Asperger’s and her sibling would like you to know…

  1. Rita says:

    Very nicely said…

  2. Gail says:

    I was thinking the same thing when I saw that post. My first thought was this does not sound like a person with Asperger’s. The people that I know with Asperger’s may have some impulse control issues but they also tend to have a very strong moral code as well. I read Look Me in the Eye which explains so well that sometimes people with Asperger’s don’t care and they have trouble showing that they care but that perception does not match the reality of their feelings. Please tell your Riley from me that whether or not the shooter was ever diagnosed with Asperger’s, Asperger’s is not why he did what he did. I shared this post on FB.

  3. Carrie Link says:


    I love how she tied it to people’s over-generalizing such as Pearl Harbor. These back-to-back tragedies have swept me at the knees. Thank you for picking up the fight to correct the misconceptions and bad information.

  4. MaryE says:

    People will not think that dear. Most people will understand that the boy who did this was disturbed for other reasons. Thank you for standing up for your sister! I bet she is a wonderful person.

  5. Carrie, Riley had learned about Pearl Harbor earlier this month in school. She made that connection entirely on her own.

  6. Howard Sobel says:

    Riley and Seth: I was happy to just read your wise and articulate understanding of the types of mistakes some adults and children make in describing their world. You are both very smart and kind young people, each with unique talents and personalities. I have always enjoyed my conversations with you. Your mom and dad are also very special people. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  7. Meg says:

    Wise souls in that home of yours, Michelle; wise souls.

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