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Adam Lanza - psychological aspects ignored

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User ID: 29972645
12/21/2012 08:43 PM
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Adam Lanza - psychological aspects ignored
I read a lot of posts and it seems a lot of people seem to forget (edit: or ignore) that Adam Lanza has aspergers and personality disorders.

I work with handicapped children and I have met a lot of children with aspergers. A common trait is that they are socially awkward and have one or two main "obsessions" which they know everything about.

We also once had a neighbor who had aspergers. He was in his 20's. He knew EVERYTHING about electricity, so his mom had a playhouse for him where he build his own lamps etc. He had over 150 lamps. He lived at home with his mom and went with her to the grocery store everyday and basically followed her everywhere. I've never seen her leave the apartment without bringing him with her. She would also be the only one he'd talk to. (sound familiar?)

Aspergers is a developmental disability. It's not a mental illness but pure neurological.

I wrote a list of some common traits in aspergers, to sum up:
- avoiding eyecontact.
- narrow fields of interests/specific talents (like the example with the lamps)
- insensitivity towards others
- very sensitive. (mostly aspergers children.)
- preoccupied with own agenda
- repetitive routines
- isolation
- shy
- average or high IQ
- difficulties telling right from wrong
- eccentric personality
- OCD tendencies.
- bad at reading bodylanguage
- lack of situational awareness.
- honesty/straight forwardness
- sort of "naive"; Doesn't "get" disloyalty, manipulation, revenge etc.
- easily victimized.
- hard time showing affection
- can obsess about having friends to prove they’re “normal”
- social withdrawal and general lack of interest in other people
- well formulated (sometimes formal) language.
- anxiety
- deals with emotions alone.
- tantrums, meltdowns
- lack the ability to grasp action vs consequence
example, If you yell at a child with Aspergers if they did something wrong they will simply not "get it". To them this will be two completely separate occasions, and they will just feel bullied and confused.

quotations from the media on Adam Lanza's behavior and patterns:

“Sometimes he would isolate himself, things like that,’’ Adriani said. “She was very conscious of how she would react to him.
For an example, one time he was ill, and he just didn’t want her in the room, so she stayed outside of his bedroom all night on the carpet, and he periodically would say, ‘Are you there? Are you there?’ And she’d always say, ‘Yes I’m here.’
So he wanted her there to some degree, but not in his exact, immediate space.’’

“We know that he had Asperger’s. Nancy mentioned that to me several times. He was very calm, very withdrawn, much like most kids with Asperger’s are. He was typical in that regard.’’

"The hair stylist who cut Adam Lanza's hair in Newtown, Conn. says the suspect in the Connecticut shootings did not talk and avoided eye contact during visits to his shop. He only moved when his mother said it was time to leave."
[link to www.theglobeandmail.com]

"It has emerged that Lanza spent his time in the basement of the family’s four-bedroom home in Newtown playing video games, such as Call of Duty and obsessing over guns and military equipment, according to an interview in The Sun with plumber Peter Wlasuk."

"Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza was left home alone for two and a half days with his mom’s guns before Friday’s massacre, according to a new report from HLN. Nancy Lanza had only just arrived back at her home Thursday evening, following a two-night trip to Bretton Woods, New Hampshire."

"His mom, Nancy, had always instructed me to keep an eye on him at all times and never turn my back or even go to the bathroom or anything like that, which I found odd, but I really didn't ask. It wasn't any of my business, but looking back at it now, I guess maybe there was something else going on," said Kraft."

“He had Asperger’s,” Jennifer says, confirming media reports. After being home schooled in 7th and 8th grades, Adam took freshman classes in a portable classroom at the high school. He was 13 years old.
"He didn’t want to be around people,” Jennifer explains. “Our goal was to get him back in the building.
Adam’s mother Nancy would drop him off, then sit in the next room while Jennifer worked with him. (maybe why people thought nancy worked at the school?)
“He was very OCD. He’d clean the desk with Purell,” Jennifer remembers.
“He had a great ‘Latin mind.’ The language is very structured, and that fit well with him. He always knew the answers — but he wouldn’t say anything.
“The day he made his first joke, I almost cried.”
“He trusted me,” Jennifer says. “He started talking — that was a big thing. And he looked at me, with big eyes.” They were not the same eyes, she says, that the world has seen in “that horrible picture.”

“Nancy told me he was burning himself with a lighter. In the ankles or arms or something,” he recalled of a conversation they had about a year ago. “It was like he was trying to feel something.”

(about Nancy Lanza) “She said it was getting worse. She was having trouble reaching him.”

“He would have tantrums,” Kraft said. “They were much more than the average kid [had].” Yet he was not prone to violence, Kraft said.

"He said he met Lanza when both boys joined the local Boy Scout troop. At that time, he said Lanza was a big fan of Japanese culture, collecting Pokemon cards and playing the PlayStation video game Dynasty Warriors, a weapons-based animated fighting game released in the late 1990s"

"The mother of Connecticut school shooter Adam Lanza told a divorce mediator in 2009 that she didn't like to leave him alone and that she would care for him as long as he needed it."

“Adam learned how to shoot a rifle by the time he was 9 years old,” said the friend, who added that he never met the disturbed kid. “They would go to the range.”

"Adam Lanza caused so much concern because of his social awkwardness at high school that he was assigned a psychologist, according to a former school official."

"The aunt of Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza said the shooter's mother pulled him out of Newtown's public school system because she was unhappy with the school district's plans for her son."
(some sources claim he graduated three years early, I don't know.)

"Ms. Lanza’s sister-in-law Marsha Lanza, who lives in Illinois, said Adam Lanza had been home-schooled for a time because his mother was not “satisfied with the school.”

“From what I’ve been told, Adam was aware of her petitioning the court for conservatorship and [her] plans to have him committed,” 25-year-old Joshua Flashman told Fox News.

"Former classmate reveals school gunman had 'online devil worshiping page"

And here's the "facts"/what the media have told us
- In 2006 the brother Ryan Lanza went to Quinnipiac University and left adam and his parents
- he left from Newtown High School in 2010 (3 years early)
- his parents got divorced late 2009.(divorce described as "irretrievably")
- he havent spoken to his brother for a couple of years. (violating his structure and routine grately)
- his father move away too and leave all rights to nancy.
- his mom was planning on having him "commited" or going to a special school and move away.
- there was an argument with four school staffers thursday.
- nancy was in New Hampshire until Thursday evening (13th) Adam home alone
- he shot his mom, in the head as the first.
- he smashed his harddrive
- he used his brothers ID.
- he was on illoperidone
- he wanted to be in the military.

I don't think this massacre happened because he suffers different disorders, but I think it does have a greater impact than people realize.
But that doesn't mean I think it was just a cry for help of some sort, I do believe this was well thought through, after all he have been described as "a genius".
I'm not saying this can't be a conspiracy.

All I know is that he was very troubled, developmental disordered, on drugs and obsessed with weapons and violence. And also that he possibly was on psychoactive drugs that has frequent violent behavior listed as a symptom.
This have to be considered before we just assume he has been abducted or that all of the victims are actors rant

Last Edited by Gry on 12/22/2012 07:00 AM
Anonymous Coward
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12/22/2012 08:29 AM
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Re: Adam Lanza - psychological aspects ignored
I'd really like to know what was actually wrong with him.

The variety of symptoms described by different people-he's everything from catatonic to a genius. No consistancy.

And he looks funny. That jaw.
Gry (OP)

User ID: 31156665
12/30/2012 02:41 PM
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Re: Adam Lanza - psychological aspects ignored
I'd really like to know what was actually wrong with him.

The variety of symptoms described by different people-he's everything from catatonic to a genius. No consistancy.

And he looks funny. That jaw.
 Quoting: zenobiaphobia

Yeah I think the theory that he's a genious is based on the fact that people with aspergers (often) have a higher fluid intelligence.
User ID: 1430445
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12/30/2012 02:52 PM
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Re: Adam Lanza - psychological aspects ignored
He belonged to... The Adams Fa-mi-ly.
Anonymous Coward
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12/30/2012 10:16 PM
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Re: Adam Lanza - psychological aspects ignored
OP, your analysis actually shows to what degree it's unlikely that he could commit such an atrocious crime.

One of the people describes him
"he didn't like to be around the people"

You bring up several Asperger syndrome characteristics:

- repetitive routines
- isolation
- shy
- social withdrawal and general lack of interest in other people

As far as barber story, I know at least one teenager that behaved exactly the same way, though he wasn't diagnosed with Asperger syndrome or autism and he was completely normal, only a little shy.

Now back to the point. Typical for people with Asperger syndrome, as you yourself wrote, is lack of interest in other people. They are completely fine with spending 10-15 hours in from of computer and not communicating with anyone. That makes them btw excellent in any discipline that demands such a dedication. Anyway they usually don't feel that they miss anything. There is no frustration because someone didn't invite me to a party. A party for them is a rather terrifying experience better to be avoided.

Only if Adam was psychotic on top of his Asperger syndrome there would be a SLIGHT chance that he will make something bad like killing himself or his mother. That he could snap. But even in case he was psychotic it's highly unlikely that he would suddenly overcome his Aspergers limitations and pull himself out of safe routine to do something demanding exposure and dealing with unexpected. Think for a moment, if you would want to do some shooting to what degree it is uncertain how the situation will reveal itself. It's basically unpredictable. Just like on a teenagers party, you never know when the police will come.

Psychosis in case of Aspergers most likely would be a host of negative symptoms of schizophrenia. So it would be even more intense withdrawal, passivity, lack of motivation and interest in other people. Living inside your own world that nobody can enter into. It's hardly a recipe for a violent outburst. It's a recipe for a wasted life and intellectual potential. People with this kind of psychosis are probably less likely to commit violence than normal people.

But we know he even wasn't psychotic. For if he was psychotic his mother wouldn't leave him alone for few days with only meals to warm up.
Anonymous Coward
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12/31/2012 08:25 PM
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Re: Adam Lanza - psychological aspects ignored
Previous poster makes a lot of sense.