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The Boston Globe

Metro

Advocates dismiss link of violence with autism

Unconfirmed news reports after the Connecticut school shooting that gunman Adam Lanza had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of ­autism, have prompted strongly worded statements from autism advocacy groups that the developmental disorder was not associated with “planned violence.”

Psychologists who treat people with ­autism point out that premeditated violence toward others is not one of the traits associated with the disorder in the psychiatric diagnostic manual. While some individuals may thrash out violently when feeling emotionally overwhelmed — usually those at the extreme end of the autism spectrum — there is no evidence linking the condition to the type of forethought ­required to pack guns into a car, shoot through the entrance of a locked school, and methodically gun down tiny strangers in pigtails and baseball caps.

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