When I told my 12 year old ASD son that the media’s reporting of the recent Santa Barbara tragedy had spotlighted the killer as having autism, he was angry. He threw his hands up, stomped the floor, cried out in frustration.

“Why would they do that, Dad?” he asked. “Why would they make it seem as if autism can cause mass murder? As if someone like me could take the lives of other human beings?”

“I don’t know, son,” I replied.

“Do they realize they’re hurting lots of ASD people who’ve done nothing wrong? Do they understand they’re making innocent people suffer?”

“I don’t know, son.”

“And it’s no use apologizing later. Once you’ve said it, it’s out there. You can’t take it back.”

“I know, son.”

There was great truth in my boy’s words…If only they were his words.

None of this conversation, in fact, happened.

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