Several years ago, Sarah Littman recorded a StoryCorps interview with her son Joshua in Grand Central, which we broadcast and later turned into an animation. In the wake of the unspeakable tragedy in Newtown, we received this note from Sarah:
As a parent, it’s been heartbreaking to watch the coverage of the incomprehensible shooting of innocent children and their heroic teachers in Newtown, CT. But as the parent of a wonderful young man with an Asperger’s diagnosis, watching journalists on nationwide television link Asperger’s to this crime in an attempt to find meaning has added another layer of anger, grief, and stress to this national tragedy. Last Saturday I sat down with Josh, who was going into finals week at college, and had a long discussion about what he might see on TV or online, or even from people who don’t really understand but have been mislead by the media in his real life. He knows that whatever drove that deeply troubled young man to do what he did, it wasn’t because he had a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. We want everyone else, including every journalist who is speaking to a nationwide audience and therefore should be more responsible with their words, to know this, too.
– Sarah Littman
Sarah also pointed us to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network statement.