Fran Templeton’s Response to Michelle Garcia Winners’ Blog Post “Sandy Hook Elementary: A Spectrum Perspective”

I am shocked and dismayed to see Michelle Garcia Winner’s Blog make an association between Asperger Syndrome and violence.

In her January 14, 2013 blog she wrote:

“I think there may be an association among the social mind of some people with AS, their perception of themselves in the world, and their lashing out with rage, violence, murder and suicide.”

While I provide Social Thinking® Therapy for many students each week and appreciate the approach developed by Michelle, I absolutely DO NOT agree with the above statement. 

I am the mother of an adult with AS and have also worked with literally hundreds of children and adults with AS.  I have witnessed the continual misunderstanding and mistreatment that persons with AS must live with each day and I have witnessed the frustration felt by my son and other students with which I have worked and I have also witnessed the DAMAGE this mistreatment and misunderstanding causes in persons with AS.

Let me point out, that while I have witnessed it, I have not lived it!

Let me make one thing clear, when I teach the principles of Social Thinking® I am not trying to change how persons with AS think or change who they are.  When I teach the principles of Social Thinking®, I am trying to teach persons with AS how neuro-typicals think while I attempt to really learn and understand how persons with AS think.

It is my opinion that persons on the spectrum have their own unique, valid way of viewing the world.  It is also my opinion that this way of viewing the world is sometimes quite different from how I view the world.  We must learn to live together respectfully and peacefully.

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