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There are so many things wrong with this letter that need to be addressed. I'm sure the author is a lovely person and is just looking for answers to such a horrific tragedy but this letter is a slap in the face to mental health care professionals and parents dealing with very real "problems" and "labels" as the author so eloquently called them.
Firstly, Aspergers/Autism and spectrum disorders are NOT mental illnesses. To try and link Aspergers and psychological medications is not only misinformed it further stigmatizes children suffering from these disorders. Aspergers/Autism and spectrum disorders are neuro developmental disorders that have no cure. Unlike mental illness, they do not respond to pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceuticals are sometimes used to help with specific presenting symptoms but the overwhelming majority of children on the Autism spectrum do not take pharmeceuticals. The only proven treatments for these disorders have all been non pharmaceutical.
Secondly, insinuating that these disorders along with mental illnesses are not real conditions is not only ignorant it is dangerous. It further perpetuates the reluctancy for affected individuals to seek help. People diagnosed with Mental illnesses respond extremely well to Psychiatric Pharmaceuticals.They can be a literal life line to the majority of people who take them. Psychiatric pharmaceuticals have saved more lives than they have ever taken. Thirdly, As a parent of a child on the Autistic spectrum I am offended at Ms. Keller's ignorance about Autism/Aspbergers. There is absolutely no link between these disorders and violence or criminal behavior. Perhaps instead of unfounded judgment as to why these events are occurring her time would be better spent educating herself about the very questions she is asking.
December 30, 2012 at 9:23 p.m.
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