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Cho Seung-Hui Reportedly Diagnosed With Autism as a Child

Posted Sep 12 2008 11:30am
From the first time we heard that, "he didn't talk at all and kept to himself", weall thought Asperger's, but no way was I going to say it first. My mind immediately went to the murder/suicide perpetrated by young man with Asperger's in Orange County about a year and a half ago.

It is clear that he had many additional problems, and all of us cringe at the thought of this man being any way associated with autism, but if he had autism, we need to take a good hard look at his life and learn what ever we can from it so that we can help those with autism that we care for. Was he toxic, was he bullied, did he get any appropriate interventions or support after his diagnosis at all?

His life is a cautionary tale that we all should learn from with humility.

AutismLink Reacts to Diagnosis of Autism in Virginia Tech Shooter

PITTSBURGH, April 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AutismLink and
Autism Center of Pittsburgh Director Cindy Waeltermann today issued a
statement regarding the recent revelation that Virginia Tech shooter Cho Seung-
Hui was diagnosed with autism as a child.
"While the entire autism community in Pittsburgh and across the nation are devastated by the recent events at Virginia Tech, we would like to caution the public not to stigmatize children or individuals with autism.

Cho likely did not receive the help and support that he needed early on -- that is why early intervention is so important, and that is why places like the Autism Center of Pittsburgh exist. The act of one individual should not reflect upon the entire autistic population.

It is unfair to blame Cho's actions on autism when he was clearly psychologically impaired and likely had another disorder in addition to his autism. His psychological evaluations apparently revealed a dark history that concluded that he was an imminent danger to himself and others and was also depressed.

This is a wake up call that stresses the importance of early intervention, research, and appropriate treatment strategies. Many strides have been made in autism spectrum disorders and research has consistently shown that when children receive the help that they need early on they are more likely to become more adept at social and communication skills.

Autism affects 1 in 150 children and is now the most commonly diagnosed developmental disability in the world. It is time to recognize autism for the epidemic it is."
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