Turtlemama, I hear your pain, and I appreciate that you are lashing out in defense of your child, for fear that he and others like him will be painted with the same brush as a mass murderer. This is a safe place for you, and no one here thinks that way. If anything, it makes me and many others here make a point of covering you and your boy in prayer.
I don't think that acknowledging that the killer was reported to have Asperger's Syndrome and exploring how that condition was one of many factors that led to this horrific tragedy makes anyone here cruel or ignorant. Nothing will change the fact that people with mental and/or developmental disorders are not immune from violent behavior, and have limitations that may make it more difficult for them to behave appropriately for those that develop mental illness on top of a developmental disorder.
This is the fact sheet on Asperger's from the NIH web ste:
Snippet, emphasis added:
Asperger syndrome (AS) is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), one of a distinct group of complex neurodevelopment disorders characterized by social impairment, communication difficulties, and restrictive, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Other ASDs include autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS). ASDs are considered neurodevelopmental disorders and are present from infancy or early childhood. Although early diagnosis using standardized screening by age 2 is the goal, many with ASD are not detected until later because of limited social demands and support from parents and caregivers in early life.
The severity of communication and behavioral deficits, and the degree of disability, is variable in those affected by ASD. Some individuals with ASD are severely disabled and require very substantial support for basic activities of daily living. Asperger syndrome is considered by many to be the mildest form of ASD and is synonymous with the most highly functioning individuals with ASD.
Two core features of autism are: a) social and communication deficits and fixated interests and repetitive behaviors. The social communication deficits in highly functioning persons with Asperger syndrome include lack of the normal back and forth conversation; lack of typical eye contact, body language, and facial expression; and trouble maintaining relationships. Fixated interests and repetitive behaviors include repetitive use of objects or phrases, stereotyped movements, and excessive attachment to routines, objects, or interests. Persons with ASD may also respond to sensory aspects of their environment with unusual indifference or excessive interest.
The prevalence of AS is not well established. It is often not recognized before age 5 or 6 because language development is normal. Although ASD varies significantly in character and severity, it occurs in all ethnic and socioeconomic groups and affects every age group. Experts estimate that as many as 1 in 88 children age 8 will have an autism spectrum disorder1 No studies have yet been conducted to determine the incidence of Asperger syndrome in adult populations, but studies of children with the disorder suggest that their problems with socialization and communication continue into adulthood. Some of these children develop additional psychiatric symptoms and disorders in adolescence and adulthood. Males are four times more likely than girls to have ASD.
Studies of children with Asperger syndrome suggest that their problems with socialization and communication continue into adulthood. Some of these children develop additional psychiatric symptoms and disorders in adolescence and adulthood.