Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A new perspective on Amanda Knox?

Amanda Knox has been all over the news in the past few days since she was acquitted on murder charges in Italy. I read an article yesterday that I couldn’t stop thinking about. Written several months ago and prior to all of the latest breaking news in her case, the author ponders the possibility that Amanda might have Asperger Syndrome, a high-functioning form of Autism.

The author of the article takes you through the journey of some of Amanda’s less socially appropriate behavior and analyzes it with the filter of Aspergers. Some of the points made are compelling, but obviously it is not possible to draw a conclusion since she has not been professionally evaluated for such a diagnosis.
Now, I’m not here to discuss her guilt or innocence, so please don’t start yelling at your computer screen or angrily typing in the comments.
What got to me about the article were the questions raised in my mind about what Aspergers can look like for a teenager or young adult, especially one who is involved in or near a criminal act.
To be honest, the thought of how easily a high-functioning kid on the spectrum could get themselves into major, big time trouble with the law puts a nauseating knot in my stomach. There is always a scary and ever present potential for my boys and those like them to get into big trouble by complete accident, mistake, or misunderstanding.
You may recall about a month ago I shared the story of a young boy with autism who was handcuffed following a meltdown he had on a bus. Some of you reacted very strongly after reading that post.
Even now, with some things that have happened with my boys at school, I can see how easily something minor can escalate quickly. Trying to get to the core truth of an incident is like pulling teeth, and nothing is ever absolute because of the communication and processing difficulties they have in sharing pertinent information. Question marks always remain after conversations like that. I shudder to think about this in the context of a police interrogation. Dear God, I pray that we never have to experience that.
Agree or disagree with the conjecture about Amanda Knox, this article reaffirmed to me that there will always be lots of work to do to help prepare my children for a successful adulthood.
I encourage you to read the article and then comment below.     
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