Friday, November 19, 2004

Asperger syndrome in the news
The case of the poisoned cake
What's not so tough to figure out is the motive - revenge! If one of the girls really does have AS, she's probably got motive aplenty (reacting to bullying and ostracism) and the whole incident reads like a young teenage girl stunt that even non-AS kids could have come up with.

The next issues are:

Was there intent to kill? I imagine not though there was obviously intent to harm (sicken) - a vicious practical joke (I don't like practical jokes anyway) that's not excusable but explainable.

Are the authorities overreacting with the charges to what's really a childish payback prank and not really 'terrorism'? Yes, probably.

Is the AS a mitigating factor? Yes, in part, but 1) people with AS know right from wrong and 2) most people with AS aren't violent nor do they use it as an excuse to get away with malicious acts. I'm afraid this case and using AS as a defence will give people wrong ideas about the problem.

The father of the girl with AS, whom I saw on the TV, is right that the girls are guilty of lesser charges such as recklessness.

Not realizing just how dangerous a stunt can be is as much part of being 12 or 13 as it is part of AS.

The worst thing I did like this when I was that age was sneak-attack a bully with Mace. Like with a lot of things, if I'd known about AS back then, chances are both that incident and what provoked it (BTW the school was cool and understood that; I got a light punishment, considering - and the bully got the same punishment) never would have happened!

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