Yesterday, 26 people lost their lives through the acts of a single person. These 26 people were children, teachers, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters. Today, their families are experiencing grief that can’t be described. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by yesterday’s tragic shooting.

This morning, many news outlets are reporting the shooter was on the autism spectrum. This has not been officially confirmed. These reports imply that autism might have had an impact on the person’s mindset leading to the shootings.

There is absolutely no evidence or any reliable research that suggests a linkage between autism and planned violence. To imply or suggest that some linkage exists is wrong and is harmful to more than 1.5 million law abiding, non-violent and wonderful individuals who live with autism each day. Stereotyping an entire group of individuals because of the actions of one individual is wrong and unacceptable.

Please do not judge any individual with autism based on what is being said about a killer of innocent children and teachers. Rather, our nation’s attention must be focused on being there for the children and teachers whose lives were lost yesterday.

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