More Evidence Suggests Las Vegas Shooter Had Autism Spectrum Disorder

Respvblica was the first news source in the world to suggest that Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock suffered with Autism Spectrum Disorder (one form of which was formerly called Asperger Syndrome).  Now, more evidence uncovered by reporters and law enforcement authorities supports our theory.

Not only was Paddock obsessed with the numerical algorithms that helped him win big at video poker, not only was he loathe to play poker with other human beings, but he was far more limited, socially, than that.  Neighbors reported waving to him or saying hello and getting no wave or hello back.  His marriages could not be sustained.  His recent girlfriend was repeatedly jettisoned to wait outside the room for him while he gambled on machines.

Paddock was also, apparently, fascinated by guns—collecting dozens, along with thousands and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Paddock also reportedly insisted on wearing gloves at all times while driving.  He reportedly moaned to himself while attempting to sleep.

Until proven, otherwise, the leading theory, we at contend is this:  Stephen Paddock displayed the fascination with numbers, video gaming and mechanization (guns, in this case) and the discomfort with personal relationships, and emotion that is typical of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The vast, vast majority of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder are peaceful, kind individuals who are, themselves, the victims of a mental illness.  They victimize no one.  But a tiny minority of those with this disorder can become very, very violent.

Adam Lanza, the young man who fatally shot 20 children and 6 adults in Newtown, Connecticut (Sandy Hook Elementary School) apparently had Autism Spectrum Disorder. Seung Hui Cho, who killed 32 people at Virginia Tech, apparently also had Austism Spectrum Disorder.  So, too, did Jeffrey Dahmer.  One study estimated, in fact, that 28 percent of murderers who killed more than three people suffered with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Too little has been done to understand and respond to the potential internal rage that could build inside those with Autism Spectrum Disorder as they find themselves unavoidably marginalized—not able to sustain substantial employment, not able to create families and not able to enjoy or even fathom the purpose of large social gatherings.

Remember, one of the hallmarks of Autism Spectrum Disorder is a lack of human connectedness—which can also manifest itself as a lack of empathy for others.

With the apparent rise of Autism Spectrum Disorder in our population and the rise in mass shootings that seems to mirror it, we at suggest it would be wise for the National Institute of Mental Health, the Surgeon General and law enforcement agencies to collaborate on a human, sensitive, non-stigmatizing and effective program to educate mental health providers about the need to screen those with Autism Spectrum Disorder for any violent intent.

Keith Ablow, MD and Joshua Resnek

5 Comments Add yours

  1. kenjones1414 says:

    If Asberger’s is the cause of his rampage, what can be done at the societal level to head this off? It seems to me that even identifying the tendency to explode into a killing spree, as opposed to just shouting inappropriate words, having tics or other demonstrations of the syndrome needs some new tools.

  2. Matt Grimsey says:

    Speaking as an autistic – would you people please stop associating us with violence whenever there is a mass shooting in the US – it contributes to the marginalisation that you talk about in the article. I am personally not convinced that Paddock was on the spectrum so you shouldn’t be so reckless with your speculation.

  3. You sound like you have a mental illness placing a diagnoses on someone you have never met. You are catergorizing an individual into a medical diagnoses that takes many, many tests, exams and consults to achieve. Please re-think what you spew out and do not make your self sound like an idiot as you do here. I hope you lose business and patients, if you have any, and your license.

  4. Toni says:

    There is nothing in Seung Hui Cho psychological records that suggest he was on the autism spectrum. You need to stop your message of hate. You are telling autistic people that “you will always be seen as violent monsters no matter how well you act, so you might as well just kill yourself.” This is why the autistic population has a lower life expectancy. This is why we can’t sustain employment or keep up relationships, this stigma that you are promoting.

    You can’t diagnose autism just because you saw Rainman. Because really all the “evidence” sounds like that to me.

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