Health & Family

On the first day back to school after 20 first-graders and six adults died at a Connecticut elementary school, students at a Utah middle school gathered to discuss the massacre. A boy raised his hand. “The reason why this man shot little kids is because he has autism,” he said.

Tricia Nelson’s seventh-grade son was at the assembly. He’s shy, not the kind of child apt to speak in public, but his hand darted up in response. “Autism doesn’t make people shoot other people,” he said.

At 12, Nelson’s son is somewhat of an expert on autism. His younger brother, who is 10, has a severe form of the neurodevelopmental disorder. He doesn’t speak, and he attends a school for special needs. But he is not violent, said his older brother; he would not kill anyone.

Amid unconfirmed media reports that alleged gunman Adam Lanza, 20, had Asperger’s…

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