No, Neurodivergent People Are Not More Likely to Shoot Up Schools

Content/trigger warning: discussion of mass murder, slurs (censored), violent neurotypicalism

Every time a (white) person commits mass murder, a collective thought bubble appears over the neurodivergent community, or at least over the heads of those of us with “scary” ND conditions. The thought bubble reads: “oh, shit”. (No, I’m not saying we don’t care about the victims. We do. We just also think “oh, shit”.) We plan to lay low, stay inside, and/or try to pass for neurotypical as much as possible for the next few weeks. Because we know that, despite the fact that Murderous Bastard Syndrome is not in the DSM, brains like ours will be blamed for the tragic, violent act that took place.

We dread news reports that use neurotypicalist insults and slurs—“l*natic” seemed to be a favorite for the UCSB shooter—to refer to the murderer. We hear our friends and family members repeat those words when discussing the tragedy and feel that we can no longer trust those people. We glance around us in public, thinking about strangers “Does he know? Does she? Do they? Am I safe from these people?” because someone might figure out we’re neurodivergent and we will be labeled as dangerous. But we’re not dangerous. Our brains do not predispose us to cruelty toward others.

“But Mara, what about ASPD?” you might be asking. Well, sorry, but I’m not going to throw ASPD under the bus. (Actually, no, I’m not sorry. People with ASPD are my ND siblings. Oh, and “s****path” and “p*****path” are slurs, by the way.) If a person who happens to have ASPD commits murder, they didn’t do it because they were neurodivergent, they did it because they were an evil person. A diagnosis of ASPD does not mark a person as evil. No diagnosis marks a person as evil.

In fact, most mass shooters are neurotypical, and neurodivergent people are far more likely to be the victims of neurotypicalist hate crimes than we are likely to be violent criminals. (Not-so-fun fact: the rate of sexual violence against developmentally disabled women is over 80%. Is it any wonder I’m an angry disabled bitch? No, I’m not exaggerating. I know that the prevalent neurotypicalist idea that someone has to be [slur of choice] in order to commit a violent crime dictates the opposite, so here are some more links.

Those links are about mental illness, but you may notice I have been saying “neurodivergent” and not “mentally ill” in this entry. You might be wondering why. Well, because autism is not a mental illness, and Autistic people are also subject to the neurotypicalist belief that we are more violent than allistics. After the Sandy Hook shooting, suddenly everyone and their dog wanted to know how many murders were committed by Autistic people. To my abject horror, one of my favorite TV shows, Law and Order: SVU, even ran an episode based on the UCSB shooter featuring a killer with a (terrible, unrealistic, no seriously what was the director thinking) neurodivergent affect and whose father said he was Autistic. But like mentally ill people, Autistic people are actually less likely than neurotypicals to be violent; in fact, we are more likely to be targeted for violence than the rest of the population. Here:

This was a hard entry to write. But I can’t very well have a blog about destigmatizing mental illness (and other ND conditions, considering how incredibly Autistic I am) and neglect that we’re blamed for horrific violent crimes. Why am I bringing this up now? Barron Trump.

Twitter and other social media networks are littered with jokes about how Barron Trump is Autistic and going to be the next school shooter. First of all, he’s fucking TEN. Let up on the kid. He didn’t ask to be born into that family. Second of all, there’s nothing wrong with being Autistic and implying such is incredibly ableist. Third of all, Autistic people are less likely to commit violent crimes than allistic people. I think the neurotypicalist cockcheeses making these jokes are also thinking of Barron’s boredom during political proceedings as flat or blunted affect, which is associated not just with autism but several “scary” mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, ASPD, and bipolar disorder. So I’m not concerned only about anti-Autistic neurotypicalism when it comes to this issue.

I’m tired. I’m so damn tired. I’m so sick of my brain being blamed for horrific violent crimes. It needs to stop.

I would like to acknowledge Autistic Hoya for providing many of the links used in this entry.

Carrie Fisher quote of the day: “Shame is not something I aspire to”.

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