Monday, October 3, 2016

Piece #108 - Unemployment

I had the experience of something I hadn't been a part of in nearly twenty years... unemployment. I learned something rather quickly about being unemployed is that this is more of a journey than a simple trip. Trying to make the move from the world of education to the vast universe of basically...everybody else can be rather frustrating and confusing. One of the first things I had to learn was the new jargon, for example: Lead - the person just above the regular worker but, just under the supervisor. In teaching, there is no such thing; I guess the best version I can come up with is either a coordinator or a vice-principal. Production performance - the means of how well of an output one creates within a certain time and/or quality ("quota" is another term used). In education, test scores sadly are used as a barometer for how well a teacher is performing but, there are checks and balances on how well the information is being delivered and received by the students. I really wasn't sure how I was going to fit in with the whole industrial process. I have heard that teachers have been successful in making the transition, but I'm not sure where I might fit in.

I have learned that hearing back from possible jobs can take a long time...a really long time. In education, teachers would normally apply in February and run all the way to August, but many personnel decisions are made rather quickly before the new school year starts. There have been cases where I've applied over the summer and received a new teaching job within a month or less. Right now, education is short on money all over the states and they are forced to cut as many corners a possible. When I first started, the one big thing I heard the most was they were looking for teachers with experience. Of course that was really frustrating considering how do you get experience if you can't begin somewhere? The irony is when I was trying to get a new teaching position now, however, I was too expensive...nearly 20 years, certified in Theater/Speech 7-12 and Social Studies 5-12 and now had too much experience. This whole teaching job just didn't seem fair. Here are the states I actually applied for teaching position with (Not Exaggerating...) Minnesota, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri (of course), Arkansas and I believe Texas: this wasn't one school per state, no, no, no - these were several schools across the states. I believe I had about 150 applications on file for the 2015-16 school year. NOT ONE JOB OFFER. PERIOD. In many ways it felt like a huge slap in my professional face! The reality was that I would have to look in a new direction for future employment, the world of teaching was over for me.

I thought since I was going to make the move into the cooperate circles I had to figure out where I might best fit in. I wanted to use my teaching experience and apply it to any perspective business so I decided to try the corporate training positions. When I first started the search, I thought this would be a shoe-in because what business wouldn't want a former teacher as a new trainer...made sense, or so I thought. I kept getting turned down time and time again; and I had no idea what I was doing wrong. I did figure out that businesses wanted people who already knew the system and could train people on how to be effective on the job. Since you know that I have Asperger's Syndrome I decided a really good idea was to contact my local Voc-Rehab center. If you're not sure what Vocational-Rehabilitation is, it's a federal/state funded place where they help people like myself...with a disability (could be mental or physical) either help gain a job and keep it, or go back to school to be educated for a new career. I also got in touch with several job staffing centers. Most people tend to label them as 'temp' agencies but, they do much more than simply trying to slot you into a temp job. Many agencies want to see you have a type of job you really have in mind - like being part time or full time. Most centers will give you general testing to see what skills you might have and what jobs might be best for you. In the long run, they really did try to help me, but I was not the typical kind of person they 'usually' see. I realized I needed to expand my search for any position I could do with the skills I already had - anything like management, sales, human relations, or other things an experienced teacher could do, I really had to think outside of the box. I honestly had a difficult time with the corporate arena as well because there were lots of people vying for the same jobs so the talent pool was rather broad. I believe I roughly had 100 'no thank you' letters, not including ones I still haven't heard from yet.

The two biggest enemies were depression and desperation. One of the best pieces of advice I gained through the whole job finding process was not to sound desperate. Being worried about trying to get a job can really turn off the hiring managers because a manager needs a person who is willing to work for them not because they have to but, because to want to. Pulling on the pant leg of a person will turn off anyone...just ask your significant other! You want to work for places that might seem really interesting and where you might gain some new skills and experiences. I've addressed depression in some form or another in this blog series. Nothing will drag you down more than the feeling of hopelessness. I wish I could give you a magic formula that would solve the depression problem but, lying to you would do any good. I'm a devout Christian and I've always looked to the Lord for help and comfort but, there are still times when that didn't always help. It's not that God didn't care, it's just that there are times when the Lord is working to help you but, it's not always going to be in YOUR time. I've learned (and still learning) that lesson the hard way! No matter what, you never give up. I always told myself that if I finished a job application that means there is another chance for me to get a job, but you must never stop! As I stated earlier, there are people out there whose job it is to help get you a job; you are never alone. You will need to suck it up and step out to meet with these people. Another great place to go is a job fair; it is worth the effort to go and meet the people face to face. Just make sure you pre-plan who you might want to meet at the fair and then dress really nice (professional) and have plenty of resumes in hand.

Unemployment sucks! The best part is there is something you can do about it, and like I said before just don't do it alone, get help! There are lots of people out there who want to see you succeed!

I did.

Song of Inspiration [Check it out on iTunes or Android!]:

Song: "Eye of the Storm"

Artist: Ryan Stevenson

Album: Fresh Start

Here is the official lyric video of the selected song. I have to give credit to my beautiful wife on this song!

It can be anyone of us!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Piece #107 - "Sharp Dressed Man"

I wanted to start this post by inferring that the title does not mean men alone. Since I have daughters as well, I will be addressing both sides of the human gender. [The title comes from a ZZ Tops song.] One of the main things that Jaimee and I are trying to instill in one of our twin daughters is having a sense of cleanliness. I always hear that a woman loves a 'bad boy', but I seriously thought they would love a 'stinky, smelly boy'. There is a really good reason why the saying 'Cleanliness is next to Godliness' is rather important, if there is any guy or gal out there who is still looking for that special someone then you might serious think about what I'm trying to say. Being 'Sharp Dressed' can really impress someone special and say a lot about you as a potential mate.

One thing I've actually had to learn recently is to be well dressed for an interview. Having to go a job interview isn't something I've had to do for a long time so I had to re-learn a few tricks to make myself more professional and appealing...yes - I said 'appealing'. I'm not trying to get a date with the interviewer, I'm trying to look like a person who would 'look good' in their business. For those of us who have Asperger's, I realize certain tactical clothing can be an issue. Dr. Temple Grandin only wears that cowboy button up shirts; for her, they feel the best on her skin. I will admit that I even have certain clothing that will bother me a little, but I try to find something close to the best sensation. The best example I can give is socks. I hate dress socks; it feels like I'm putting on patty hose! I've tried to find socks that are made more like sport socks, but I haven't had a lot of luck. I used to enjoy wearing neck ties, but lately I've had a hard time with buttoning to top button of my dress shirt. I feel like I'm choking to death! I've been looking for shirts with a wider top since my neck has...grown a little. The best advice I got before I had to put together my 'dress up' outfit; that was to always start with your dress shoes and match up the rest of the outfit with the shoe color.

What I going to say next may sound silly and juvenile, but I have learned being a teacher that we assume children already know how to be 'clean' and 'clean looking'...but, that in not the case. Before you put on any article of clothing there are a few things that will need to be addressed. A shower or bath; this is something that needs to happen on a regular basis. Shaving, I leave to your digression because I shave my face every other night, but that depends on the look you're going for. Brushing the teeth every day and putting on deodorant - you would be surprised at how many people don't do this! Because of my Asperger's, this is a route for me and rather helpful so I don't forget to do everything to make myself presentable. If you are married like me or have a partner in your life, there is no reason to stop keeping yourself clean and neat.

Anyone who says they have Asperger's and does not keep themselves clean because of the disorder is full of nonsense. I know that one of my twin daughters prides herself on cleanliness and I'm not too fond of dirt myself. I don't even like my finger nails growing long! I realize there can be other psychological factors that can come into play when it comes to proper hygiene. If you look at the people who are hoarders, the lack on cleanliness is blatantly obvious. This doesn't mean that hoarders all have Asperger's, but OCD has to be at least a part of the psychological issue. I have a real hard time watching those television shows that deal with this condition because I get frustrated listening to their illogical reason s to try to keep all of the junk. I believe trying to keep yourself clean gives you a better feeling about yourself, almost like a reset button. Sometimes you just have to 'wash' away the grind on the day and feel refreshed.

Song of Inspiration [Check it out on Android or iTunes!]:

Song: "Sharp Dressed Man"

Artist: ZZ Top

Album: Eliminator 

I'm going Back to the Future for this song and the video! (1983):

Monday, January 18, 2016

Piece #106 - Binging

One of the most fascinating things I have notice about the word binging has changed substantially through the years. We used to always think that binging just meant eating a lot of food or drinking a lot alcohol but now with the arrival of Netflix, VUDU and Hulu; the term binging has a whole new meaning. Of course being a person with Asperger's syndrome having been diagnosed with OCD you would think that this is something that I would have a really hard time with. The truth is I actually have a really hard time being able to sit down and do this binging that most people do when it comes to television shows. I guess at this point I need to stop for moment and define my terms in the word binging now means to literally sit through an entire series of TV shows for either a season or for whole series and watch every single episode one after the other without stopping.

Now I can say that my daughters Sarah and Christen both are very good at this binging and even some my other children are very good at binging however for some crazy reason I'm not. Here's a good example of what I'm talking about: whenever Netflix gets a television series, they don't show them once a week they drop the whole season at one time. Marvel Entertainment has partnered up with Netflix to release original material like “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones”. As much as I love the Marvel Universe, there is no way I could sit down and watch the entire season in one sitting yet many people are able to pull off this feat. I guess the best reason why I can never sit through a series is because I get too frigidity. I don't like standing still in one place for long periods of time - I would make a terrible living statue! My twin daughters, however, can easily sit through several shows if not the whole season at one time.

I find this binging rather funny since it seems like this is the 'new' craze. I see it mentioned in ads on television, movies and on regular television shows. Many times, people will intentionally wait until the entire season is over and Netflix will pick it up and that's when the people will watch it. I believe in many ways it has to do with the advertising on television. Even if people have DVR'ed the shows, they don't always like the mundane task of fast forwarding through the commercials it's just easier to watch the shows straight through without commercial interruptions. I have to admit that I have seen myself doing the exact same thing. I have recorded the entire season of “Doctor Who”, but I haven't watched a single episode yet; however, I did see all of “Jessica Jones”. The difference, “Doctor Who” has commercials and “Jessica Jones” does not. I will say that I did watch most of the episodes on the computer rather than watching anything on television. 

Like I said earlier, I do have OCD, but sitting through show after show is almost impossible for me. I do know that sitting in one position for a long period of time can be rather dangerous because if you don't move around to create blood can actually kill you. Television has definitely come a long way since I was a child. Having all of these new ways of watching television really blows my mind. I must still emphasize that physical activity is important and watching hours of television shows most of the time is not healthy for you. 

Song of Inspiration [Check it out on iTunes or Android!]:

Song: "Resuscitate"

Artist: Fireflight

Album: Innova

Here's the lyric video for the selected song:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Piece #105 - Drawing a Blank

One of my favorite Simon Pegg movie is "The World's End". In the movie, the small town that Simon's character (Gary King) grew up in has been very different since he left. The people in the town have been being replaced with robotic people which Gary's group of lads called...Blanks. The group decided the name for two reasons: 1. To make sure to identify who was human and who wasn't and 2. The fake people in the town had no personality or life in them, just hollow. Right now I feel a little like that. Not only do I feel like I have no life in me but, my mind is completely blank as well. This is a dangerous position to be in.

I'm reach out to you, the reading audience, because I have a feeling you have either been thought this phase or are still in this funk. As I write these blog entries, there have been several occasions when I have a really great idea for an entry, but getting it organized and typed on the screen can be one of the most difficult tasks in writing. I know I've mentioned in the past how those of us with Asperger's have a bad habit of forgetting things, events, names, etc. and yet we can recall so of the most unimportant stuff like movie lines or odd observations we might notice in a doctor's office that had no significance what so ever. My point is, with this in mind, drawing a blank on any particular topic can happen a lot; in this case, it's happening too often here lately to me.

The reason why I said that drawing a blank can be a dangerous is because when we (the Aspies) can't see the end of any serious problem or situation, the thoughts that run through our head can be terminal. If we have a blank moment in a situation to which we can't see a good outcome then bad things can bubble up. Even the character I introduced in the beginning of this entry, his life was supposed to be special and exciting, but ended up being nothing like he expected. Since he couldn't see anything ahead, just a blank, we find out later in the film that the great Gary King tried to end it all because of the void he felt like life was never going to get any better.

For writers, we like to call this 'blank'...writer's block. I have personally experienced this on many occasions; very recently in fact. Sometimes writer's block can last for just a few minutes, hours or stretch on into days. For me, it's been more like weeks. Having Asperger's, getting writer's block can drive me crazy!  I hope I'm turning a corner and can now move forward with what I love to do. I know like all will pass, even if it doesn't seem like it ever will. The love of the Lord really can make all the difference.

Song of Inspiration [Check it out on iTunes or Android!]:

Song: "Numb"

Artist: Tait

Album: Lose This Life

This is just the song for the selected music, no lyrics or video...sorry.

Here's a scene with Gary and the lads just beating up some BLANKS! 
[The World's End]

Monday, November 2, 2015

Piece #104 - The Royal Championship Shock Wave

As I'm writing this entry, my Kansas City Royals (baseball team) have won the 2015 World Series for the first time in 30 years! I realize as you read this it may not matter to you because when I look to see who have been reading my posts, many of you are not only from other parts of the U.S., but a lot of you are from all over the world! I can't tell you how humbling that makes me feel. The reason why I wanted to bring this topic to your attention isn't the fact that I was actually at game 7 of the World Series in 1985, or that afterwards we were the jokes of late night shows because we were awful after that, but what the win has done in general for the whole city.  

Since I'm seeing this through Asperger eyes, I've noticed a lot of 'small' things that might not mean much, but I believe have a larger impact as I write this. The parade for the team will being on Tuesday November 3, 2015 and schools are actually cancelling classes for the parade. Back in 1985, I never recall any school closing for the parade. The Kansas City Police department reported ZERO criminal incidents based on the win from the game versus the rioting that happened in San Francisco last year when they beat us in 7 games. When a news reporter was interviewing a very pregnant wife of one the Royals players (Ben Zobrist), Julianna commented by saying how amazed she was for the warm reception her whole family received from fans when her husband was traded earlier this year; like I said before...the little things.

I guess the bigger feeling is that sense of pride, and I don't mean in a sinful way, I talking about that feeling of being proud of the city, the team and the people that live here. If you think Hollywood is out, think again. Paul Rudd, Eric Stonestreet, Rob Riggle, Don Cheadle, Eddie Griffin, Jason Sudeikis are all proud Kansas Citians and HUGE Royal's fans. The media always loves to interview any one of these stars about their loyalty toward our sports teams. I believe this gives us that 'identity' that we seek, where we are a 'somebody' versus a 'nobody'. (Although, Erin Andrews really needs to brush up on her geography.) Kansas City is considered a medium market team versus that of the New York Mets which is a large market team; meaning they can shell out the big bucks for players where we have to develop our talent in the farm system.

As for the parade, because of my Asperger's I really feel unsure about going because of all of the people, but I still want to show my support. The funny part was when we won game 4 and I yelled at the television toward the Fox announcer Joe Buck because he showed a huge bias against the Royals. Of course, Joe Buck did hear anything I had to say, but from the other part of the house my wife did. I will have to admit that if Joe Buck was standing in front of me, I really doubt I would have yelled in his face all the things I said. I have to be honest and tell you that it was very difficult to watch the game so I would leave the television and follow the game on Yahoo sports until there was a moment when the Royals would start to rally and I would rejoin the game. The emotion rollercoaster of a sporting event is rather difficult to process and enjoy because of all of the unknown variables! These games would drive me crazy.

Again, if you’re not associated with the Royals or baseball in general, I understand, but I would encourage you to go online and check out all the highlights. The Mets really tried to win and should have won more games, but the Royals exposed too many of their weaknesses. You could even check out last year’s series even though we didn't win, there still was some great ball games. At least now and going into the 2016 season, the Kansas City Royals are the World Champions! 

[UPDATE: A rough estimate on the number of people that came out to the parade was 800,000 people!!!]

[UPDATE: Julianna Zobrist had her baby...ON MY BIRTHDAY!!! (Nov 6th)] 

Song of Inspiration [Check it out on iTunes or Android!]:

Song: "Let It Out"

Artist: Switchfoot

Album: Fading West

I'm sorry. There was no video or lyric video for the selected song so this is just the song with a nice picture:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Piece #103 - I.Q.

I have, in some form or fashion, addressed this topic on intelligence, but I thought I'd hit this head on. One of the big things that people with Asperger's gets tied with is having a high intelligence. I have to admit that I've had a hard time finding solid evidence on all people with Asperger's having a high intelligence. I guess this a bit of a piggy back to my earlier posting #78 No Talent Required. The difference between these two is I'm going to address the intelligence in general versus the talents from Asperger's (or Savants). 

When it comes to the topic of intelligence, I get a similar feeling like in high school when the class decides on 'the most successful' label. I say this because I've always questioned what is successful? In turn I would also ask in the same breath what is intelligent? Testing the intelligence of someone used to seem like either a brainiac, just an average person or an idiot...depending on the score which is really unfair. I pulled this article from the Medical Daily to give a good explanation of the I.Q. test:

Medical Aug. 9th, 2014

The IQ test is an exam most of us are familiar with, regardless of whether we have taken it or not. The test was originally designed by the French psychologist Alfred Binet in the early 1900s. But in the new millennium, is the IQ test still an effective means of measuring general intelligence? According to the general consensus, the answer is "no."

An IQ test measures a person’s cognitive ability compared to the population at large. The average IQ is 100, anything above 130 is considered exceptionally smart while a score under 70 is categorized as developmental delays related to intelligence.

Intelligence is defined as general cognitive problem-solving skills. Since the days of Binet, psychologists have agreed that intelligence is much more complex than a single number and may be in fact divided into many subcategories. This is where the IQ test falls short. A Canadian study published online in the journal Neuron concluded that the IQ test is “fundamentally flawed,” seeing that its questions “grossly oversimplify the abilities of the human brain.” The report identified three indications of human intelligence: short term memory, reasoning skills, and verbal ability. None of these skills are at all accurately measured in the traditional IQ test. So what does the IQ test accurately measure? Well according to Laci Green, host of DNews, “What the IQ test did measured was how well Westerners might do in Western schools.”

While the IQ test may give an indication of general intelligence, it can't measure the entire complexity of the human thought process. Creativity, emotional sensitivity, social understanding, and various acquired skills such as music or art, are excluded from test’s measurements of intelligence. If you’d like to get an idea of your IQ take this test, but just remember that whatever your score be, it doesn’t necessarily define how smart you really are.

In many ways, intelligence seems to boil down to more than just how smart you are. The article is correct in the lack of testing for creativity, short term memory or other skills that could be measured, but are left off the test. A good example is when I was in high school; I did pretty well in school - A or B honor roll - I still struggled in many classes though. I actually had to take Algebra 1 twice! Of course, in all the art classes and theater classes, I was extremely good in, but the core classes were always a trick. I've admitted that I'm not a speed reader. I've always been a slower reader, but I still love to read. I will be honest and say that my wife and the twins can all read fast, but slowpoke pop gets left in the dust. 

Just for the heck of it, I decided to take the Stanford-Binet I.Q. test on-line. I will first tell you that this was a really long test (AND NO I DIDN'T CHEAT!), but I wanted an honest score to see what my intelligent level was at my current age. (Remember, as you age, so does your I.Q.) Does this make me feel better? I do feel like I have something positive to add to the world still, but overall no. So this is the breakdown:

Christopher Wheat 
Your Complete Stanford-Binet Test Report1 has been generated and can be accessed immediately for only : €19.94. [I didn't pay the 19.94.]
Your IQ is: 160
Standard Deviation: 15
Rarity: 1/31560

Your age adjusted IQ score is 160 and the average score for all test takers is 98.45.

Your Grade ** Genius **

Anyone with a general IQ this high is undoubtedly a genius. From this range on, only specific high-range tests should be considered. You have the ability to think critically, conceptualize ideas and form your own conclusions. Your ability to think in patterns and to produce order out of chaos enables you to handle complexities and see logic in everything. Needless to say you are self-aware of your abilities and have the brains for all known occupations. If you think of intelligence as the ability to adapt easily to new situations then you are at the top of the charts.

If really are curious then I say give it a shot. Just remember that the test really won't measure just how extraordinary you are as a person. God doesn't make mistakes and I believe everyone has something to share with the people of this planet. You have to remember that we're only here for a short time then it's over. I might have Asperger's and have a high intelligence, it doesn't make me any better than anyone else. I have my faults and struggles, but understanding them and adjusting to those deficiencies can help me be a better person...I.Q. and all.

Song of Inspiration [Check it out on iTunes or Android!]:

Song: "Limitless"

Artist: Colton Dixon

Album: Anchor

Here's the official video to the selected song:

Monday, October 12, 2015

Piece #102 - The Blame Game

On HBO, there is a special program that comes on most Sundays called "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver". In one of his segments he addressed the very thing I'm going to talk about, but with a slight variation...mental health. John noted that it seems like the topic only comes up where ever there has been a mass shooting because the media has this sense that the shooter had a history of mental illness. Basically, John laid the cards out on the table and challenged law makers to do something to help the mentally challenged and give them the help they really need, not buses, retirement homes or prison! John's not kidding; a report put out by the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC) found that there are ten times more mentally ill people behind bars than in State hospitals. Being put in prison isn't going to help anybody! The main topic I'm going to address is how the media and politicians throw around the term Asperger's like they want to use it as a label to justify the problem. Too many criminals of these murders that have caused so much pain to good people that were affected by these vicious events; finger pointing isn't going to solve the tragedies.

Every time there is a mass shooting, the blame seems to always be placed on this person's Asperger's disorder (or mental illness in general) and what makes me furious about this is a lot of the time, the killer was NEVER diagnosed or was 'assumed' to have the syndrome! A great example of this comes from the recent mass shooting at an Oregon community college. The mother of the shooter is a registered nurse, but she seems to think she is a registered psychiatrist as well! CNN reported on Oct 7th, 2015 that the mother had made the claim that not only did her son have Asperger's, but she, herself, had the disorder by saying "I have Asperger's and I didn't do so bad. Wasn't easy (understatement) but it can be done." Sadly, the mother never mentions any kind of psychiatric involvement in her diagnoses and treatment or her son. Because of the lack of mental medical evidence I have to openly question her, and conclude that she is giving her own self diagnoses. So here we go, throwing the word 'Asperger' around like a bouncing ball! The mother goes on to boast, "My 18 years’ worth of experience with and knowledge about Asperger's is paying off." No ma'am, I have to completely disagree; what your son had in a mental state was nothing close to Asperger's...he had something much darker and more disturbing!!! Go visit a licensed psychiatrist. People who think they can handle their own mental issue will be blinded by the help they probably need to live a good life.

Here is another sad example, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut a lone young man went in a murdered 26 lives. This story is slightly different in that this was more of a tale of two doctors: Dr. Paul Fox and Dr. Robert King. In an official document, Dr. Robert A. King, a professor at the Yale School of Medicine Child Study Center, told investigators that he had diagnosed Lanza (the shooter) with "profound Autism Spectrum Disorder, with rigidity, isolation and lack of comprehension of ordinary social interaction and communications," while also displaying symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.(AP) As you just read, Dr. King did note the Autistic characteristics, but there were much more troubling issues that superseded his disorder. In stark contrast to Dr. Fox who recalls his time with Lanza by saying: "He told police he last saw Lanza when he was about 15 years old and remembered him having aggression problems and possibly Asperger's syndrome..." (Fox News) The scary part of this professional opinion is how vague the diagnoses were to Lanza's disorder. Again, 'Asperger' is just thrown out there like it was nothing important. What would people think if a doctor just blurted out the word 'Cancer' like it was no big deal? Dr. Fox lost his license to practice here in America because of an inappropriate relationship with a patience of his...that doesn't make me feel any better. This is an excellent example of a much deeper rooted problem.

The last case I wanted to touch on was the mass shooting at the Aurora Colorado movie theater. During the trial, a decision had to be made on whether or not the shooter was 'sane' when he committed the murders. The attorneys brought in several experts and one of those was Dr. Raquel Gur who is a specialist in schizophrenia. The jury had several questions to ask her and one of those dealt with Autism. The question was "Did she consider oppositional defiance disorder or autism spectrum disorders?” then a follow-up question "Why did she rule out other disorders?" So this was Dr. Gur's answer: "She considered multiple disorders, but ruled them out in time, she said. There is overlap between the features of autism and schizophrenia, she said." This was the main reason why the media didn't jump all over autism like they did in the other two cases I spoke of earlier. I feel like the media would intentionally wait for any mention of autism if anyone happens to link the disorder to the mass murder. On a side note, the courts decided to not allow an insanity plea.

Let me give you a great example of 'news' and the media when it comes to autism. On Facebook, there was a posting circulating around about a story from the Wyoming Institute of Technology where they had the American Journal of Medicine was going to publish an article by Dr. Franklin Forrester to which the contents were going to show a direct link between Asperger's Syndrome and murder. Needless to say, many people thought the newslink was true until the Journal stated that this was a big hoax. The problem is that it doesn't matter. Even though this was just one big joke, people were exposed to the idea anyway. Why do you think the media jumps over anything with a shooting if the person possibly had a history of autism? What is created is an implied misconception. Even though the information is false, the idea of linking the mass shootings to autism is unfair, discriminatory and could cause potential problems. What if the government decided that we were all dangerous and we had to be placed under stiff restrictions? Fear causes these ideas. What this hoax creates is uncertainty and doubt. 

The bottom line is simple...violent people do violent things. There was a deep evil reason why these people chose to take the lives of innocent people. I have had classes in psychology and I've taught the subject in high school. I'm not a licensed doctor; but my point is because I have Asperger's and I know these are not typical characteristics of things we might do. In the case of these people and countless others, there is something very disturbing and sinister about why they killed a lot of people. Education is important. The media can't be the judge and jury in these cases whether the shooter may or may not have had a history of autism. Know the facts from professional people; I know they would be happy to tell you. If you can get the chance, check out John Oliver's piece on Mental Health.

Song of Inspiration [Check it out on iTunes or Android!]:

Song: "Apologize"

Artist: OneRepublic

Album: Dreaming Out Loud

Here's the official video for the selected song: