Children with Autism and Shooting
I'm a parent of a child with Autism.
Not Asperger's syndrome, which, though commonly confused with/labeled as a form of Autism, is a fairly drastically different disorder. My son is diagnosted with Autism. In many ways, he'a an austistic savant. Less severe than Rain Man... but he shares many common traits with that character.
I also have guns.
The events of Sandy Hook Elementary are going to cause a lot of people to question the safety of autistic and aspergers children with guns.
It's my opinion that the boy had some other additional disorder, because I've never seen an autistic or aspergers child who possessed the ability to do what that man did. Not just from the POV of a violent act... more from the perspective of the planning and thought process required.
My son has difficulty tying his shoes and crossing the street without getting hit by cars. I can't imagine him driving somewhere and going through all the steps needed to perpetrate that crime.
WRT the shooter, we may, in the future, find out that while his mom may have had an outwardly friendly demeanor, the boy was abused at home. At least one article I've read interviewed the boys barber where he talks about how the boy never spoke, and his mother jerked him up out of the barber chair when they were done. Maybe this is the barber's embellishment, maybe not. My son LOOOVES to talk... and is a real social butterfly. Awkward? Yes, definitely. Only because he doesn't understand normal social behavior.
Despite all that, it does give one pause, and being a minority of a minority (gun owner with an autistic child) I'd love to hear from other gun owners with autistic children to hear what your perspective is on this situation, and to hear if you're doing anything differently WRT gun safety.
For my part, I've taken my son shooting once. He'd become quite curious about guns, and I felt the best way to remove the curiosity was to let him try it safely. So we did. It worked. He's never been curious about them again. But, we also determined he was probably never going to be "safe" with one. Not because he was violent with it, but he simply didn't have the wherewithal and self-discipline to keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
So, instead, we chose to teach him the children's gun safety rules: If you find a gun, don't touch it, leave the room, and get a parent. We also keep all the guns secured at all times in the house. There are no guns that are not locked up. It's a bit like having a forever 5 year old child.
If you're a parent of a child with autism... how do you secure your weapons? Have you ever had cause to be concerned about it? I'd love to hear from you also so that I don't feel quite so alone in this. I'd like to know there are other parents of children with autism and guns who, like us, have never had an issue, and can't imagine there ever would be an issue.
Children with Autism and Shooting
My 3.5 yr old son has PDD-NOS. he had extensive therapy trying to get him caught back up. He hit all the milestones until about 2 then just went completely backwards. Although I feel he will be fine when he gets older, I still keep everything locked up. I plan on him being able to hunt and shoot when he reaches the appropriate age. All my long guns stay in my safe, I have a micro vault in my nightstand drawer with a revolver and a tac light in it, my carry gun stays hidden in my vehicle or in my safe when it is not on my person. Hope this helps and hang in there!:)