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Sunday Discussion: Life With Asperger’s

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Read more about my personal life by clicking the link below.

http://geekalabama.com/2012/07/02/dr-phil-i-need-a-real-life-do-over/

There has been a lot of news lately that has related to autism and Asperger’s.  The Aurora, CO shooter has brought a lot of traffic to Geek Alabama in the last week.  Some of the search terms have included.

http://geekalabama.com/2012/07/20/real-life-horror-the-colorado-theatre-shootings/

I wrote a very detailed piece about the Colorado Theater Shootings and I said “My thoughts about this guy is he MIGHT have some forms of autism like I do.”  Notice I said he might have some forms of autism.  I also said he should not have done anything like this.  Even if he had autism or Asperger’s this would NOT justify him going in and killing those people.  What he did was wrong and I hope he faces justice for what he did.  He was charged on July 30th with 24 counts of first-degree murder and 142 counts in all.  And I hope he gets convicted on all those counts and thrown into prison for life!

Now I also want to talk about something that affects me.  I got this e-mail from Loring N. Spolter from Spolter Law in Florida.

I recently learned about your website. Though “self-taught” from doing a lot of reading, I have picked quite a bit up over the past few years.  As an attorney who writes and lectures on issues pertaining to Asperger’s Syndrome / autism, and provides representation to those with autism and their family members, I recognized an important point  you recently raised about the “terrorist checklist,” which can cause a law enforcement officer relying on its contents to falsely suspect that someone with Asperger’s / autism characteristics / traits is involved in terrorist activity.    
 
This same line of thinking / reasoning is why people on the autism spectrum are often arrested for crimes they didn’t commit (such as drunk driving – they “appeared” / “looked’ drunk or “high”). It is also why so many people on the spectrum are arrested for offenses they did not intend to commit, i.e. stalking, date rape, etc  For these types of laws, the criminal offender are supposed to have “intended” to violate the rights of someone else in order to be found guilty. If someone with Asperger’s Syndrome who was unable to tell his or her date did not want to be “touched,” then the touching was not a crime. It just happened, but it is not a criminally punishable offense. In law, the “intent” is referred to as the “mens rea,” a latin term you will see mentioned time and time again in law articles. If there was no means rea (no intent / there was a lack of intent), most types of offenses are not considered to be criminally punishable acts. Too few criminal defense attorneys understand this aspect of autism. Judges, police, prosecutors are not trained on this,either. More attorneys need training about autism issues to effectively and adequately serve clients who are on the spectrum. 
 
Police officers typically wrongly perceive the “quirky”  (unusual) traits of those on the spectrum as signs of quilt (not looking in the eye, evasive, tendency to flee, nervousness, etc). In addition to mis-reading autism traits as signs of guilt, there are more problems, including people on the spectrum having a tendency to make false confessions. Also, when stopped by officers who think they may be driving DUI, their generally poor dexterity / mobility skills causes them to fail the roadside performance / divided attention tests (which in Florida and certain other states are voluntary and need not be performed – even if requested).

I hate to say this but I knew he was right.  Whenever I go out with a camera I like to take pictures and film some various scenes.  Some of these times it might include a road, highway, train, traffic light, airplane, boat, or anything to do with transportation.  I have had a brief run in with the law.  Only because they thought what I was doing could be a “terrorist” activity.  So when I record not one but two cops and many cars running through a traffic light with the power out It could be considered a “terrorist” activity.

Or when I go out to record some trains or some traffic lights it also could be considered a “terrorist” activity.

It also makes me not happy when Joe Scarborough said this on his TV show Morning Joe on MSNBC.

“As soon as I hear about this shooting, I knew who it was. I knew it was a young, white male, probably from an affluent neighborhood, disconnected from society — it happens time and time again. Most of it has to do with mental health; you have these people that are somewhere, I believe, on the autism scale…I don’t know if that’s the case here, but it happens more often than not. People that can walk around in society, they can function on college campuses — they can even excel on college campuses — but are socially disconnected.”

Sure I like to be alone and do things by myself.  But please do not consider me a person who could go out and kill and injure many people.  This is one of the reasons I am still sitting at my apartment and jobless right now.  I am still on my hunt to find my 14th job in 6 1/2 years.  And I have filled out many applications and been to several interviews and nothing has happened.  Many employers now does Google searches on job candidates and when you type in Nathan Young Alabama; Geek Alabama is the first thing that pops up.  And some of my views on topics such as gun rights, women’s rights, local government, legislature, God and Jesus, taxes, and business makes many potential employers look the other way.  Some of my own views like the ones below makes some people wonder why I even live in Alabama.

Those are some of the things I believe in.  Unfortunately these are views that many people in Alabama does not believe in.  I have talked about many political actions on Geek Alabama and the people in political office does not like that.  And many of these people in office also owns small businesses and would never consider me for hiring.  I have also done my share of mistakes on the job as well.  People consider me a clumsy person while on the job.  Some of my mistakes include:

This also goes for schools as well.  Many politicians are also on boards at schools and does know about me.  And since I have very basic skills, reading disorders, poor social skills, and Asperger’s Syndrome.  I would never get the help needed to be ready for a college or school.  I am at an elementary school level on math and reading; so I would need lots of tutoring to get caught up.  And the problem is no one would consider me for a chance to get caught up.  So it looks like I am stuck in this situation until new people are in political office or I move out of Alabama.  So my question is what will happen next?  By the way I will be in front of a local Chik-Fil-A during their Customer Appreciation day on Wednesday with this sign.

33.629319-85.804754
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