Local mom worries shooting will stigmatize Asperger's syndrome

Kristen Brown says her son is an example Asperger's sufferers are not violent

Published On: Dec 19 2012 10:31:23 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 20 2012 07:39:16 AM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

When news came out that Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza, suffered from Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism that leads to social awkwardness, the news concerned Jacksonville mom Kristen Brown. 

Brown has Asperger's and so does her 10-year-old son Kaleb.

"I worry that it's going to give people with Asperger's a black eye. He didn't do what he did because he has Asperger's," said Brown.  

Brown said people who suffer from Asperger's are not violent people.

"Violence is not a characteristic of Asperger's. It's the opposite. Did he also have oppositional defiance disorder that was undiagnosed?" asked Brown.

Brown said she was undiagnosed as a kid and didn't fit in. She was even a victim of child abuse and had to pull her own son out of school. Brown now home school's him because he's been bullied about his disorder, but she points out Asperger's sufferers are not prone to violent behavior.

"My son grows his hair out for locks of love. He says, I can look girly for a good cause. I shaved my head this past summer for locks of love. I said I can look manly for a good cause," said Brown.

Brown even chronicled her experiences with the disorder in a book about growing up, which she titled "What Didn't Kill Me."

Brown said Adam Lanza would have been socially awkward if he had Asperger's.

"That's the base characteristic of it. We don't blend. And the more we try to blend, the less we fit in and we take that to heart, feel no one likes me," said Brown.

Brown's curious about what else Lanza may have suffered from.

"What happened with this kid? Did he get attention at school, needed at home? Or was he like me, I'm a survivor of child abuse. No one knew I had Asperger's. I got picked on, beat up, but I didn't go around shooting people," said Brown.