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 Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?

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NickValentine



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PostSubject: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeFri Oct 12, 2018 4:41 pm

I know this is a long shot but im just curious to here your thoughts. As someone with Aspergers Syndrome, I've noticed several similarities between problems I've faced and accounts of Dylan from his friends and Family along with some of the home videos.
One thing i notice with my self is the incredible shyness which comes from aspergers being a mainly social handicap
I feel its best shown in the RNN interview where he isnt seeming to be with anyone he knows. He seems uncomfortable. This corolates with accounts of devon adams from the 2007 Documentary "The Columbine Killers" where she stated "He didn't kniw how to interact with people without someone he knew." This is much like me when i am put into a situation where i have to talk to people i dont know and that often leads to awkward conversations.

Another similatity would be the extreme intelligence he displayed at a young age. People with aspergers tend to be very bright. We all dylan was a part of CHIPS.
Theres a few more things that i could think of but tell me what you guys think about this possibility.

Do you think its a possibility or just a coincidence?
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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeFri Oct 12, 2018 4:49 pm

No.

Not being able to interact with someone without someone you already know around is just being very very shy. It's easier to have someone you're comfortable around when you're shy. It also helps when you have something in common with them and have a common thing to break the ice with.

I read a blog post about this and it's now defunct. I think Dylan was just shy. There's a big difference between being shy and having aspergers.

He was able to maintain eye contact, he had a big group of friends, he had a sense of humor, he wasn't fixated on certain things.

He didn't seem that awkward in the RNN interview he maintain eye contact and had a nice hand shake he just didn't like being in front of the camera

Plus Dylan's mom worked with kids with disabilities. I have to imagine if he had some sort of autism she would know and have him tested.

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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeFri Oct 12, 2018 4:51 pm

I forgot that sue worked with kids with disabilities thanks for reminding me, It was just something i had wondered.
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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeFri Oct 12, 2018 4:52 pm

You're welcome!

Here is another thread that talks about it

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeSun Oct 14, 2018 7:40 pm

As an Aspie myself, I want to share a few things here.

First, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the possibility. Especially if you're not an Aspie. I'm assuming you're not, because you concluded that Dylan made eye contact with someone, and his mother worked with special needs kids and would have noticed if he was autistic, therefore he couldn't have had Asperger's. My assumption could be wrong, of course. But unlikely, since people without Asperger's are the only ones who tend to use the presence or absence of widely-known symptoms to form conclusions.

Here's my take:

It's highly possible Dylan was an Aspie. None of us are in a position to make the determination that he wasn't. And in fact, by making the assertion that Dylan wasn't an Aspie, by explaining away his behavior as simple shyness, that's actually the reason so many kids don't get diagnosed with Asperger's - that's what their friends and family do, too. The assumption that someone would have known or noticed he had Asperger's is false.

Dylan isn't here to explain to us what was going on inside of him when he was experiencing the awkwardness of social situations that made him uncomfortable without the presence of others to keep the conversation going (as reported by his friends).

Autism (including Asperger's) is a spectrum, it's not something that's glaringly obvious in a lot of people. Many kids suffer in silence with Asperger's well into their 20's and even later due to the fact that everyone around them -- friends, family, co-workers, teachers, neighbors -- misattribute their behavior, actions, and reactions to things like defiance, tantrums, overreaction, shyness and just plain old teenage hormonal changes.

Overreactions like the one Sue describes in her book where Dylan thought kids at another table were staring at him - to non-Aspies - appear to be paranoia or delusion. In reality, what was going on inside of Dylan is unknown.

In my experience, I couldn't be around kids of any age even when I didn't know them because I was convinced they were always laughing at me. If I sat at a restaurant and a kid my age was there and looked over at me, I'd feel like they were staring me down and making fun of me. If I couldn't hear what they were saying, I was certain it was about me.

I'm not saying that's what Dylan experienced. We don't know. But it's possible, given his severe reactions, and that's something only a person with Asperger's can understand and spot. To others, it just appears like an overreaction of paranoia.

Next, it's simply not true that people with Asperger's can't make eye contact. This is something non-Aspies grab ahold of but it's not true across the board or in every situation.

For example, I had a friend with Asperger's who was able to give interviews in the scientific community at the highest level and she did a TedX talk, answered questions. She was able to make eye contact with me just fine. She may not have as a young kid, but she learned how as she grew up.

I also had a co-worker who was on the spectrum and her Asperger's was a little more intense than mine, so it seemed. While in the office she couldn't make eye contact with anyone for more than a moment. I invited her over for dinner and my roommates and I had a wonderful time and she locked eyes with all of us while we were sharing with each other. Deep, deep, eye contact where nobody blinks. Back at the office, around other people having conversations that didn't interest her - and she couldn't make eye contact.

The thing about Aspies most people don't get (you have to experience it to get it) is that when another person SEES them... and gets them... and they feel safe with them or don't feel judged - eye contact just happens and it's actually comfortable. Problem is, most people are demanding "look at me! Make eye contact! Be respectful!" And so the avoidance goes on and on and on... but when you start learning how to tell when people are really SEEING you... or they're interested in what you have to say authentically (you can always tell) - the eye contact is just there. Whereas, in other situations it wouldn't be.

Next, we all grow up thinking the world experiences everything as we do, and for Aspies sometimes it can seem like the world has a better handle on intrusions into your life. You think you're just the one who can't handle life, you don't really know that your reactions and strong aversions and likes and dislikes are neurologically based. How can you, when you are only in your own body? So you tend to think of yourself as inferior.

Parents don't see Asperger's in their child when they have no reason to think it exists.

I can tell you that growing up, I was perceived as shy, quiet, and well behaved. On the outside, as a young child, I looked like I was just the perfect child. That's what my parents saw. Inside I was suffering from sensory overload and sensitivities to light, sound, food, clothing, and requests that were driving me into a corner where I just wanted everyone to leave me alone. I retreated inward and suffered in silence. They thought I was being well behaved.

Until the pressure built up and exploded and I started breaking everything around me because I was older, and there were more things being added to my environment that were causing me severe pain and distress.

Last, a 15 second (approximate?) video clip of Dylan speaking to an interviewer for the RNN is not an indication that he didn't have Asperger's. I can read his body language, and he is extremely uncomfortable in that interview. It's in his eyes, his shoulders, and the way he swallows.

Now - I suppose everyone can look at the video and see something different but I will say to my credit that whenever I take communication courses that require participation I have an unfair advantage and am able to tell exactly what emotion people are feeling before they share it. It's not fair in the sense that it's an extraordinary ability that used to drive people crazy in my life because people don't like being read. Dylan's dead, so I don't mind reading him. And in that interview, he is uncomfortable.

The whole idea that Dylan may have had Asperger's is something other Aspies pick up on. And, neurotypicals are quick to destroy the possibility. Probably because it associates Dylan with Autism and the stigma surrounding autism is not something people want to see in Dylan.

Unfortunately, Dylan isn't here to tell us what he was experiencing when he was suffering from anxiety in social situations. But we cannot conclude that he didn't have Asperger's because the only evidence we have are situations that are extremely typical of people with Asperger's. The only arguments against it are anecdotal and observations made by neurotypical people who are looking from the same perspective that others look from and don't see Asperger's or autism in their own kids.

Parents, teachers, and friends don't see Asperger's in the people they're around daily for decades. It's almost invisible to many people for many more reasons I won't get into here. You're not going to see it in the limited videos we have. For many, it's a private hell they get really good at hiding from the world because they don't feel normal and just want to fit in as best as they can. You can hide it for decades. You can be unaware of it for decades.

I would not take anyone's opinion as fact on this matter, no matter how logically they dissect it with statistics and anecdotal commentary. When it comes to Dylan, there's no evidence to assert he wasn't an Aspie. There is evidence to suggest he was. A conclusion can't be drawn because he can't speak for himself to share more details with us.

People love to dissect, justify, explain, and invalidate the experiences of people with Asperger's. It's more common than you think. And it doesn't look like Adam Lanza or any of the stereotypical autistic kids portrayed in documentaries and Hollywood films...

Just something to think about.

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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeSun Oct 14, 2018 7:49 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:



Overreactions like the one Sue describes in her book where Dylan thought kids at another table were staring at him - to non-Aspies - appear to be paranoia or delusion. In reality, what was going on inside of Dylan is unknown.



You bring up excellent points. I always assumed it was because of the bullying and the fact that he was self conscious.

I guess I sometimes think about myself and I have always been like that due to the bullying I endured. To this day random laughter directed at me or not can irk me.

Back in the 90's I don't think Aspergers was as common. You were just shy or awkward and that is that.

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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeMon Oct 15, 2018 2:18 pm

I have aspergers myself and I always thought it was a possibility based on interviews and on his body language.
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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeMon Oct 15, 2018 5:24 pm

As a fellow aspie, I personally never saw it, and I'm not sure if Dylan had it. I think there's just too many factors at work to accurately determine if he had autism of some kind. I won't discount the possibility entirely but I'm not sold on it.

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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeWed Oct 17, 2018 11:45 pm

Yeah, that's so true, it's really hard to say if he was, because we don't have any information about what his internal experience was in his body or how he perceived the world outside of a minute selection of writing that focused only on one subject. We just have a brief view of symptoms that are possible indications, a couple of them stick out more than others. But the way Sue described his childhood doesn't seem to fit Asperger's but who is to say she didn't hold back some things intentionally or unconsciously. Like if he ever had any meltdowns. It's also possible she never saw them. Or, they were attributed to something else like a tantrum. So many possibilities.

Not everyone has the same experience with Asperger's, so all of us that have it, can see different aspects in Dylan based on our own personal experiences. And those who aren't on the spectrum, can see the same traits but don't interpret them as possible Asperger's because those traits are also seen in kids without Asperger's.

Even if he wasn't on the spectrum, even a little bit, he was suffering intensely more than most people.

Whatever personal hell Dylan was experiencing, he never told anyone the details. Sad


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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeThu Oct 18, 2018 12:06 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Overreactions like the one Sue describes in her book where Dylan thought kids at another table were staring at him - to non-Aspies - appear to be paranoia or delusion. In reality, what was going on inside of Dylan is unknown.

In my experience, I couldn't be around kids of any age even when I didn't know them because I was convinced they were always laughing at me. If I sat at a restaurant and a kid my age was there and looked over at me, I'd feel like they were staring me down and making fun of me. If I couldn't hear what they were saying, I was certain it was about me.

I'm not saying that's what Dylan experienced. We don't know. But it's possible, given his severe reactions, and that's something only a person with Asperger's can understand and spot. To others, it just appears like an overreaction of paranoia.
He was in abusive environment for 10 years. Attributing malice to people's behavior for example laughter is also a part of trauma of bullying.
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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeThu Oct 18, 2018 9:44 am

It's hard to say, but I've grown increasingly tired of autism/Asperger's being attributed to *everything* and *everyone* the slightest bit off; it's like the 21st century version of "the devil made me do it" or "PMS."

Not saying you're doing that, mind you.
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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeThu Oct 18, 2018 11:52 pm

Yes, attributing malice to people's behavior can be part of what the trauma of abuse does to people. However, when you're on the spectrum, that experience of trauma is amplified more than it would be for others. Considering Dylan was having an overreaction to kids in a city where he didn't know anyone, the intensity of his reaction is questionable as a symptom of Asperger's. Not definitive, but questionable and very possible.

Of course, some people don't want to see beloved Dylan as someone on the spectrum, so this conversation will always be "off the table" and not worth discussing. (Not saying anyone in this thread thinks that... just an observation).

Many people do attribute people's behavior to disorders in a context that isn't helpful. People do the same with psychopathy and bipolar, too. But I wouldn't generalize by saying people attribute it to everything and everyone the slightest bit off...

Can you share specific examples of what you're referring to when you say autism is being attributed to everything and everyone the slightest bit off? It sounds like a generalization/statement of frustration than an actual fact.

Also, to clarify, I don't support the possibility that Dylan may have been an Aspie because something about him was "off" as you describe is happening - I'm supporting the possibility because he exhibited multiple behaviors specific to kids on the spectrum that non-spectrum kids - even severely traumatized kids - don't express in the same way.

The problem with saying that people are using autism/Asperger's as the 21st century version of "the devil made me do it" is factually incorrect, but I won't get into that on a text-based platform. That viewpoint is the reason people reject the realities of autism/Asperger's and it's why kids aren't getting the help they need from a young age.

I can tell you that there are certain things you are not in control of, that you cannot change no matter how much you try, and there are neurologically-based reasons for those things.

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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeSat Dec 15, 2018 8:31 pm

Not at all. In the boys' videos you can tell by their body language, eye contact, facial expressions and the ease with which they communicate that both him and Eric were "normies" as far as the autism spectrum is concerned.
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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeSat Dec 22, 2018 1:39 am

As a social worker I agree 100% with [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Dylan is not "beloved" to me and theres nothing wrong with someone having any form of ASD [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] No one has implied any of those things, I don't even know why you brought them up.
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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeSat Mar 02, 2019 2:29 pm

Not all autistic people have problems making eye contact or communicating with their friends... in fact, many of us feel completely at peace with people we know and trust... seeing Eric and Dylan interact with their friends on the videos in no way demonstrates that they are neurotypical. I'm not saying they were on the spectrum - I'm saying that 99% of what people believe about autism is incorrect, and deciding a person can't be autistic because they make eye contact or communicate with friends is absurd and is exactly why so many kids go undiagnosed because people don't consider autism.

If you've met one person on the spectrum, you've met... one person on the spectrum.

milennialrebellete, I have no idea what you're even referring to, can you explain? You completely lost me with your comment tagging me.

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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2019 5:05 pm

I have to say I agree with [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]. I think that is a huge part of the reason why I feel so much empathy for Dylan. In so many ways, his experiences were mirror images of my own experiences growing up. I didn’t shoot up my school, but had I had my own “Eric”, who knows what may have happened. Dylan makes sense to me, he’s the only person in the entire Columbine story that I can relate to. My Asperger’s manifests in a very similar way to Dylan’s behavior. Brushing it off as “just shyness” is the same hurtful shit that’s been said about me my whole life.
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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2019 6:18 pm

Indiegowendigo, that makes total sense. It's really difficult for people outside of the spectrum to understand even the slightest bit of what we go through when our behaviors are passed off as "just this" or "just that."

I don't understand why people have such a strong aversion to the possibility that Dylan was an aspie. Of course, I don't understand why people do or believe almost anything, so that doesn't help. But I suspect it's because people have a very incorrect view or opinion of autism. So far, I've only seen neurotypical people defensively and aggressively oppose the possibility. Which is the same thing they do to those of us on the spectrum for all of our lives, which makes it harder for us to function in the world because everyone wants to boil down neurologically-based behaviors to attitude problems and temper tantrums.

I am not saying Dylan was an aspie, but, given the evidence from the perspective of being someone who understands autism extensively, it's highly likely, and the fact that it slipped under everyone's radar is actually the biggest prominent clue.

Dylan has more symptoms of Asperger's than people think (now ASD, but I still like separating it because there is a difference that should be maintained). Taken individually, they can all be explained away, but looked at from the big picture, it's like, holyshi*, Batman, he was probably an aspie.

The big signs that people pass off in Dylan are the same signs they pass off in everyone else...

Sleeping in class (oh he's just lazy, or has senioritis) maybe he was burned out from burning the candle at both ends and going to bed late. He could hyper focus for HOURS on computers and video games, and outfocus other people and well, that's a sign of ASD.

Hitting his teachers as a reactive response when he was corrected (oh he's just got a temper and poor impulse control) well yeah, poor impulse control is part of the ASD package... and some of us hit as an immediate response for being corrected or triggered into stress.

Wearing sunglasses in class (he was just trying to look cool) well maybe he was sensitive to the light and adopted the sunglasses for both reasons, I know I sure did. I remember the first day I refused to take off my blue tinted sunglasses in class and it started out being a light-blocking strategy outside, and then became an act of defiance because I hated my teachers and didn't like anyone telling me what to do when I felt I had a good reason for doing something, which is also part of the ASD package

Banging on his keyboard (audible from rooms away downstairs) and swearing at his computer when it was slow or crashed (oh he just was high strung and had a temper) most people don't destroy their prized possessions when they get frustrated, being easily frustrated is part of the ASD package and breaking your own stuff is, too. Temper tantrum, or meltdown? Everyone wants to believe this stuff is a temper tantrum, but spend a day in one of our bodies and you'll see how it's neurologically out of our control and it's not a learned behavior at all. It's not about gaining power or control. It's the release of an overload of input. And yes, you can go your whole life not knowing that's what's going on.

Dylan immediately pushed people when they bumped into him - that type of immediate, "over" reaction is commonly part of the ASD package when people are surprised or something unexpected happens. I've decked people for tapping me on the shoulder.

Also, his extremely odd use of the English language.

Tommie Nykanen, a teacher, said Dylan laughed at him "inappropriately" and defiantly - makes sense to me. Many ASD kids don't express themselves appropriately according to society's social rules. Many of us have absolutely no idea about social rules and when we learn of them we think they're stupid so we ignore them. We don't usually like to do anything unless it's explained to us and there's a good reason. Just telling us not to do something "because I said so" doesn't work. We need a logical explanation. So, we don't generally follow rules even when there are consequences attached to breaking those rules.

Then there was pushing people in gym, calling girls b****, getting angry when people didn't throw him the ball in gym class, cussing at the CHS dean, explosive episodes of anger, hitting his supervisor at work for correcting him, he'd walk out of class and slam the door behind him, he seemed to have a ton of fun smashing up that bike with a sledgehammer, got kicked out of French class for being disruptive, swearing openly and saying derogatory things to the teacher...

Teachers said he doesn't "listen well" is another big clue - many of us are labeled as poor listeners when it's the way the information is being presented that conflicts with the way we are able to process information. So we get mad and shut down.

Other people said he had a constant "grumpy stare" and a sneer on his face - some of us appear to have those facial expressions but don't do it on purpose. He may have grimaced at people, who doesn't as a teenager? But people said he had a CONSTANT sneer and grumpy stare. Most if not all of us just don't express ourselves with animation and it looks like we are mad. I have had more people ask me if I'm mad or bored and I wasn't mad until they asked me ten times. Never could figure out why people thought I was mad when I was having a good time. Come to realize oh yeah the facial expression thing...

Others said he had a creepy smile and read into the meaning of that smile as "sinister" - some of us don't emote the way others do, and when we express it on our faces it can be rather flat, leading people to misinterpret our intentions... ALL the time.

Devon Adams didn't just say he was shy, she specifically said he needed a third person to be there to act as a buffer or he didn't feel comfortable being social. That's a classic sign of ASD, and one I relate to really well.

Dylan was angry about his arrest and said that he stole stuff from a company, not a person. Sounds like he's just a brat justifying his theft. Not necessarily. He may have really believed he was not doing anything wrong or that he had hurt someone else.

Yeah, until we grow up into adulthood, it's easy to not understand that something like that hurts other people. A CLASSIC symptom of ASD is not realizing other people have different thoughts and feelings and opinions... and can be easily hurt by what we do and say... we tend to NOT realize when we've hurt someone, and when they tell us, we seriously can't figure it out. In our world, it's like, "what's the issue? Why are you upset? I didn't do or say anything wrong." Literally. We don't always get the impact of our actions on others especially when others get emotional. Some of us do, and it can be learned, but if it's not something we relate to, we just don't usually get it.

We tend to perceive others as feeling and thinking just like us (because we don't know any better). We tend to be more interested in things than other people and don't easily see the connection between our actions and consequences when they hurt others because we aren't swayed by society's reward/punishment system. We hate the punishments when they happen, but we tend to do things without realizing the extent of what we are actually doing when it involves others... it takes time to learn better behaviors, and Dylan didn't have that time, as he was only 17 and still naive about everything.

That incident Sue describes in her book about Dylan and her being in a completely unfamiliar town and he thought kids were laughing at him and they had to pack up their food and go - that's another major sign of ASD and it's not necessarily paranoia. Looking at the big picture with all the other incidents and signs, that's a gigantic clue that Dylan couldn't read people. And most people say he was just paranoid because he had been laughed at before. Well, I don't think so. People with ASD don't have the ability to easily read other people's emotions, or intentions, or even read between the lines with hidden motives and agendas.

Many of us naturally and incorrectly interpret other people's laughter as laughing AT us, not because we're traumatized but because we just plain can't read people and if someone glances our way while laughing, we're going to be confused because we tend to take things literally and don't get jokes... I thought anyone laughing who looked at me was laughing at me, as well. Even five year old kids. So I can relate entirely to that part.

People including his probation officer said he had a bizarre sense of humor - another big sign of ASD. Many of us are irreverent AF.

They said he had dirty and greasy hair, bad hygiene, wore the same AOL shirt nearly every day... hate to say it but that's another sign of potential ASD.

Some said in grade school he had hardly any friends and was quick to anger, even back then... some said he NEVER interacted in class, and some people couldn't ever get him to talk. Some said he sat in the corner with his arms crossed.

No, it's not that ASD causes people to act like criminals or be violent. Not at all. But if you get someone with ASD, anywhere on the spectrum, that high sensitivity to everything combined with the inability to read other people and the tendency toward social awkardness makes it easier to do what Dylan did IF your anger isn't controlled early on...

Did Dylan have a degree of ASD? Probably. Will anyone be willing to look at it as a possibility? Probably not, unless they're on the spectrum and understand what to look for.

Why are people so adamantly against acknowledging the possibility? Probably for the same reason nobody wants to consider that Eric may have been a classic psychopath. It puts a distance between a person and their ability to relate to Dylan. Or, they think of Adam Lanza being autistic and think no way was Dylan like that nutbag.

But ASD, my friends, is not what you think. It can be a disability in many ways, but it comes with gifts and strengths that allow many of us to outperform our peers in ways that make people think we're superhuman. If we're on the aspie side of the spectrum, that is. Of course it's now just one diagnosis, but the distinction is important.

Oh, and one last thing. Many of us aspies are said to be gifted and put into gifted programs only to realize we hate being in the program and we leave because it singles us out and we can't stand being noticed. Just like Dylan did. And the other thing... many of us have high IQs, but many of us aren't gifted in the sense that we have a 170 IQ... we are not savants, what we have are intense interests that we excel in early on in life because we are hard-wired to excel in those areas... which is mistaken for being all around gifted. Then when we can't perform as well in other areas people think we're just wasting our potential.

Sound familiar?

I suggest looking into autism and asperger's at length (but avoid anything by Autism Speaks, that company is a sham). Before you make up your mind that Dylan was not on the spectrum.

We can't ever know if he was for sure an aspie, but there is a plethora of evidence that he was.

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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2019 6:35 pm

Truthfully we will never know, just as you said.

I will repost the thread where I share a write up that argues against these points.

This person thinks he has more signs of Avoidant Personality Disorder.

Many of the things you mentioned are signs of depression too and anger issues. I had the same issues in HS and I am not on the spectrum. So if we are going to compare... then no Dylan didn't have aspergers.
I was a shy and bullied kid, in the gifted program... I had a lot in common with Dylan too.

I get equally as annoyed with labeling Eric as a psychopath too.

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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2019 7:07 pm

Well, first of all, autism can mimick "Avoidant Personality Disorder"

Second, the one thing that person doesn't get - is that if symptoms appear early in childhood, it's not Avoidant Personality Disorder.

Dylan showed these signs very early on. Avoidant Personality Disorder is something people develop over time. Autism is something that is neurologically wired.

That pretty much ends that possibility.

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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2019 7:11 pm

A person with ASD can also develop Avoidant Personality Disorder as well.
He has far more signs from a CLINICAL perspective for ASD than APD...
And the signs that fit ASD were present in childhood and throughout his life, so that's crucial to acknowledge.

I know, people who don't understand autism (99% of the world) doesn't want to think he was on the spectrum, you try to compare only a tiny fraction of your own experiences that are similar to Dylan's, but then the 99% of symptoms I described up there that are ASD-specific you ignore, which means you don't understand ASD or why I'm even suggesting that he probably was on the spectrum. And then you just point me to someone who thinks he had APD...

For anyone here who is on the spectrum, that's just another example of passing it off and ignoring it... nobody's willing to address this possibility. It gets met with aversion and diversion and adamant opposition.

And I'm laughing because it's just so predictable...


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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2019 7:11 pm

I would think since Sue worked with kids that had disabilities she would have had Dylan tested.

I am not convinced. However, unless we can go back in time and watch his day to day life and get him diagnosed by a professional we will never know just like we don't know if Eric was a pyschopath..

Again, a lot of things you mentioned are also signs of depression, anxiety etc.. just because you are "odd" or you may be shy doesn't meet you're autistic. It's a word I think a lot of people like to throw around now.

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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2019 7:13 pm

The write up does also talk about the reasons she believes he didn't have aspergers, which makes sense to me. I think she brings up good points.

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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2019 7:18 pm

First off, no, Sue wouldn't have had him tested automatically. First, the test costs about $3,000. Second, when you have a gifted kid you don't think to get them tested because you don't see the signs. That's what happens with a lot of us (myself, included).

And most people don't identify kids who are Aspies, even when they work with special needs kids. We slip through the cracks.

No, autism is not something people "throw around now" - that's not true.

You miss the bigger picture because you do not understand autism... which is the problem.

See the big issue is you don't understand autism, so you don't get why it's very obviously a high likelihood... not everyone is the same.

No, what I mentioned is not signs of depression or anxiety - because the minute differences are things neurotypicals pass off as depression and anxiety, but those of us who see it, see it so clearly. And that's the point - that what I'm pointing out is not anxiety or depression. But its completely missed... even when pointed out because people are so strongly opposed to the idea of autism that they can't even for one moment consider the possibility in a simple conversation and ask questions for further clarification as to why everything I've suggested is a possible sign.

Nope, instead of thinking about it or trying to learn about it, the whole subject is diverted and shot down without any consideration. Just more piles of information and opinion as to why it's not true.

This is why I don't talk to people about Columbine anymore... everyone has their set opinions and that's basically it. Nobody's trying to learn or understand from outside of their personal narrow view. It's a shame, really.

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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2019 7:31 pm

There is so much completely wrong with the assessments of Asperger's and autism in that thread you linked that I cannot even begin to address it...

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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2019 8:06 pm

It would take a LOT of convincing to make me think Dylan was an aspie. I have Asperger's myself and Dylan was definitely a normie. No aspie stare, no awkward bodylanguage, no difficulty communicating, no monologues... he was just quiet and withdrawn because of bullying.

Away from Columbine, he was fine. Look at Rampart Range. He's relaxed and having a good time shooting the shit with his friends.

That shitty Chad-worshipping school made him anxious and miserable.
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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2019 8:14 pm

Back in the day, 19 years ago, researching Columbine used to be a conversation where everyone was interested in learning more about what people saw, what they learned, why they suggested certain possibilities. The conversations would include questions like, "that's interesting, why do you say that?" And, "Hmmm I never thought about that, what makes you think that?" And, "Can you explain more about why you say X?"

Today, it's largely composed of, "no, that's not true, I disagree, and here's another person who agrees with my disagreement." And, "I had the same experience, I completely agree."

It's become a realm where all people seem to be capable of is agreeing or disagreeing.

The conversation and exploration has been lost almost entirely. I see thousands of discussions but hardly any real discussion. Just back and forth agreement/disagreement, which isn't really a conversation.

I see people discounting everything left and right and working very hard to prove or disprove every idea and theory that crosses their path.

I see little to no exploration, curiosity, or objective analysis these days.

There are people who do get curious, and they are generally the more silent ones, so it seems... with a few exceptions. Not going to point out names, though.

I just find it amazing that this thread, controversial as it is, is 95% not a conversation, when if it were to become a real, genuine conversation, could lead to so much more than an "answer" as to whether or not he was autistic to any degree.

There is so much wrong with the way people are talking about autism on this forum, in this and other threads. Unknowingly spreading false information, reading criteria from the DSM and attempting to interpret it without understanding what they're talking about.

I will always call it out because for some reason, so many people tend to get self-righteous about what they think they've "researched" about autism because they are interpreting text-based characteristics in a book and think they know what it means, or how it presents in people.

No, not every autistic person has delayed speech. Formerly, those without delayed speech would be classified with Asperger's. Today, it's one diagnosis (ASD) and the criteria has changed to become all-inclusive. No, not every autistic person has issues with loud sounds. Sometimes it's only certain sounds, or at a certain volume, sometimes it's only a minor irritation, sometimes it's a major disruption. Sometimes it's only when loud sounds are surprising, and some people don't have issues with sound at all.

No, not every autistic person has a problem making eye contact. Most do, some don't. No, having lots of friends in high school or seeming to have multiple friends doesn't make someone not autistic. No, just because you, yourself are autistic and you don't see it in someone else doesn't mean that person isn't also autistic. Every.single.autistic.person.is.unique. They have unique triggers, unique symptoms, and there are many classic overlaps but they are general in nature and it expresses differently in every person.

You cannot look at a person you've never met and identify reasons they are *not* autistic. It doesn't work that way. You can look at a person you've never met and identify reasons they *might be* autistic by looking at the signs. If you do the former (identify reasons someone you don't know and have never met is not autistic) you're not actually looking at their life.

It takes a serious amount of effort to understand autism, and being autistic doesn't give you the automatic ability to speak for other autistic people, either. Not being autistic gives you a serious disadvantage in identifying potential autism, though. The spectrum is far and wide, and reading the DSM does not qualify anyone to think they know what an autistic person would appear to be like.

The biggest issue in researching Columbine is that so many people think they're experts on everything, and I am calling this one out because the junk people keep posting about what autism is, is just that - junk.

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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2019 8:21 pm

"No aspie stare"
Not everyone with ASD stares. You didn't even know Dylan to be able to make that assessment.

"No awkward body language" - of course, people with ASD cannot read body language well or at all, to you, his body language may appear just fine. Additionally, you don't have enough to go on. You're looking at staged videos only.

"No difficulty communicating" - not something you can assess by watching a few home videos.

"No monologues" - not something you'd ever see by watching staged videos. And not all people with ASD have monologues.

I question your self-identification as an aspie, using the term "normie" and "monologues" because that makes it sound like you're reading out of the DSM criteria. If you want to talk about ASD monologues, it's more about the fact that people talk incessantly about what they love and are into without realizing they might be boring the other person, or they completely shut down and don't talk at all. Dylan either talked incessantly about computers with his friends, or not at all. Completely an aspie trait, so again, just because you are an aspie doesn't mean your symptoms apply to Dylan. There's more to the spectrum than your specific traits. Which, of course, being an aspie, is hard to see, because aspies don't see that other people have different experiences, which explains why you can't see traits in Dylan outside of what you have personally experienced.

"Away from Columbine, he was fine." - that's a huge stretch there, for someone who didn't know Dylan...

"Look at Rampart Range. He's relaxed and having a good time shooting the shit with his friends." - exactly, people with ASD have plenty of fun with friends and are relaxed when they're with people they know and trust.

You're either reading out of the DSM or parroting someone's list of symptoms. I don't buy it.

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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2019 10:01 pm

One story I wanted to bring up is from Sue's book: She mentions a time when Dylan was young, and he and Brooks were playing and I think Dylan got mud on him? Or he tripped into mud? Either way, something seemingly "small" happened, and Brooks, Sue and Judy laughed. And Sue recalls that Dylan seemed to "overreact" and got very angry and upset, and was yelling at them to stop laughing at him. She recalled something to the effect that it surprised her how upset he got and that he couldn't seem to get over it, or see that they weren't trying to make fun of him.


Take that story how you want to, but I think maybe it could support the Asperger's theory?


I think the theory is interesting, as well as the one saying maybe he had a touch of narcissistic personality disorder. He seemed to have symptoms of a few possible diagnosis's.

I don't know if I believe either, but they're definitely a possibility.

But like you guys have mentioned, we'll never know about him OR Eric.
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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeMon Mar 04, 2019 2:24 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
So far, I've only seen neurotypical people defensively and aggressively oppose the possibility. Which is the same thing they do to those of us on the spectrum for all of our lives, which makes it harder for us to function in the world because everyone wants to boil down neurologically-based behaviors to attitude problems and temper tantrums.

[…]

I remember the first day I refused to take off my blue tinted sunglasses in class and it started out being a light-blocking strategy outside, and then became an act of defiance because I hated my teachers and didn't like anyone telling me what to do when I felt I had a good reason for doing something, which is also part of the ASD package

Banging on his keyboard (audible from rooms away downstairs) and swearing at his computer when it was slow or crashed (oh he just was high strung and had a temper) most people don't destroy their prized possessions when they get frustrated, being easily frustrated is part of the ASD package and breaking your own stuff is, too. Temper tantrum, or meltdown? Everyone wants to believe this stuff is a temper tantrum, but spend a day in one of our bodies and you'll see how it's neurologically out of our control and it's not a learned behavior at all. It's not about gaining power or control. It's the release of an overload of input. And yes, you can go your whole life not knowing that's what's going on.

[…]

Tommie Nykanen, a teacher, said Dylan laughed at him "inappropriately" and defiantly - makes sense to me. Many ASD kids don't express themselves appropriately according to society's social rules. Many of us have absolutely no idea about social rules and when we learn of them we think they're stupid so we ignore them. We don't usually like to do anything unless it's explained to us and there's a good reason. Just telling us not to do something "because I said so" doesn't work. We need a logical explanation. So, we don't generally follow rules even when there are consequences attached to breaking those rules.

Reading these hit close to home for me. A lot of these thought patterns you described are ones I've felt or experienced.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Oh, and one last thing. Many of us aspies are said to be gifted and put into gifted programs only to realize we hate being in the program and we leave because it singles us out and we can't stand being noticed. Just like Dylan did. And the other thing... many of us have high IQs, but many of us aren't gifted in the sense that we have a 170 IQ... we are not savants, what we have are intense interests that we excel in early on in life because we are hard-wired to excel in those areas... which is mistaken for being all around gifted. Then when we can't perform as well in other areas people think we're just wasting our potential.

Sound familiar?

Too familiar.

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PostSubject: Re: Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers?   Do you think Dylan could have had aspergers? Icon_minitimeMon Mar 04, 2019 3:39 pm

QustionMark, did you get in trouble a lot in school for doing things your own way? Sorry I can't tag you I forgot how to tag Razz

Asperger's makes a lot of sense when you look at the whole picture, but individually it's easy to explain everything away. It's worth looking at just as every other possibility is worth looking at.

That's a good point about the mud - I forgot about that one. That's one of the early signs that something's wrong. Wrong meaning, a young child isn't getting the jokes others are telling/expressing, they don't get the humor or they misinterpret others' intentions.

There's a lot to relate to with being on the spectrum, looking at Dylan's life through that potential lens, but I do want to be super clear that I'm not saying I think he was on the spectrum (even though I do see clear evidence pointing in that direction). I'm pointing out that the way ASD is being discussed and dissected by a lot of people here is grossly inaccurate. (Not everyone here, though). There's a lot of misunderstandings and attempts to redirect the autism conversation back to "he was just bullied" and "we think he had this, instead" - and that's fine, that's what society does and it's going to happen here, too. Like it's okay to try to understand Dylan through the lens that he was severely bullied, but other lenses aren't okay, and somewhere along the line, it's been accepted as fact that bullying caused his social issues, and any other possibility (including autism) is off the table. that's fine, too. I just have a problem with people using third-hand observations of someone they don't know to declare they weren't autistic, because that's not how it works. Just wanted to clarify that.

You cannot look at a person and pick out reasons you think they aren't on the spectrum. I could go into this for years, but I won't, but the thing is... what would have given Dylan a diagnosis of ASD are a few things that only he could share, they wouldn't necessarily be seen by his friends or family. Definitely not any of us.

Being on the spectrum isn't rooted only in sensory sensitivities, or the issues a lot of people are talking about in that other thread... some autistic people have very little to no sensitivity to sensory input. It's a spectrum for a reason. Autism is marked by social communication impairments and restricted, repetitive behaviors. You have to have both with specific criteria to meet an ASD diagnosis. The signs that we are seeing and pointing out are symptoms of undiagnosed ASD, and there are specific aspects that do not meet the criteria for other disorders (but it appears so when you read the DSM and interpret it without training).

For Dylan to have been diagnosed with ASD, he'd have to meet certain criteria for restricted and repetitive behaviors that none of us, no matter how much information we've absorbed, have access to.

For instance, we don't know what routines Dylan had. Rigid routines are a huge part of ASD and they don't always have a purpose. Sometimes routines are purposeless and small. They can appear as OCD to some people too, but they're not the same thing. For anyone not familiar with this aspect, I'll give you an example. Say a person with ASD has a routine where they always leave the house through the back door. There's no purpose, and if you ask them to leave out the front door, or if the back door is broken, they can't do it, they will have a meltdown over that. That's a rigid routine in the ASD world. There are countless other examples.

Did Dylan have any rigid routines? We don't know, we can't know, we don't have enough information and even his parents may not know, some routines are deeply personal, and only shared with a therapist. And regarding restricted, repetitive behaviors, that's things like lining items up for no apparent reason, spinning a book for hours on your finger, lining up bottle caps, eating the same food all the time, etc. Could be anything.

I think it's important to look at Dylan through this lens, as a place to look from - not because it's proven true - not in an attempt to prove it true - but to see things from a different perspective other than the largely accepted "he was bullied therefore bullying made him on edge and reactive" because honestly, 99% of people don't kill their classmates because they were bullied. There's almost always some underlying pathology that puts them in a position of extreme sensitivity and tendency toward depression, and suicidality, that makes them more likely to lash out against other people.

I can only offer anecdotal information about this, but back in the day when I was talking to 10k+ teenagers on Eric's old AOL screen name, none of the kids who complained about being bullied ended up shooting up their schools. Some of them committed suicide. But the kids who made plans to kill their classmates, and those who went through with it, had a white hot rage that was burning hot, and some of them admitted that rage was there since they were three years old or about six. And I am not discounting the effects of bullying, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying there's something else underneath causing the severe sensitivity to other people's actions and opinions.

And looking at Dylan's life through as many lenses as possible widens your perspective of not just Columbine (because let's face it, it's done and over with), but it widens your perspective of other people, yourself, the world, and the kids who are thinking about following in their footsteps. It helps you to notice different aspects of his personality that you won't notice if all you look at is, "nope he was bullied, that's the only thing that matters."

When all you have is a hammer, everything's a nail, right?
Looking at Dylan (and Eric, too) through multiple lenses gives you the ability to see what you couldn't see before...

Being unattached to a label, a reason, a cause, exploring to see what's there rather than to reach a conclusion... that's where the most value is...

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