Our Condolences on Tragic Event from Monday April 23, 2018

Toronto Autism Services, delivered in partnership by Adventure Place, Aisling Discoveries Child and Family Centre, Etobicoke Children’s Centre, Geneva Centre for Autism, Kerry’s Place Autism Services and Surrey Place express our sincerest condolences for all those impacted by the tragic event on Monday April 23rd in Toronto.

Our agencies serve many in Toronto and we together mourn the lives lost and those impacted.  However, in the days since the tragic event, many in the media and former classmates of the individual have suggested that the suspect has autism. The reporting has been about the individual’s lack of social interaction, and repetitive behaviours.

We ask that those reporting on this tragic event and people in our communities to pause, to take some time to understand what ASD is and not associate living with ASD as a motive to committing violence.  People living with ASD face many challenges with communication and social interaction and the reporting and misinformation about ASD has damaging and lasting consequences not only for the thousands of clients we support but also for their families and caregivers.

We want members of the community and the media to understand that there is no evidence linking ASD with violent crimes. Children, youth and adults living with ASD are typically more likely to experience violence against them than to be violent towards others. They are forced to try to acclimate to a world that may not support their unique strengths.

We want people to remember that impairment in social interaction, and/or communication does not imply the individual is violent. Our staff, families and caregivers of children, youth and adults living with ASD continue to work towards making our communities safe and inclusive for everyone. Together, we can ensure that stigmas and barriers are removed and children, youth and adults living with autism are active and contributing members of the communities they live in.

Ms. Vaso Charitsis, BBA
Communications and Marketing Advisor
T: 416-925-5141 ext. 3108
C: 416-575-0778

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