Child Advocate Report shows Adam Lanza Newtown school shooter could have been overlooked

 

(TPAZ) – According to a report released on Friday, Adam Lanza  definitely showed several warning signs of a child and adult in need of  mental health services.  The  report  indicated that Adam was an  isolated young man with deteriorating mental health and a fascination for mass violence whose problems were ignored or went untreated.

The  Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate report profiles the developmental and educational history of Adam, the young man who opened fire at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. The groups  report noted ” several missed opportunities” by Adam’s mother, the school district, and multiple health care providers. It identified “warning signs, red flags, or other lessons that could be learned from a review of his life” in hope of preventing the next tragedy.

The authors of the report created a visual history of the  mental health status of Adam from kindergarten until the date of the shooting.  After reading the report I can imagine that Adam’s mother was in denial about the severity of his mental issues.

Report: Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School (November 21, 2014)

The report states “that the authors looked for any warning signs, red flags, or other lessons that could be learned from a review of AL’s life. It was not the primary purpose of this investigation to explicitly examine the role of guns in the Sandy Hook shootings. However, the conclusion cannot be avoided that access to guns is relevant to an examination of ways to improve the public health. Access to assault weapons with high capacity magazines did play a major role in this and other mass shootings in recent history. Their emphasis on AL’s developmental trajectory and issues of mental illness should not be understood to mean that these issues were considered more important than access to these weapons or that we do not consider such access to be a critical public health issue”.

Parental Oversight

The report indicate that  “AL fostered and nurtured his obsessive interest in mass murder because there was no parental oversight of his online and electronic activities. While AL was over age 18, he remained at home in an apparent state of “despondency,” and malnutrition.  Authors cannot know whether Mrs. Lanza ever tried (and failed) to enter AL’s room or take an interest, however supervisory, in his activities. Given that AL’s technological capabilities were superior to those of his mother, it may be that she would not have been able to trace his footsteps. However, authors must emphasize that supervision and at least awareness of an adolescent’s online activities is very important, particularly so when the youth’s mental and physical well-being is already in question”.

Treatment and Recommendation

The authors say that they “do not  blame parents, educators or mental health professionals for AL’s heinous acts, nor for his severe mental deterioration and extreme detachment from relationships with human beings. Authors point to the need for renewed vigilance by the child-serving professionals and systems to identify and ensure sufficient, effective services for the potentially tens of thousands of other children who slip between the cracks every year as a result of these types of problems.

The report ultimately determines that Lanza’s mental health issues may have extended past autism to include anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and suicidal disorder.

That all systems of care have to be better communicate concerns and action of children suffer from mental illness.

“While we describe the predisposing factors and compounding stresses in Adam’s  life, we do not conclude that they add up to an inevitable arc leading to mass murder,” the report concluded. “In the end, only he, and he alone, bears responsibility for this monstrous act.”

Source:  Office of the Child Advocate

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