There is something all too familiar about the emerging profile of Adam Lanza – eerie, in fact. Each of these mass killings was committed by 14-24 year-old young men who were isolated loners with few social graces, and inwardly seething. None of them had close relationships with either peers or parents. According to reports not yet verified, Adam Lanza also had a form of Aspergers, a spectrum disorder related to Autism in which lack of attachment and lack of emotional empathy are the identifying traits.
Attachment theory describes the deep and enduring emotional bonds that connect one person to another over time. If secure attachments are not developed in infancy between the child and the primary caregiver, it is believed that it will be an impediment on close relationships and early social development. Lack of attachment often leads to lack of empathy.
Adam Lanza illustrates both a lack of attachment and a person with Aspergers. As a teenager he did not pick up on social cues, he lacked inborn social skills, and was not able to maintain conversations or eye contact. He was preoccupied by his interests (gaming, computers, and guns) felt bullied by his peers. All of these difficulties can often lead to being more withdrawn, socially isolated, and filled with depression or anxiety. It sounds like Adam Lanza had many or all of these symptoms and they went unaddressed.
Counterintuitively, a person so withdrawn needs just the opposite approach. My thoughts on Newtown, and my hypothesis, is that by withdrawing her son from high school and home schooling him, it may have seemed like a protective measure, but it may also have been a lethal decision.