Adam Lanza’s father has finally broken his silence. Peter Lanza managed to avoid the public spotlight for more than a year. However, he is now ready to talk about his son and the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother. He then proceeded to the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school, where he opened fire on the students and staff. In the senseless act of violence, Lanza injured two and killed 27 before turning the gun on himself.
As a majority of the victims were young children, the massacre gained worldwide attention. The tragedy raised numerous questions about a possible motive and became a catalyst in the gun control debate.
More than a year later, Lanza’s motive remains unknown. It can only be assumed that he was emotionally and mentally disturbed. Although it was suggested that Lanza’s father was absent throughout his troubled childhood and adolescence, Peter insists that Adam pushed him out of his life.
Although Peter Lanza was hesitant to discuss the shooting, he hopes his story will help other families avoid similar tragedy. Lanza admits he and his former wife noticed some warning signs. However, many of his behavioral issues were attributed to a medical condition and normal teen rebellion.
As reported by New Yorker, Adam was diagnosed with sensory-integration disorder at a young age. The disorder was liked to delayed speech, “hypersensitivity to physical touch,” and olfactory hallucinations. Adam was also prone to seizures and developed obsessive compulsive behaviors, including excessive hand washing.
Adam Lanza’s father said his son was “a normal little weird kid,” who was “always thinking differently.” However, when he entered middle school, his behavior became more bizarre. At his new school, Adam was expected to change classrooms for each subject.
Although the transition is a source of mild anxiety for most students, it was specifically disturbing for Adam Lanza. His father discusses the changes he observed in his son:
“It was crystal clear something was wrong… The social awkwardness, the uncomfortable anxiety, unable to sleep, stress, unable to concentrate, having a hard time learning, the awkward walk, reduced eye contact. You could see the changes occurring.”
At the age of 13, Adam was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a mild form of autism. Peter said he and his former wife expected the diagnosis to help them cope with and seek treatment for Adam’s behavior.
Unfortunately, the teen simply became more withdrawn. As he escaped into his own mind, Adam’s relationship with both parents became strained. Peter said he had not spoken with his son for two years before the shooting. However, Adam Lanza’s father had some harsh words about his late son:
“With hindsight, I know Adam would have killed me in a heartbeat, if he’d had the chance… I don’t question that for a minute.”
Peter Lanza said he is consumed he is with guilt related to the Sandy Hook massacre:
“Any variation on what I did and how my relationship was had to be good, because no outcome could be worse… You can’t get any more evil… How much do I beat up on myself about the fact that he’s my son? A lot.”
Adam Lanza’s father decided to share his story to help other parents with troubled adolescents and teens. Pater Lanza admits he made some mistakes. However, even he cannot explain what prompted his son to commit mass murder.
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