According to a report released on November 21 by the Office of the Child Advocate, in February 2007, Yale clinicians identified in Adam Lanza what they believed were profound emotional disabilities and offered him treatment that could give him relief for the first time in his troubled life.
Adam Lanza, then 14-year-old, was angry and anxious, and he didn’t want to go. His mother, Nancy Lanza, constantly placating her son, was inclined to pull away from the treatment, prompting a psychiatric nurse to reach out to his father, Peter Lanza, in an urgent email.
Six years later, Adam Lanza murdered his mother and massacred 20 children and six educators before turning a gun on himself at the elementary school he once attended in the Sandy Hook section of Newtown, Connecticut.
The Office of the Child Advocate report pointed to the Yale episode as one of dozens of red flags, squandered opportunities, blatant family denial and disturbing failures by pediatricians, educators and mental health professionals to see a complete picture of Adam Lanza’s “crippling” social and emotional disabilities.
While the report does not draw a line between the events in Adam Lanza’s young life and the massacre, it points out repeated examples where the profound anxiety and rage simmering inside Lanza was not explored in favor of attempts to manage his symptoms.
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