The 19-year-old, who is said to have shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day, appears to suffer from either this or some other similar brain disorder, claims Nathalie Brassard, a program director at the non-profit organization FASCETS, which works with parents of FASD.
Cruz, who was adopted while an orphaned child, exhibits clear signs of the condition, she says. Not only does his history of erratic and troublesome behavior prior to the shooting suggest this, but so does his unusual facial features, which include a low nasal bridge, small eyes, and a thin upper lip – all potential indicators of alcohol poisoning during early childhood development.
"Some of the characteristics suggest that he might have been living with an invisible brain-based condition – it could have been FASD or many others, but this young individual may have been functioning differently," Brassard is quoted as saying to the Daily Mail Online.
"He was kicked out of school because of behavioral issues, and that is something that often happens."
Chances are, Cruz won't be receiving an official diagnosis of FASD anytime soon. That's because, as Brassard points out, information that would confirm this is often lacking – especially in children with questionable upbringings that include having been separated from their birth mothers, put into foster care or orphanages, and later adopted by new families.
"Very often the information is lacking [such as alcohol consumption during pregnancy] so the formal diagnosis of FASD may not come," says Brassard. "That's why we use the language of 'brain-based conditions' because regardless of why, they have this behavior."
In Brassard's view, brain-based conditions like the one from which Cruz appears to suffer deserve far more scrutiny when it comes to investigating a mass shooting event such as this. She believes that the criminal justice system needs to take such conditions into better account, which if they did this properly would likely change the narrative away from gun control as the default "solution" to the problem.
"We have to understand that individuals with brain-based conditions cannot do the same things that everyone else can do," Brassard explains.
"Very often the parent or caregiver is trying to accommodate the child because they understand that they function differently to everyone else. Others perceive that they are being too easy on them, but they don't understand that these children need different treatment to prevent them from shutting down, getting upset and frustrated."
Other potential indicators of FASD from a facial perspective include epicanthal folds and short palpebral fissures near the eyes, as well as minor ear abnormalities and and indistinct philtrum above the lip. But in Brassard's view, facial indicators represent just one small piece of the puzzle, especially when severe behavioral problems are obviously present.
"We only see facial characteristics in a minority," she insists.
"In the majority there are no facial characteristics, but they are still functioning differently. They may have impaired short term memory, problems with abstract concepts, language and communication issues, behave younger than their age. These can all lead to them acting in a way that we as a society think is bad behavior and we punish them for it, so they get frustrated."
This, of course, completely shatters the immediate, knee-jerk reaction by liberals who automatically resort to "gun control" as the answer to shootings like this. The problems obviously run much deeper, potentially going all the way back to when the perpetrator was still in his mother's womb.
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