The murder conviction this week of a Massachusetts teen with Asperger’s syndrome has advocates worried that the public will falsely assume others with the disorder are also violent.

John Odgren, 19, was convicted Thursday in the 2007 stabbing of a high school classmate. The verdict comes as a bestselling book — “House Rules” — by author Jodi Picoult, also explores a murder case surrounding a teen with Asperger’s syndrome.

Advocates say they are concerned about the effects of the new novel and the much publicized trial, which centered heavily on Odgren’s mental state and his diagnoses of Asperger’s syndrome and other mental health conditions.

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Odgren was said to have had a “mental meltdown” at the time of the crime and advocates are concerned that the public will associate such testimony with behavioral meltdowns that are often experienced by those with Asperger’s. Such episodes are not usually violent, say those who work with individuals who have the disorder.

Further, advocates argue that those with Asperger’s are more often the victims of bullying rather than the perpetrators, reports The Boston Globe. To read more click here.

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