I took great offense to the defense attorney's comment in "Teen admits to hacking" [News, Nov. 13] that Jared James Abrahams apologizes for his actions and that autism played a contributing role in the scheme.

Autism affects so many people in so many ways and it seems to be an ever-growing diagnosis today. My son has a mild form, Asperger's syndrome, and he is a freshman in college. Others with autism require constant care.

Autism affects individuals in many ways, but to say it would cause an individual to hack into people's emails, take photos and then extort money -- well, that's simply a defense attorney grasping at straws, looking for sympathy and insulting everyone who is associated with someone affected by autism.

People with autism can live easier and more satisfying lives now than in the past. Years ago, the response might have been to simply commit the person to an institution and walk away.

Michael Connor, Centereach

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