Adam Lanza at the age of 16 began studies at Western Connecticut State University, maintaining a 3.26 grade point average. His interests, as reflected in his courses there, ran toward computer science, including website design, the computer language BASIC, data modeling, as well as required courses such as Philosophy, American History, and Economics. Earlier, he was a member of his high-school tech club. Lanza had no Facebook page. Police investigators said that when they located the young man's computer, they found the hard drive had been smashed.
Prior to early college, he was remembered by members of his 10th-grade Honors English class as intelligent, although nervous and fidgety. He spat his words out, as if having to speak was painful.
Lanza, the shooter at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, was now 20 years old, and afflicted with a mild case of Asperger syndrome, an autism-spectrum condition which causes the sufferer to have difficulties in social interaction, finding it difficult to speak and appearing awkward and clumsy. School members told reporters that Adam Lanza wasn’t bullied or chided for his awkwardness, just that "Some had concerns about him." Lanza was known to be a loner; no one recalled him having any friends, and he was quickly out the door and on his way home when the school day ended. As in most forms of autism, the afflicted had only limited empathy toward others.
Many residents of Newtown where Adam Lanza grew up noticed his differences; some called him a “weird kid.” A former classmate said the tall, pale boy had been a “weird kid” since they were five years old. The classmate made the odd statement, referring to the shooting of children and adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, that “As horrible as this was, I can't say I am surprised."
One schoolmate, who sat near Adam in a sophomore year (high school) Honors Math class, said Lanza seldom spoke, but earned high marks. It was this classmate who recalled that people didn’t pick on Lanza for his disabilities, “From what I saw, people just let him be, and that was that.” Another former classmate said he was familiar with the form of autism affecting Lanza; he described Adam as having a “very flat affect; if you looked at him, you couldn’t see any emotions going through his head.” Others said that Mr. Lanza’s evident discomfort prompted giggles from those who didn’t understand him.