Advances in Autism : 2016 - Issue 4 : Autism and offending behaviour

mardi 6 décembre 2016

1. Regi A, E. LP. Guest editorial. Advances in Autism ;2016 ;2(4):153-153.

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2. Verity C, E. LP. The clinical utility of social information processing theory in assessing and treating offenders with autism spectrum disorder. Advances in Autism ;2016 ;2(4):154-171.

Purpose Social deficits are central within conceptualisations of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and separately linked to offending behaviour. Social problem-solving interventions are often used with offenders, but little research has examined the social information processing (SIP) skills of individuals with ASD and a history of criminal offending behaviours. The paper aims to discuss this issue. Design/methodology/approach This conceptual paper will introduce the SIP model, review SIP research as applied to those with ASD and in forensic populations, and further consider the relevance to the assessment and treatment of offenders with ASD. Findings Difficulties in all areas of the SIP model are noted in ASD and research suggests these difficulties may be directly linked to behaviour. Practical implications It is possible that identifying SIP abilities and deficits could improve the effectiveness of rehabilitation programmes for this group. Originality/value This paper reviews the utility of social information models in the offending behaviour of people with ASD.

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3. Helen P, Thomas B. Autism and offending behaviour : needs and services. Advances in Autism ;2016 ;2(4):172-178.

Purpose Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) brings out the limitations of the Criminal Justice Service. The purpose of this paper is to review some of the salient issues and their remedies. Design/methodology/approach A narrative review based on the literature and the clinical experience of the authors. Findings ASD’s hidden disabilities, even without the frequent coexistence of other disorder, derail the standard responses to offending. Practical implications Management of these individuals as offenders depends on awareness of the issues, adaptation and the input of a variety of other services, especially health, social care and employment. Originality/value Although this is a very active field of work, there is relatively little written about it.

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4. Jayne DS. Systemizing and empathy in forensic ASD talk. Advances in Autism ;2016 ;2(4):179-190.

Purpose Since often missed in forensic care settings, little is known about how the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) social and communication deficit impacts on rehabilitation work, particularly when accompanied by intellectual disability. The purpose of this paper is to show how Baron-Cohen’s empathizing – systemizing theory can elucidate common processes in the interaction-based risk-reduction work carried on between ASD forensic patients and their clinicians. Design/methodology/approach Conversation analysis (CA) is used to analyse the talk of two ASD men engaged in risk reduction work with their clinicians on a forensic intellectual disability ward in a medium secure psychiatric hospital in the UK. The clinicians include two forensic nurses and a speech and language therapist. Findings Clinicians adapt to their patients’ systematic processes particularly with regard to helping them understand complex social phenomena such as others’ emotional displays and their understanding of empathy. Practical implications Since ASD in forensic care is poorly researched, clinicians have little in the way of guidance about the interactive strengths and weaknesses of their ASD patients, despite risk reduction work being carried out by means of conversational interactions. This paper demonstrates some key aspects of ASD clinical interactions which may be used to inform treatment strategies elsewhere in the forensic establishment. Originality/value By using Baron-Cohen’s empathizing systemizing theory in combination with CA, this paper aims to bring understanding of ASD interaction up to date. This is of particular importance for this poorly researched patient group, who, because of the way in which they differ to standard psychiatric patients, are at risk of being detained for lengthy periods where treatment strategies are not designed to fit their social and communicative profiles.

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5. Andrew B. The prevalence of autistic spectrum conditions in a community offender sample. Advances in Autism ;2016 ;2(4):191-200.

Purpose Previous prevalence studies of likely autistic spectrum condition (ASC) within criminal justice settings have focussed on specialist forensic mental health settings. The purpose of this paper is to examine prevalence of autism in a general community forensic sample. Design/methodology/approach In total, 336 offenders managed by a probation office were administered with a recognised screening tool to identify likely autism (AQ-10). Screenings were scored and those above the threshold were identified, where possible further diagnostic information was sought on positive-screened cases. Findings In total, 4.5 per cent (15 offenders) of the caseload screened positive for autism. Descriptive demographic information such as gender, age and offence type is provided for this group. Further diagnostic information was available on eight of the cases. Three already had an autism diagnosis and further psychometric assessment indicated that a further three cases were 80 per cent likely to be diagnosable with autism. Research limitations/implications Demographic information on the sample could not be compared with norms across the whole probation caseload due to limitation of resources for the project. No further diagnostic information was available on six offenders who screened positive for autism. Practical implications The research indicates that autism is not substantially over-represented in a large community offender sample although further research is required to identify the full degree of representation. Social implications Different kinds of offences are observed to be committed by offenders who do exhibit autism. It would be useful for criminal justice staff to have a general knowledge about autism, also how people with autism might offend and how they might best be supervised by probation services. Originality/value This is the first study of its kind internationally to examine prevalence of autism in a general community forensic sample.

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6. Regi A, E. LP, Verity C, Magali B, Ignatius G, Sudeep H. Heterogeneity within autism spectrum disorder in forensic mental health : the introduction of typologies. Advances in Autism ;2016 ;2(4):201-209.

Purpose Individuals with diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) within criminal justice settings are a highly heterogeneous group. Although studies have examined differences between those with and without ASD in such settings, there has been no examination of differences within the ASD group. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach Drawing on the findings of a service evaluation project, this paper introduces a typology of ASD within forensic mental health and intellectual disability settings. Findings The eight subtypes that are described draw on clinical variables including psychopathy, psychosis and intensity/frequency of problem behaviours that co-occur with the ASD. The initial assessment of inter-rater reliability on the current version of the typology revealed excellent agreement, multirater Kfree =0.90. Practical implications The proposed typology could improve understanding of the relationship between ASD and forensic risk, identify the most appropriate interventions and provide prognostic information about length of stay. Further research to refine and validate the typology is ongoing. Originality/value This paper introduces a novel, typology-based approach which aims to better serve people with ASD within criminal justice settings.

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7. Sue L. Autism, mental health and offending behaviour : a mother’s quest for healthcare. Advances in Autism ;2016 ;2(4):210-214.

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to describe the experiences of a mother of a son who was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and psychosis in adulthood, the impact of this on his behaviour, and her quest to obtain healthcare. Design/methodology/approach Case study. Findings While a striking story in its own right, the experiences described have a number of wider implications for the treatment of mental ill heath in ASD, the exclusion of families and carers from the care of their adult children in services, and the impact of this on the individuals directly affected. Research limitations/implications The paper offers a number of practical recommendations for the understanding and management of autism in generic mental health services, and the involvement of families and carers in the care of their relative. Originality/value This is the first paper to describe mental ill health and offending behaviour in ASD, from the perspective of a mother.

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8. Eddie C, Jane M. Commentary on “Autism, mental health and offending behaviour : a mother’s quest for healthcare”. Advances in Autism ;2016 ;2(4):215-216.

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide a commentary on “Autism, mental health and offending behaviour : a mother’s quest for healthcare” by Sue Larch. Design/methodology/approach Commentary. Findings Alongside specialist secure services more needs to be done to develop highly skilled specialist services. Originality/value A commentary on an original viewpoint piece published in this special edition on autism and offending behaviour.

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