Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and unlawful behaviour: where do we go from here?

J Autism Dev Disord. 2014 Nov;44(11):2734-41. doi: 10.1007/s10803-014-2216-5.


There exists now a body of research that describes case studies of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who have engaged, or are alleged to have engaged, in a range of illegal behaviours, and that attempts to estimate the prevalence of ASD at different stages of the criminal justice process. Taken together, this research does suggest that some individuals with ASD will come into contact with the criminal justice system, but many questions regarding this apparent association remain unanswered. The purpose of this review is to propose a direction for research to address some of these unanswered questions and potentially inform the development of treatments and service provision.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / epidemiology*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / therapy
  • Criminal Law / statistics & numerical data*
  • Criminal Law / trends*
  • Criminals / psychology
  • Criminals / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans