June 21, 2017
Autism was associated with an increased risk for violent crime; however, the association was significantly attenuated by comorbid ADHD or conduct disorder, according to recent findings.
“We know that some people with an autism diagnosis have challenging behavior and may come into contact with the criminal justice system; however, whether having autism increases the risk of violence or not has previously not been clear,” Ragini Heeramun, MRCPsych, LLM, of Avon & Wiltshire Partnership NHS Mental Health Trust, Bristol, United Kingdom, said in a press release. “Our findings, from the largest study to date, show that at the population level, autism in itself doesn't seem to be associated with convictions for violent crimes. However, other conditions, such as ADHD, which can co-occur with autism, may increase such risks.”