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Heterogeneity within autism spectrum disorder in forensic mental health: the introduction of typologies

Regi Alexander (Partnerships in Care Learning Disability Services, Norfolk, UK)
Peter E. Langdon (Tizard Centre, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK) (Broadland Clinic, Hertfordshire Partnership, University NHS Foundation Trust in Norfolk, UK)
Verity Chester (Partnerships in Care Learning Disability Services, Norfolk, UK)
Magali Barnoux (Tizard Centre, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK)
Ignatius Gunaratna (Partnerships in Care Ltd, Norfolk, UK)
Sudeep Hoare (Partnerships in Care Ltd, Norfolk, UK)

Advances in Autism

ISSN: 2056-3868

Article publication date: 3 October 2016

1041

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Citation

Alexander, R., Langdon, P.E., Chester, V., Barnoux, M., Gunaratna, I. and Hoare, S. (2016), "Heterogeneity within autism spectrum disorder in forensic mental health: the introduction of typologies", Advances in Autism, Vol. 2 No. 4, pp. 201-209. https://doi.org/10.1108/AIA-08-2016-0021

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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