People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are known to have difficulties in their social communication and interaction. The internet is a twenty-first century phenomenon that provides such individuals with a world in which they can exist without the awkwardness of face-to-face contact. The purpose of this paper is to start to illustrate the high risks that can occur when the internet is used as the main forum for interaction in individuals who are socially impaired.
This paper provides a brief summary of literature in relation to ASD and risk of offending behaviour followed by a case study of a young man with a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome who was convicted of conspiracy to murder.
This paper concludes that possible deficits in central coherence, theory of mind and social skills, combined with extensive periods of time spent alone on the internet forums and a late diagnosis of ASD, may place individuals at risk of committing a serious offence.
This paper highlights the difficulties that people with Autism may have in separating fantasy from reality and the high level of risk that can occur as a result.
Higham, L., Piracha, I. and Crocombe, J. (2016), "Asperger syndrome, internet and fantasy versus reality – a forensic case study", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 10 No. 6, pp. 349-354. https://doi.org/10.1108/AMHID-07-2015-0034Download as .RIS
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