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Forensic rehabilitation in Asperger syndrome: a case report

Marlene Kelbrick (Specialty Trainee 5, General Adult Psychiatry, Leicester NHS trust, the clinical leadership fellow, St Andrews, Leicester, UK)
Jane Radley (Consultant Psychiatrist at the Low Secure ASD Men's Service, St Andrew's Hospital, Northampton, UK)

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour

ISSN: 2050-8824

Article publication date: 1 January 2013

Abstract

Purpose

People with Asperger syndrome are at increased risk of co‐morbid mental health problems. The core features underlying autism are likely to play an important role in offending behaviour amongst this population. Forensic rehabilitation includes a multidisciplinary approach and combination of therapeutic interventions. However there is limited evidence in the literature of what constitutes effective treatment within this setting, and how the process of rehabilitation is experienced by patients. The purpose of this paper is to describe a case of Asperger syndrome with co‐morbid psychosis and offending behaviour and the process of forensic rehabilitation.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors briefly review the literature related to Asperger syndrome, offending in this population and co‐morbidity. The authors then describe and reflect on a case of a young man with Asperger syndrome, sexual offending and the process of forensic rehabilitation, and offer an insight from the patient's perspective.

Findings

Co‐morbid mental illness, when detected early, can be successfully managed with limited additional disability. The process of forensic rehabilitation includes a multidisciplinary approach. Therapeutic interventions specifically aimed at addressing core features of autism, risk and offence‐related factors are effective in promoting recovery amongst those with autism and offending behaviour.

Originality/value

The paper highlights how core features of autism can lead to offending behaviour, the importance of early recognition and treatment of co‐morbidity, and the process of forensic rehabilitation and recovery. Also included are quotes from the patient's perspective on what it is like to have Asperger syndrome, and what has been the key learning from the rehabilitation process.

Keywords

Citation

Kelbrick, M. and Radley, J. (2013), "Forensic rehabilitation in Asperger syndrome: a case report", Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, Vol. 4 No. 1/2, pp. 60-64. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIDOB-03-2013-0007

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited