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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Regi Alexander, Peter E. Langdon, Verity Chester, Magali Barnoux, Ignatius Gunaratna and Sudeep Hoare

Individuals with diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) within criminal justice settings are a highly heterogeneous group. Although studies have examined differences…

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.

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Rahul Rai, Samuel Tromans, Chaya Kapugama, Verity Chester, Ignatius Gunaratna, Peter Langdon and Regi T. Alexander

The diagnosis of psychosis in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) poses a unique clinical challenge. The presence of intellectual disability (ID) further…

Abstract

Purpose

The diagnosis of psychosis in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) poses a unique clinical challenge. The presence of intellectual disability (ID) further complicates the diagnostic picture. Reliable and timely diagnosis of psychosis in such individuals minimises the duration of untreated psychotic symptoms and the subsequent impact on the quality of life of the patients concerned. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors present four patients with psychosis, ASD and ID, who have received care within forensic mental health and ID settings. These examples demonstrate the interaction between these conditions, as well as issues pertaining to diagnosis and management.

Findings

In all four patients, sustained use of antipsychotic medication was objectively associated with an improvement in psychotic symptoms and quality of life. In instances where autistic phenomena were accentuated upon development of psychosis, such features returned to the baseline levels evident prior to the onset of psychosis.

Practical implications

The discussion and related case examples could improve the understanding of the possibility of psychosis in individuals with ASD and ID, and increase awareness of this diagnostic possibility among healthcare professionals.

Originality/value

This is the first published case series illustrating the challenges of diagnosing psychosis in individuals with ASD and ID.

Details

Advances in Autism, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3868

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 January 2011

Regi Alexander, Avinash Hiremath, Verity Chester, Fatima Green, Ignatius Gunaratna and Sudeep Hoare

The aim of the project was to evaluate the short‐term treatment outcomes of patients treated in a medium secure service for people with intellectual disability. A total of…

Abstract

The aim of the project was to evaluate the short‐term treatment outcomes of patients treated in a medium secure service for people with intellectual disability. A total of 138 patients, 77 discharged and 61 current inpatients, treated over a six‐year period were included in the audit. Information on demographic and clinical variables was collected on a pre‐designed data collection tool and analysed using appropriate statistical methods. The median length of stay for the discharged group was 2.8 years. About 90% of this group were discharged to lower levels of security and about a third went directly to community placements. None of the clinical and forensic factors examined was significantly associated with length of stay for this group. There was a ‘difficult to discharge long‐stay’ group which had more patients with criminal sections, restriction orders, history of abuse, fire setting, personality disorders and substance misuse. However, when regression analysis was done, most of these factors were not predictive of the length of stay. Clinical diagnosis or offending behaviour categories are poor predictors of length of hospital stay, and there is a need to identify empirically derived patient clusters using a variety of clinical and forensic variables. Common datasets and multi‐centre audits are needed to drive this.

Details

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1282

Keywords

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