Brief Report: No Increase in Criminal Convictions in Hans Asperger’s Original Cohort
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- Hippler, K., Viding, E., Klicpera, C. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2010) 40: 774. doi:10.1007/s10803-009-0917-y
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Hans Asperger originally used the term “autistic psychopathy” to describe his patients on the autism spectrum, leading to a possible confusion with psychopathic disorder and delinquent behaviour. We conducted a penal register search for 177 former patients of Asperger’s clinic with a childhood diagnosis of “autistic psychopathy” or features of the disorder in Austria. The mean percentage of registered convictions was similar to that in the general male population of Austria over the studied time period. A qualitative assessment of offence types in Asperger’s former patients suggests that the nature of offences does not differ from that in the general population. In this original cohort of Asperger’s patients, convictions were no more common than in the general male population.