Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 11, pp 2734–2741 | Cite as

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Unlawful Behaviour: Where Do We Go from Here?

  • Marc Woodbury-Smith
  • Kalpana Dein
Original Paper


There exists now a body of research that describes case studies of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who have engaged, or are alleged to have engaged, in a range of illegal behaviours, and that attempts to estimate the prevalence of ASD at different stages of the criminal justice process. Taken together, this research does suggest that some individuals with ASD will come into contact with the criminal justice system, but many questions regarding this apparent association remain unanswered. The purpose of this review is to propose a direction for research to address some of these unanswered questions and potentially inform the development of treatments and service provision.


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) Adulthood Outcome Criminal behaviour 



MWS acknowledges the support of the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) and Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation during the preparation of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster Children’s HospitalMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Cygnet HospitalHertsUK

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