Danish epidemiolgists have looked at criminal behavior in autistics, and the results are nothing short of startling:
In their paper, Pervasive developmental disorders and criminal behaviour: A case control study, authors S.E. Mouridsen, B. Rich, T. Isager, and N.J. Nedergaard, show:
The prevalence and pattern of criminal behaviour in a population of 313 former child psychiatric in-patients with pervasive developmental disorders were studied. The patients were divided into three subgroups and compared with 933 matched controls from the general population. Age at follow-up was between 25 years and 59 years. An account of convictions in the nationwide Danish Register of Criminality was used as a measure of criminal behaviour. Among 113 cases with childhood autism,.9% had been convicted. In atypical autism (n = 86) and Asperger’s syndrome (n = 114) the percentages were 8.1% and 18.4%, respectively. The corresponding rate of convictions in the comparison groups was 18.9%, 14.7%, and 19.6% respectively. Particular attention is given to arson in Asperger’s syndrome (p =.0009). © 2008 Sage Publications.
Yes, autsitics are as much as 20 times less likely to be convicted of crimes as their “typical” counterparts (0.9% compared to 18.9%).
I ran across this abstract and, given the current hype over Danish epidemiologists I couldn’t resist presenting it in this sensational mode. Besides, the title may draw some readers from the contingent bent on portraying child autistics as a looming threat to the well being of society.