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The term “counterfeit deviance” is used to describe inappropriate behavior rooted in factors other than true deviance. It is most often used in the context of inappropriate sexual behavior, in which the observed behavior looks paraphilic but, upon closer examination, was the result of other factors. Counterfeit deviance has been the focus of more discussion in the intellectual disability literature than in the autism-specific literature. There are clinical examples of its occurrence even among people with ASD who have adequate intellectual ability.
Traits associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – including but not limited to difficulty taking another person’s perspective, social naiveté, preoccupation with particular areas of interest, differences in sensory perception – may make this population prone to situations that cause counterfeit deviance, particularly when the behavior of the person with ASD is assessed by someone unfamiliar with these traits. While one...
References and Reading
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