Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

First Responders and Autism

  • Luke Beardon
  • Nick Chown
  • Kleio Cossburn
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_102159-1


This entry is focused on providing: (1) background on contact between autistic individuals and the criminal justice system and (2) guidance to first responders on issues that may arise in a first contact situation involving an autistic person to enhance their ability to act in an autism-friendly manner.

Historical Background

Although research in this area is limited, there is some evidence to suggest that autistic individuals come into contact with the criminal justice system significantly more often than predominant neurotype (PNT; nonautistic) individuals (King and Murphy 2014). Although autistic people are statistically less disposed to criminality (Mouridsen et al. 2007), they are seven times more likely to be arrested (Curry et al. 1993), sometimes unlawfully. The longer they remain (innocently) in the criminal justice system, the greater the injustice and suffering inflicted upon them. There are also potential negative impacts on the police such as a greater risk of...


First Responders Autistic Persons Autistic People Custody Officer Guilty Reaction 
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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luke Beardon
    • 1
  • Nick Chown
    • 2
  • Kleio Cossburn
    • 3
  1. 1.Sheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK
  2. 2.Lliçà de Vall, BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Keele UniversityKeele, Newcastle-under-LymeUK