ASD and Sex Offenses: Guidance for the Criminal Justice System

Chair: Dr. Laurie Sperry Co-Chairs: Dr. Rachel Loftin, Dr. Philip O’Donnell, Dr. Alexander Westphal, Hannah Heyward, PhD candidate Oftentimes education related to sexual/romantic functioning does not occur until after an individual with ASD been victimized or has committed a social error that meets the criteria for a sex offense (Griffiths, 1999). These behaviors may include undesired touching, public masturbation and other illegal activity (Hellemans, et al., 2007). Even when problem behaviors are not illegal or harmful to others, inappropriate sexual behaviors can limit employment and inclusion opportunities for individuals with ASD (Sullivan & Caterino, 2008). One of the biggest challenges in developing appropriate sexuality education for people with ASD has been bridging the gap between people who know about sexuality education and people who know about ASD (Mesibov, 2012). The goal of this interactive panel discussion is to summarize what is known from published investigations and case studies of people with ASD through an examination of information about the criminal justice system, the characteristics and life circumstances of people with ASD that are implicated . This presentation will provide case examples and cover the findings from an investigation of a sexuality education curriculum developed by ASD specialists and Planned Parenthood. Preliminary data will be presented regarding the psychiatric and behavioral profiles of adolescents with histories of interpersonal violence, including sexual offending, who have been admitted to an inpatient psychiatric unit. Practical applications for community and educational settings will be discussed.
Saturday, May 16, 2015: 7:15 AM-8:45 AM
Envoy (Grand America Hotel)