Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Sexual Offenders With Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Case Study

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Sexual Offenders With Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Case Study

Glynis Murphy (Tizard Center, University of Kent, Canturbury, UK) and Clare Melvin (University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2987-4.ch010

Abstract

The vast majority of individuals with autism do not commit sexual offenses. While there has been some suggestion of a tendency towards anti-social or offending behaviors, a propensity for breaking the law by those with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder has not been found in the research literature. However, the small number of individuals with autism spectrum disorder who do commit crimes appear to cover the full spectrum of offenses committed by offenders without autism spectrum disorder, including sexual offences, arson, violence, theft, terrorism, and manslaughter, although large scale studies suggest they tend to commit proportionately fewer property, driving, and drug offences. The purpose of this case study is to present the use of cognitive behavior therapy to therapeutically address the problem sexual behaviors of a young man with ASD.
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Literature Review

It has also been suggested that ASD symptomatology might potentially impact the achievement of positive outcomes following treatment for difficulties thought to underlie offending, including sexual offending (Melvin et al., 2017). Poor treatment outcomes for individuals with ASD who sexually offend have been identified in a number of case studies (Chan & Saluja, 2011; Kohen et al., 1998; Milton et al., 2002). Additionally, men with an ASD diagnosis who had completed the SOTSEC-ID program (an adapted sexual offender treatment programme for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities) were reported to display higher rates of recidivism than men without ASD (Heaton & Murphy, 2013; Murphy et al., 2007; SOTSEC-ID, 2010), however it is possible this was a consequence of the type of sexual offense men with ASD committed (predominantly non-contact offenses, which tend to have higher rates of recidivism).

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