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Thread: Autism Spectrum and Sociopaths

  1. #1
    Sully's Avatar

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    Nov 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
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    Autism Spectrum and Sociopaths

    So a research topic I've been interested lately is whether autism spectrum disorder is getting misdiagnosed in children who are actually budding psychopaths.

    The traits doctors diagnosis for autism such as lack of social ineptitude, little emotion, lack of empathy, all coincide with a different diagnosis. The adult diagnosis is anti social personality disorder. Sociopaths.

    The problem is, no health professional wants to sit a parent down and tell them their child is a future psychopath. So they look for other options, and symptoms of autism spectrum overlap just well enough to shove the pieces in.

    The difference? Those with autism aren't ordinary violent, not in the way a sociopath would be. Maybe reactive aggression sure, but proactive? No, that's something different.

    Adam Lanza, the infamous killer in the Sandy Hook murders, according to reports diagnosed with autism. But most people with autism are diagnosed at a young age...and most doctors refuse to diagnose young children as sociopaths.

    Was Adam Lanza misdiagnosed?

    I believe so. Autism has been misdiagnosed this decade rapidly as it is, but there's a serious concern of mine right now that mixed in with those diagnosed with autism are patients of a different disorder. Anti Social personality, schizoid personality, sociopaths, and future killers. And it comes down to mental health professionals and the lack of enthusiasm to identify young sociopaths.

    This concern comes first hand from seeing these very children at the mental health facility I work in. We have many children diagnosed with autism. But there's one in particular who I think is very different, and in a scary way. This morning, a coworker asked this child "Did you have a nice weekend?" And he responds "yeah..well, no not a "nice" weekend..." and in the most casual way he says "I poured Clorox on my dog". By the book psychopath. I've observed this child and his aggressive patterns long enough. His aggression isn't reactive. They're premeditated, proactive acts. Things such as luring a staff member away so he can target and attack a small girl. This particular case, I believe the autism diagnosis is incorrect. What's inside his brain is something so much more sinister.

    There's a pattern of mass murderers diagnosed with autism. But how many of those were diagnosed correctly? It's casting a dangerous shadow as well over those who are diagnosed autism spectrum.

    I'm going to delve into this more with some research, as well as talk to some colleagues about it. I'll use this thread to update you on anything I find. But in the meantime, I'd like to hear some of your thoughts on this? A lot of the symtpoms overlap significantly, but the deep rooted issues are far different. So what are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Sakura's Avatar

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    Re: Autism Spectrum and Sociopaths

    Well, there is a problem with that. I can see why, too. You have the issue with empathy and relating with people that many people with ASD have, so it makes sense.

    Interested to see more on this, as I'm on the autistic spectrum myself. (PDD-NOS/Aspergers).
    Everything will surely be alright.

  3. #3
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    Baldrick's Avatar

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    Re: Autism Spectrum and Sociopaths

    The hard bit for me, with regards to kids is we don't know how they're going to act when they mature, so it's pretty damn hard to suggest they are future sociopaths without added extras, much like in the case you've mentioned above.

    I do worry for my son. He has diagnosed ADHD and high functioning ASD. He is aggressive but that is always in reaction to a situation he doesn't like, so at the moment I keep telling myself this is his fight response.....however my main concern for the future for his is the fact he tries to be so damn manipulative and he doesn't see his ways as being a problem. I am keeping a real close eye on him, perhaps even more so he is 12 so things are changing for him massively, and i'm hoping for positive changes.

    I am interested to see what else you find though Sully, as misdiagnoses of anything can cause massive issues for those involved, and for those around them.
    I have a plan so cunning......

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