1.5 Hours | 1.5 CEs

This webinar on Forensic Aspects of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is presented by Jerrod Brown, PhD.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the U.S., with diagnoses increasing somewhere between 10% and 17% each year. In fact, one out of 68 U.S. citizens has an ASD diagnosis (CDC, 2015). This disorder consists of social and communication deficits, cognitive rigidity, and behavioral sequelae, all of which can vary in presence and severity across individuals with the disorder. These symptoms may increase the likelihood that an individual will become entangled in the criminal justice system and can have a devastating impact on an individual’s capacity to participate in the various stages of the legal system. As such, it is likely that criminal justice, forensic mental health, and legal professionals will encounter witnesses, suspects, defendants, offenders, or victims with ASD on a semi-frequent basis. Although there is a dearth of empirical research on the topic, the deficits inherent to ASD—the social and communication impairments in particular—can have a negative impact on an individual’s ability to navigate all phases of the criminal justice and legal systems. Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are involved in the criminal justice system can present unique challenges and management problems for criminal justice, forensic mental health, and legal professionals. These obstacles are often exacerbated when individuals with ASD are not accurately identified and responsively treated.

In this 90-minute webinar, participants learn about the impact ASD has on criminal justice and forensic mental health settings and acquire knowledge about the deficits commonly caused by ASD. Specifically, this webinar focuses on how ASD may contribute to confabulation, competency to stand trial (CST) deficits, diminished capacity, false confessions, sexually inappropriate behaviors, suggestibility, aggressiveness, self-injurious and suicidal behaviors, and possible victimization during incarceration. Relevant research findings and case law are presented throughout the webinar. Finally, this webinar provides suggested approaches and intervention strategies that criminal justice and forensic mental health professionals can utilize when working with individuals who have suspected or confirmed ASD.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this webinar you will be able to:

  • Describe the risk factors, red flag indicators, and deficits commonly associated with ASD

  • Describe empirical research, case law, and popular media coverage of the impact of ASD on the criminal justice system

  • Describe the challenges and difficulties of routine screenings for ASD in clinical and forensic populations along with ways to limit missed, under, and misdiagnosis of ASD

  • Describe how ASD can impact a defendant’s competency to stand trial and other trial-related abilities

  • Describe the difficulties that forensic mental health professionals must grapple with when evaluating the competency of defendants with ASD

  • Describe the impact os ASD on victimization and participation in the criminal justice system via a review of relevant case studies

  • Describe intervention strategies that are appropriate for individuals with ASD who are involved in the criminal justice system

Presented By

Jerrod Brown, PhD

Jerrod Brown, PhD, is the Treatment Director for Pathways Counseling Center, Inc., the lead developer of an online Master of Arts degree in Human Services with an emphasis in Forensic Behavioral Health from Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota, the founder and CEO of the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies (AIAFS), and the Editor-in-Chief of Forensic Scholars Today (FST) and the Journal of Special Populations (JSP).
  • Intended Audience

    This on-demand webinar is intended for mental health and other allied professionals.

  • Experience Level

    This on-demand webinar is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

  • CE / CPD Credit

    APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC Click here for state and other regional board approvals.

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