Thursday, July 08, 2010
Clinic Notes: Asperger's and Murder
Children with Asperger's have problems socially. Often they are isolated and friendless and cannot understand why. Theoretically, children with Asperger's lack a theory of mind. In other words they cannot hypothesize what others are thinking and therefore cannot adjust their behavior in social situations. Recently, a child with Asperger's who had been rejected all of his life commited murder. Children with Asperger's have obsessions and this child committed murder because of his obsession with Stephen Ling novels--one of which said that the 19th would be a day of doom. So on the 19th he took a kitchen knife to school and stabbed another student to death in the restroom. The jury did not buy his insanity defense. I see a number of Asperger's children in my clinic each week and have yet to see any that are violent. Interestingly, in the new DSM revision, which is the bible of psychiatry and psychology, Asperger's will be deleted and children with Asperger's will be diagnosed with high functioning Autism. In my next blog I will discuss Asperger's and belief in God.