Can autistic people be dangerous

Autism and Violence

When it comes to autism, there are many ideas that are rooted in stereotypical ignorance. When Adam Lanza killed 26 people in Sandy Hook, people instantly looked to his supposed autistic background. Whether or not he truly was autistic is undetermined, rather it doesn’t make a difference. There is absolutely no evidence linking autism to intentional violence. In actuality, all studies point to the contrary; whereas autistic children are generally the ones being bullied and attacked.

Lanza was not the first reference to autism being the stem of violent behavior. Before that claim, there was that of the Aurora Theatre shooting being the act of autism. The media is quick to dismiss these accounts as explainable by the condition. In the end, these ideas can only lead to harmful stereotypes.

All legitimate research separates aggressive behavior into two categories. The first category is Affective Aggression which is when the individual lashes out because of defense against proposed threats. The signs of Affective Aggression are increased heart rate and flushed skin. The second is noted as Predatory Aggression, which is a cool, collected, and unemotional attack. You can distinguish Predatory Aggression by the process of premeditation and cold execution. Almost all crimes committed by autistic individuals are based in Affective Aggression.

Autistic people lack communication skills and social cues, making the world around them a much stranger place. With so many bright colors and loud and confusing sounds rushing around them, they are likely to consistently feel anxious and threatened. This is probably why a mind blowing 30 percent of autistic people are prone to behaviors that are aggressive and self-destructive. The question remains, are autistic people dangerous?  The answer is yes, they can be. However, so can everyone else that feels threatened.

More Behaviors with Autism
1). Autism and biting
2). Autism and screaming

3 thoughts on “Can autistic people be dangerous”

  1. I have a neighbor teenager boy that I’ve always been nice to. He would walk around sometimes and chat with me. Today I was getting my bike ready to pull my little ones and he came around asking where we were going- that he’s going to ride with us. I felt for the first time like he liked me beyond normal friendly behavior and was even threatened by my son who is 2.5 and very talkative. I noticed that he seemed agitated by him which made me nervous. There were a couple times he was raising his voice at him saying, “no you can’t do that” which my son didn’t like and started arguing with him. I told him to ride off without me, but he found us while we were riding and kind of stuck around. I’ve always been very friendly with him- because I would think “what if he was my son”, but my gut tells me that I need to be cautious now that he is older. When I came home he kept asking me for a hug and I told him that I can’t give him hugs anymore, that he’s too old now. He was very persitent, but I would not give him a hug. I even told him that my husband would not appreciate me giving him a hug and he said “well he’s cleaning inside”. So, I know he’s pretty clever and it made me wonder if I need to be concerned beyond our normal encounters. If he “likes” me, could he try to hurt my family or me? I know anything is possible, but I’m wondering if there are certain patterns to be aware of. Also, are there any tips for how I could tell him basically that I don’t want him to come around anymore. I hadn’t seen him in almost a year, but I have a feeling I’m going to be seeing him around a lot after today and I don’t feel comfortable around him, especially after the way he was with around my son. Thank you for any insight.

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