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