Serial Murderers with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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SerialMurderers with Autism Spectrum DisorderNameInstitutionalAffiliationDate

Tableof Contents

SerialMurderers with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 3

Abstract………………………………………………………………………………………….3.1

Introduction……………………………………………………….……………………….…3.2

CognitivePsychology……………………………………………………………………….…3.3

CognitivePsychology and ASD………………………………………………………….3.3.1

NeurodevelopmentalDisorder……………………………………………………………….….3

Typesof Autism Spectrum Disorders 3

Asperger’sSyndrome 3.1

PervasiveDevelopment Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) 3.2

AutisticDisorder………………………………………………………………………………3.3

ChildhoodDisintegrative Disorder……………………………………………………………3.4

Symptomsand Characteristics 4

Diagnosis 4

Tests. 4.1

Treatment. 4.2

Conclusion 5

References…………………………………………………………………………………………6

SerialMurderers with Neurodevelopmental Disorder suffering from AutismSpectrum Disorder.

Autismspectrum disorder (ASD) is the general name given to a group ofdevelopmental disorders in human beings (Kanwisher,2010).These disorders include social and behavioural challenges and rangesfrom mild, average to severe. The severe scenario of mass killingsmay be linked to the actions of serial murderers (Russsell, 2016).There is research suggesting that some serial killers may bemisbehaving (killing) involuntarily as they are not in control oftheir actions. Voluntary homicide is punishable by the legislation ofthe land where the suspect is given a death sentence (Smith &ampCooper, 2013). Regarding these statutes, the matter of concern is howto justify and eventually pass criminal judgement on particularmurderers suffering from the neurodevelopmental disorders. Thisdisorder interferes with the mental judgement of the person andeventually their action which can result in killing.

NeurodevelopmentalDisorder

Theneurodevelopmental disorder is a medical condition resulting fromincorrect growth and development of the central nervous system.Medics refer to it as a brain dysfunction affecting the individual’sability to control themselves, their emotions, reasoning, memory, andthe learning ability. Research indicate that some serial killers maybe having this mental condition affecting their judgement andreasoning, which may result from chronic head injury. An example ofthe neurodevelopmental disorder is theAttention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The judicial systemis unable to pass serious sentences on serial killers with thismental condition because these individuals may have actedinvoluntarily. The condition is associated with madness.

Typesof Autism Spectrum Disorders

Initially,medical experts talked about the different types of autism includingautistic disorders, Asperger’s disorder syndrome, pervasivedevelopmental disorder-not other specified (PDD-NOS) (Kanswisher,2010).Now they are referred to as the autism spectrum disorders. It is amore advanced stage of the neurodevelopmental disorder.

TheAsperger’s syndrome is the milder type in the autism spectrum. Inthis situation, an individual with ASD may have high levels ofintelligence in addition to being capable of handling their dailylife (Russell et al., 2016). They have a tendency of focusing ontopics that interest them and discussing them nonstop. However, theyhave a hard social life.

PervasiveDevelopmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). The secondstage in the autism hierarchy which affects most children (Russell etal., 2016). This category is more severe than the Asperger’ssyndrome but slightly milder than the autistic disorder.

Theautistic disorder is the oldest type in the autism spectrum and moreserious than both the Asperger’s and PDD-NOS. It has similarsymptoms to the first two but with a higher level of intensity(Russell et al., 2016). The severity of the behaviours in this stageis associated with the explosive reaction of the social problems likecommunication (Jeste &amp Gestchwind, 2014). Cacioppo,Berntson &amp Nusbaum, (2008) suggest that mostserial killers with ASD are believed to be in this autistic disordercategory.

Thefinal one is the childhood disintegrative disorder apart from beingthe rarest part of the spectrum and also quite severe (Jeste &ampGestchwind, 2014). It is common with children who grow just normallybut quickly looses most of the mental skills, social, and languageaspects at around the ages of 2 and 4. Often, these children maydevelop a seizure disorder whereas adults do not experience seizureattacks (Cacioppo,Berntson &amp Decety, 2014).

Symptomsand Characteristics

Thegeneral health records show that people suffering from ASD showindividual features including social problems like poor communicationand interaction with other others (Kanwisher, 2010). The serialmurderers also have common traits of repetitive behaviours andlimited activities or interests (Jeste&amp Geschwind, 2014).Health experts say that the symptoms of this disorders can berecognised quite early in life, around two years (Jeste&amp Geschwind, 2014).An outstanding trait is one that will hurt the social life of theindividual either at school, at work or even at home. The researchlinking serial killers to this disorder suggest that the repetitivebehaviour may be the reason for their continuous killing act(Kanwisher, 2010). Secondly, they get upset quickly and can react bykilling (Kanwisher, 2010).

DiagnosisTests and Treatment

Theprimary features of ASD are social communication and interactionsproblems (Cacioppo,Berntson &amp Nusbaum, 2008).The communicational problems can be easily recognised in childrenwhile some other features may not be noticed until the situationchanges like when a child starts attending school (Cacioppo,Berntson &amp Nusbaum, 2008).It is recommended for a parent to visit a health expert in case ofthese symptoms in a child. Thesamecase applies to an adult because getting the diagnosis can help boththe patient and the family to understand the situation and also learnto cope with it by seeking assistance (Russell et al., 2016). Forinstance, there are some health centers and organizations that helpadults with ASD which assist them in living independently by findingjobs that suit their skills and capabilities (Cacioppo,Berntson &amp Nusbaum, 2008).Moreover, such facilities providing autism-specific services come inhandy while investigating the background of serial killers suspectedto have ASD (Cacioppo,Berntson &amp Nusbaum, 2008).

Conclusion

Neurodevelopmentaldisorders and autism spectral disorders are neurological dysfunctionsthat interfere with the mental functioning of an individual affectingtheir social and behavioural conduct (Kanwisher, 2010). Both casesmay start in the childhood stages of a person and last all throughtheir life (Kanwisher, 2010). These conditions are called spectrumbecause the affected people may have a variety of symptoms likerepetitive behaviours and avoiding eye contact during communicationwith others (Kanwisher, 2010).

Unfortunately,neither the cause nor the treatment of these chronic medicalconditions is available (Jeste&amp Geschwind, 2014).Research specialists suggest that these health statuses are triggeredby both the genes and the environment (Cacioppo,Berntson &amp Nusbaum, 2008).The only remedy to manage ASD is for the parent or relative to takekeen attention of the individual or child to notice any changes inbehaviour (Cacioppo,Berntson &amp Nusbaum, 2008).Any positive signs of ASD should be addressed immediately by seekingexpert medical care (Cacioppo,Berntson &amp Decety, 2010).Treatments include social therapy mostly on the communicational andbehavioural problems. The federal judges are unable to pass severesentences on serial killers with symptoms of neurodevelopmentdisorder with ASD in a similar way with voluntary serial killersbecause the action may have been involuntary. Instead, the murderersshould be locked up in health centers as they receive therapeutictreatments to check and help in reinstating the mental condition to afavourable level.

References

Cacioppo,T.J., Berntson, G.G., &amp Decety, J. (2010). Social Neuroscienceand its Relationship to

SocialPsychology. Soc Cogn. 2010 28(6): 675–685. Retrieved from

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3883133/pdf/nihms-538930.pdf

Cacioppo,J. T., Berntson, C. G., &amp Nusbaum, H. C. (2008). Neuroimaging asa new tool in the

toolboxof psychological science. Current Directions in PsychologicalScience, 17(2),

62–67.

Jeste,S. S., &amp Geschwind, D. H. (2014). Disentangling the heterogeneityof autism spectrum

disorderthrough genetic findings.&nbspNatureReviews Neurology,&nbsp10(2),74-81.

Kanwisher,N. (2010). Functional specificity in the human brain: A window intothe functional

architectureof the mind. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA,

107(25),11163–11170

Russell,A. J., Murphy, C. M., Wilson, E., Gillan, N., Brown, C., Robertson,D. M., … &amp

McAlonan,G. M. (2016). The mental health of individuals referred forassessment of

autismspectrum disorder in adulthood: A clinic report.&nbspAutism,&nbsp20(5),623-627.Smith,E. L., &amp Cooper, A. (2013). Homicide in the US known to lawenforcement,

2011.&nbspWashington,DC: US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Thefive references are to be used in the next research are

Allely,C. S., Minnis, H., Thompson, L., Wilson, P., &amp Gillberg, C.(2014). Neurodevelopmental and psychosocial risk factors in serialkillers and mass murderers.&nbspAggressionand Violent Behaviour,&nbsp19(3),288-301.Retrieved fromhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1359178914000305

Jeste,S. S., &amp Geschwind, D. H. (2014). Disentangling the heterogeneityof autism spectrum

disorderthrough genetic findings.&nbspNatureReviews Neurology,&nbsp10(2),74-81.

Kopel,D. B., &amp Cramer, C. E. (2014). Reforming Mental Health Law toProtect Public Saftey and Help the Severely Mentally Ill.&nbspHowardLJ,&nbsp58,715.

Russell,A. J., Murphy, C. M., Wilson, E., Gillan, N., Brown, C., Robertson,D. M., … &amp

McAlonan,G. M. (2016). The mental health of individuals referred forassessment of

autismspectrum disorder in adulthood: A clinic report.&nbspAutism,&nbsp20(5),623-627.Smith,E. L., &amp Cooper, A. (2013). Homicide in the US known to lawenforcement,

2011.&nbspWashington,DC: US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics.