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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Autism is not psychosis

Autism is not psychosis

From the piece:

Given the unspeakable events last week in Newtown, everyone is searching for answers about what might have driven Adam Lanza to kill. Attention has focused on his possible autism spectrum diagnosis, but as researchers and advocates have pointed out, autistic people are actually less likely to commit crimes compared to those without the condition.

There is, however, another disorder that can both be linked with planned violence and mistaken for autism, which may account for part of what went wrong, in this instance or others. That's psychosis, which can occur as part of schizophrenia or in some cases of severe depression or drug misuse. While it's important to understand the differences between autism and psychosis, it's also critical to know that stigmatizing, bullying, rejecting, and isolating people who are different exacerbates every mental illness and developmental disability ever studied.


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