13-05-2021 | Brief Report
Homicide Incidents Involving Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder as Victims Reported in the US News Media, 2000–2019
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders | Uitgave 4/2022Log in om toegang te krijgen
Recent research indicates that children with autism are at increased risk of maltreatment. We examined news media reports on homicide incidents involving children with autism as victims in the United States between 2000 and 2019. Of the 52 victims studied, 47 (90.4%) were male. Age of victims ranged from 2 to 20 years (mean = 10.4 ± 5.3 years). Parents and other caregivers accounted for 63.5% and 13.5% of the perpetrators, respectively. The leading injury mechanism was gunshot wounds (23.1%), followed by drowning (19.2%), and suffocation, strangulation, or asphyxiation (19.2%). The most commonly cited contributing factor (47.1%) was overwhelming stress from caring for the autistic child. These results underscore the importance of supporting services for caregivers of children with autism.