Sexual Abuse of Children with Autism: Factors that Increase Risk and Interfere with Recognition of Abuse
Keywords:Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorders, sexual abuse
Two main arguments are made with regard to children with autism and risk for sexual abuse. First, some children with autism may be targeted for abuse by sexual offenders who may view them as vulnerable children. Second, when children with autism are sexually abused, they may show this in ways that get ignored or misattributed to autism rather than to possible sexual abuse. Because of these two issues, there need to be reliable methods established for determining whether or not a child on the autism spectrum has been sexually abused, and these protocols need to be informed by the challenges encountered by individuals with autism, voiced by those along the spectrum as well as by researchers in the autism field.
Keywords: Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorders, sexual abuse
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