Legal Issues

Individuals with Asperger profiles may seek legal information and advocacy to protect themselves against discrimination, or they may be dealing with a criminal accusation or arrest. Some individuals get into legal trouble for reasons related to their Asperger profile. They may lack communication skills, react to situations unpredictably, or have their actions misinterpreted when they do not make “appropriate” eye contact. Some people with Asperger profiles have confessed to crimes that they did not commit in an anxious effort to stop police questioning. Conversely, some individuals have actually been guilty of the crimes of which they had been accused. Advocacy efforts can serve to introduce explanations about why Asperger profiles can render it difficult for individuals to accurately read social situations, sometimes involving them in circumstances that they were unable to anticipate. These advocacy efforts can be used to potentially reduce or modify punishments, for example: resulting in lower security placements in prison, shorter jail times or probation.

It is important to ascertain your legal council’s understanding of Asperger profiles. To be effective, your attorney must become well-versed in how an Asperger profile influences your actions. You may need to provide your council with information about Asperger profiles or Autism. We are here to provide you with the resources you need.

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Asperger Syndrome in the Criminal Justice System

Article
Recent statistics suggest that as many as 1 in 99 people may have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The criminal justice system (CJS) may have contact with individuals with ASDs as victims, witnesses, and/or offenders. All criminal justice professionals who have contact with individuals with ASDs will need to establish clear and consistent... more

2017 Benefits Conference: Legal Issues Materials

Article
These materials were presented at Asperger Syndrome and Adult Life: Navigating the Massachusetts Public and Private Supports and Service Systems on February 4th, 2017 and are gathered here for review.Barbara Jackins: Age of Consent Decision FormBarbara Jackins: Durable Power of Attorney for a Young PersonKen Shulman: Estate Planning... more

Asperger Fact Sheet

Article
About AS:It is a neurological condition that affects the way information is processed in the brain. AS is a hidden disability. Many people appear very competent, but they have difficulties in the areas of communication and social interaction. AS has a genetic and hereditary component... more

Legal Planning For Special Families in Massachusetts: A Family Guide to SSI, Guardianship and Estate…

Recommended Reading
Attorney and parent Barbara Jackins' new book is a must have resource for parents of children with special needs and the professionals and advocates who assist them. In an easy-to-read, conversational style, Jackins, the lead author of Special Needs Trust Administration Manual: A Guide for... more

Principles for Prosecutors Considering Child Pornography Charges Against People with Asperger Profiles

Article
Preface Among the difficulties faced by young persons afflicted with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) and their families is the misinterpretation of the atypical behavior of the AS patient as dangerous and criminal. AS, defined in DSM-IV, is an “Autism Spectrum Disorder” (ASD) typified by extreme social and emotional immaturity, the inability to... more

Should You Disclose Asperger Syndrome to Your Employer?

Article
Coaching clients frequently ask me whether they should disclose their disability to an employer. My answer is, “It depends.” The best approach is to develop a personalized plan based on the many factors that affect employment outcomes. These factors include an individual’s job skills, primary challenges, employment history and... more