The objective was to examine the frequency, correlates, and overlap of school disciplinary actions, psychiatric hospitalizations, and police contact among children and adolescents with autism. Survey results from 2525 caregivers of individuals with autism in elementary through high school were examined. Logistic regression was used to examine predictors of each outcome. Youth with autism most frequently experienced school disciplinary action (15.0%), followed by police contact (7.9%) and hospitalization (7.8%). Experiencing any one of the three events increased risk of experiencing either of the other events. Strong associations between traumatic experiences such as police contact and hospitalizations (OR 9.2), need to be explored to determine risk factors for potential intervention. Further research is needed to determine the temporal ordering of these outcomes.

Paul Turcotte, Lindsay L. Shea, David Mandell
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, March 2018, Volume 48, Issue 3