Autism develops during the first 6 years of life, as does Narcissism. So are the two disorders connected due to the fact that they both lack empathy! It’s not likely, although there has been an ever growing trend of people being diagnosed with Autism? In 2013 Asperger’s syndrome was estimated to affect 31 million people globally. (Statistics taken from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).) According to National Autism Society – There are around 700,000 people in the UK living with autism – that’s more than 1 in 1001. If you include their families, autism touches the lives of 2.8 million people every day. Studies suggest that about 1 percent of the world population has autism spectrum disorder! Co-incidentally – Narcissistic personality disorder affects an estimated 1% of the general population too.
In 1950, Hans Asperger identified another type of autism, namely Psychopathic Autism and this was labelled as Asperger’s syndrome. Although today, this disorder is no longer used, for the purpose of explaining the difference and development of the two, I will re-name Asperger’s as Psychopathy! For clarity purposes only.
To separate the two terms; Autism is a mainly led as neurosis and neurosis is motivated by fear. Psychopathy is psychosis and is created by fear. in dysfunctional families where the child is undiagnosed with autism, without support, may go on to develop psychopathy.
Although autism is diagnosed on the basis of social impairment and repetitive behaviours, the importance of emotion regulation and all the behaviours that come with it – depression, tantrums, meltdowns, irritability – are very real and should be a focus of clinical services, not the label they have assigned to them. Secondly, Autism is not a learning disability, granted, there are many who have an additional learning disability with this disorder, however there is a clear distinction. Autism is not a mental illness either, for decades clinicians have been putting this disorder into either the Learning Disability or Mental Health bracket.
The condition is fluid meaning it affects both high intellect and low (learning disability).
Thus; A child with Autism is one that can read and recite the encyclopaedia from the back to the front but is unable to sequence how to dress for the day, whereas a learning disability lacks intelligence and cannot perform either task without support! There is a BIG difference between these two diagnosis!
When faced with emotional situations, people with autism do not use their prefrontal cortex (the planning and sequencing part of the brain) because the neurology of the brain is wired differently, to regulate emotions to the same extent as people without autism. This in turn may lead to the associated symptoms, such as anxiety, tantrums, and irritability, which can be pervasive. Children with autism often lack the ability to cope with difficult social and emotional situations that result in meltdowns and tantrums.
Proprioception is observed in those with autism. They love physical aggression, fighting against each other, against anybody that slights them, it enrages them and they either freeze or fly! In anxiety terms, they either run in fear or face the fear. They love fear, it becomes a chemical addiction, neurologically, the adrenaline rush they receive from releasing suppressed anger through aggression floods their brain chemicals.
Autistic individuals can handle internal events but are less effective at empathizing events generated by other agents. Incidentally, individuals with ASC do possess emotion capacity, and can be deeply remorseful when they accidentally upset or harm another. Although these individuals are on the high functioning end of ASC and one could say that those on the lower end are not capable of emotion, but this doesn’t mean they have no capacity of emotion, clearly they demonstrate emotion in their behaviour and explosive meltdowns! Psychopathy on the other hand, has no remorse or emotional content, they do not experience fear and this is why the two disorders are distinctively separate, but sadly labelled as the same diagnosis which is autism? Also, psychopathy are typically labelled as emotionally stable (EU) in presentation, whereas Autistic individual are typically labelled and emotionally unstable (EU)?
Alongside this, there are numerous other disorders that affect brain neurology – ADHD, significant learning disabilities, mood disorders, foetal alcohol syndrome, brain damage, concussion, stroke. A faulty interaction between the amygdala and the pre-frontal cortex could fail to provide the proper emotional cue, resulting in misunderstanding what was being expressed. Therefore, many other disorders are affected neurologically!
ASC and ASPD disorders have anti-social traits that also oppose each other and their behaviours don’t conform to social norms. Autistic people who are more prone to psychotic type experiences when they are emotionally/anxiety distressed. Whereas psychopathy or antisocial are prone to psychotic episodes because their needs or wants haven’t been met! Coincidentally so does Narcissism!
Psychopathy demands compliance and Autism commands understanding and explaining.
Autistic people tend to be loners because they are unable to understand and process social cues and are more likely to be dependant, due to their anxiety and insecurity in social environments. ASPD are loners, because they alienate people away from them due to their high callousness and disregard for people and, because others fear them.
A psychopath is a master manipulator and their tool of control is blackmail, they use this to ensure your will abide by and comply to their demands. They can, and do, force you to complete acts so that if you stray from their rein, they will use their weapons as a tool to humiliate and damage your dignity and reputation. It’s deliberately intentional. Whereas an autistic individual wouldn’t dream of thinking up such a masterplan or suggesting such a thing!
Studies to date have always assessed and stigmatised autism and other criminal offending behaviour to cold mothering, (I think here these studies may of been carried out on psychopathy or conduct disorder?) Whereas, Autism has now been proven to affect everyone and anyone, blaming cold mothering is no longer acceptable. When a mother is in a domestic violent relationship, and they have an autistic child, and the father becomes anti-social and abusive in the relationship, does this mean the child is also going to become an abuser? Also, there are millions of families with challenging autistic children and no domestic violence!
Children who are diagnosed with autism and given adequate support will develop positive relationships and healthy emotional connections. Those who were neglected, bullied, abused or failed to access adequate health services, emotional support or behaviour therapy, are of high risk of becoming the exact negative (shadow) version, of the healthy autistic individual, or possibly a criminal psychopath, depending on temperament. Secondly, if the parent displayed criminal behaviours, the child may echo this and continue the learnt behaviour of the dominant or powerful parent.
This is not to say that all children on the autistic spectrum will develop psychopathy, it simply means those children who have autism, share the same brain dysfunctional deficits as those who don’t and subsequently may go on to become, abusive or criminal psychopaths.
The family is where the child first learns about love and hate, they learn how to care for themselves, how to make friends and socialise. At school they then learn to socialise in an acceptable manner and are then exploring the world of language exchange, including bullying, taunting and teasing these experiences can become painful and the child will want to supress or express their feelings, depending on their parent’s ability and intelligence to know that something is wrong with their child. Those who have ASC take language very literally. Secondly, without clear understanding of this disorder, the child may go on to feel ever more alienated in a society that continually rejects them.
Autism is a hidden disability – you can’t always tell if someone has it. However, you don’t disrespect someone with cancer, so why demoralise a person with Autism!! While autism is incurable, the right support at the right time can make an enormous difference to people’s lives.
Clearly society needs to learn more about this condition, schools need to adapt their teaching methods and children need to be taught to embrace the truth that we are all unique and individual. Change is desperately needed, in all institutions; Schools, family, clinical services and also, in the law! This is a neurological disability and the two disorders are clearly distinctive rom each other.
One demonstrates they are consumed by their shadow and the other is what we could refer to as the light!
Autism doesn’t just affect children. Autistic children grow up to be autistic adults.
34% of children on the autism spectrum say that the worst thing about being at school is being picked on.
63% of children on the autism spectrum are not in the kind of school their parents believe would best support them.
17% of autistic children have been suspended from school; 48% of these had been suspended three or more times; 4% had been expelled from one or more schools.
Seventy per cent of autistic adults say that they are not getting the help they need from social services. 70 % of autistic adults also stated that with more support they would feel less isolated.
At least one in three autistic adults is experiencing severe mental health difficulties due to a lack of support.
Only 15% of autistic adults in the UK are in full-time paid employment.
Only 10% of autistic adults receive employment support but 53% say they want it.
Psychopathy is a constellation of psychological symptoms that typically emerges early in childhood and affects all aspects of a sufferer’s life including relationships with family, friends, work, and school. The symptoms of psychopathy include shallow affect, lack of empathy, guilt and remorse, irresponsibility, and impulsivity.
Not all psychopaths are criminals or have malicious intent, some are able to function in society as a well-adjusted individual, these were nurtured and loved during childhood. However, those who were born into poverty, or had unfortunate traumas or circumstances during childhood, are the most dangerous types of ASPD individuals.
About 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum condition (ASC) according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.
ASC is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.
ASC is about 4.5 times more common among boys (1 in 42) than among girls (1 in 189).