Social deficits are central within conceptualisations of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and separately linked to offending behaviour. Social problem-solving interventions are often used with offenders, but little research has examined the social information processing (SIP) skills of individuals with ASD and a history of criminal offending behaviours. The paper aims to discuss this issue.
This conceptual paper will introduce the SIP model, review SIP research as applied to those with ASD and in forensic populations, and further consider the relevance to the assessment and treatment of offenders with ASD.
Difficulties in all areas of the SIP model are noted in ASD and research suggests these difficulties may be directly linked to behaviour.
It is possible that identifying SIP abilities and deficits could improve the effectiveness of rehabilitation programmes for this group.