Autism and the Case of Jimmy

Autism and the Case of Jimmy

Jimmy's case (names have been changed to ensure anonymity) is the fifth in a series of case studies exploring autism and the criminal justice system.

All cases are taken from real life examples from people that I have worked with personally, or that have been related to me by criminal justice professionals whilst I have been delivering learning disability and autism awareness training.

Jimmy's case again highlights how a focus on 'specific interests' and a poor appreciation of social norms can result in people with autism getting onto trouble. In this instance the police were not involved, but the consequences could have been more serious than they were.

picture of a corsetJimmy is 17 years old and attends a mainstream school. He is doing his A-levels including, Fashion and Design. He is very interested in corsets and corsetry (this may be desribed as his current 'special' or 'specific interest') and he is hoping to make a corset for his final course portfolio.

He is using the internet in the town library to do some research and has searched the internet for images of corsets to give him inspiration. He is looking through the pictures that have come up, but as a feature of his autism he is very focused on the finer details of the corset and is not paying attention to the people wearing them. Some of which are wearing nothing else.

The librarian goes over to speak to Jimmy becasue several other library users have complained. She recognises that Jimmy has some difficulties explaining exactly what he is doing and why, and he also appears unaware of the reasons why some of the images that he is viewing are not appropriate in a public place. She asks him to leave and suggests that he does not research corsets anywhere other than at home.

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