To explore the role of high secure psychiatric care (HSPC) in the assessment and management of individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) using published studies and clinical experience. Key areas of exploration include the prevalence of ASD within HSPC, some autism specific issues including clinical and cognitive characteristics, psychopathy and emotional regulation, presence of incompatibilities and use of seclusion, as well as experiences of being detained in HSPC. Developing best practice and a specialist ASD service in HSPC is also discussed.
A discussion of available literature, supported by clinical experience.
Although individuals with an ASD admitted to HSPC comprise a small group, they are likely to be overrepresented relative to the general prevalence of ASD in the population and present with specific issues. Whilst individuals report a generally positive experience of HSPC, therapeutic outcomes are variable and the factors influencing them poorly understood. Staff knowledge and application of ASD theory and practice appears to have a significant influence on outcomes.
Although best practice concerning ASD secure services will continue to be improved and developed, the role of HSPC in the assessment and management of some individuals with an ASD who present with complex needs and high risk behaviours remains clear.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.