Education minister Lord Filkin has said the government will
investigate allegations that parents of children with Asperger’s
syndrome are being falsely accused of abuse because social workers
do not understand the condition.
Director of the Autism Research Unit at Sunderland University Paul
Shattock said the problem had existed for “a very long time” but
was only just starting to be debated.
He said: “A lot of social workers have been very over-zealous in
their search to identify abuse because they have been trained in
the Munchausen’s syndrome theory, and the symptoms of Asperger’s
could easily be misinterpreted as MSBP.”
A spokesperson for the National Autistic Society said proposals on
information-sharing in the Children Bill could increase the risk of
autism-related behaviour being misinterpreted as symptoms of child
“Where a child has an undiagnosed autistic spectrum disorder, the
signs that should trigger diagnosis of this condition may be
mistaken for abuse and marked on their records as such,” said
policy and campaigns officer for children Amanda Batten.