Asperger syndrome in focus due to hacker extradition

Armen Hareyan's picture
Gary McKinnon lost his Asperger's Syndrome Bid

A special type of Autism Spectrum Disorder called Asperger Syndrome is today in focus due to unsuccessful attempt by British lawyers to prevent hacker extradition to USA, who hacked 97 government computers.

A British court rejected a bid from a local boy suffering from Asperger Syndrome to avoid being extradited to the United States to face trial for illegally entering the U.S. military computers. Gary McKinnon has been fighting a legal battle to avoid extradition to the United States after being accused of entering 97 computers of NASA, the Department of Defense and several divisions of the U.S. Army shortly after September of 2001.

Today, a United Kingdom High Court rejected his appeal and determined that McKinnon should face extradition.


His lawyers had argued that McKinnon should not be extradited because he suffers from Asperger syndrome, a form of autism, and could be at risk for psychosis or suicide if sent to United States.

According to a research published by the University of Delaware "Asperger Syndrome or (Asperger's Disorder) is a neurobiological disorder named for a Viennese physician, Hans Asperger, who in 1944 published a paper which described a pattern of behaviors in several young boys who had normal intelligence and language development, but who also exhibited autistic-like behaviors and marked deficiencies in social and communication skills. In spite of the publication of his paper in the 1940's, it wasn't until 1994 that Asperger Syndrome was added to the DSM IV and only in the past few years has AS been recognized by professionals and parents."

The early symptoms of Asperger Syndrome are seen by parents when their children start the school. Some of the early signs and symptoms include the following behaviors.

Cildren may not pick up socials schools and may not be able to read body language. They may dislike any changes in routines and lack empathy. Other symptoms of Asperger Syndrome may include avoiding eye contact or staring at others, having unusual facial expressions or postures. They may talk a lot and have delayed motor development.

Written by Armen Hareyan
University of Delaware