Why the autistic 'would-be' Donald Trump assassin’ Michael Sandford, shouldn't be in jail

When my autistic little brother irritated me, I punched him in the arm. Perhaps he stared at me over the dinner table for one minute longer than is sociably acceptable, or he was throwing a wobbly because he’d overspent his allocated TV time limit, or because asking me the same question 57 times over was 56 times too many.

I feel guilty now for these trivial childhood spats. I thought, in my sinister pre-teen wisdom, that if he knows his abnormal behaviour earns him a punch, he will stop. It was negative reinforcement; a deterrent; some Pavlov conditioning.

It didn’t work.

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16th December 2016