As per the 2018 data, 1 in 44 children in the United States have been diagnosed with ASD or autism spectrum disorder. It has also been seen that boys are 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD in comparison to girls.
Although, in most cases, autism is being diagnosed in children after they reach the age of 4, however, it can be diagnosed as early as the age of 2.
It is basically a developmental disability that affects the ability of how people to communicate and experience the world around them, as the name says. Autism is a spectrum disorder that means it affects individuals in different ways.
What Is ASD Or Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Every individual suffering from autism is not the same. Usually, people with ASD have various needs, from around the clock to simply needing a little more time in order to understand things.
Here are some particular traits that most autistic children experience to some degree.
- Highly focused hobbies or interests.
- Difficulty recognizing or understanding the feelings of people and also expressing their own.
- Performing familiar routines along with feeling upset or anxious about unexpected changes or any type of unfamiliar situation.
- Finding certain things like loud noises, bright lights, and crowded spaces is really unsettling or stressful.
- Taking longer than usual in order to understand information.
Often it also has been seen that autistic children suffer from several mental health conditions due to their particular condition.
Although in most cases, parents concentrate on all those behavioral issues in their autistic children, it is also crucial to consider their mental health as well. Here in this article, we will talk about autism and mental health.
Autism And Mental Health
Just like every one of us, people with ASD also can have good mental health. But as per Autistica, the autism research charity, 70% of autistic people have mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, OCD, or ADHD.
There is also a little research into why it is this way. However, it might be because autistic people have the following conditions.
- Struggle to try to fit into the world and also make sense of it that can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression.
- They also face delays in getting their mental health issues diagnosed.
- They are really less likely to get appropriate support available. For example, group therapy may not be that suitable for some autistic individuals, or their therapists may not know how they should adapt their approach in order to assist an autistic person.
- They are also more likely to face discrimination and stigmas.
Here are the most common mental health conditions and their symptoms that will help you understand whether your autistic child has any mental health concerns or not.
- Excessive worry or fear.
- Asking questions over and over again.
- Trouble getting to sleep.
- Stimming, repetitive or unusual noises or body movement.
- Saving or hoarding subjects.
- Recurrent, intrusive images or thoughts.
- Rituals or repetitive behaviors, such as repetitive handwashing.
- Obsession with contamination. Germs, along with other perceived threats.
- Ordering clusters of items.
Depression And Other Mood Disorder Symptoms
- Increased compulsions.
- Decreased self-care.
- Cranky moods.
- Loss of motivation.
- Poor appetite and/or poor sleep.
Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders With ASD
Co-occurring mental health disorders usually develop from a set of risk factors, which include the following.
- Brain chemistry.
- The severity of the autism spectrum disorder or ASD.
If you are looking to reduce mental health disorder symptoms along with increasing the overall quality and functioning of life, you need to focus on the treatment of all those co-occurring disorders for the individual who is suffering from ASD through therapy and other treatment options such as Omega-3 DHA.
There are various therapies that are used in the treatment of co-occurring mental health disorders among children who have ASD. Here are the treatment options.
- Experiential therapy.
- Medication management.
- ERP or exposure and response prevention.
- Behavioral activation.
- CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy.
It is extremely crucial to get the right support for an individual who is suffering from ASD along with having some mental health conditions.
Now you know what the most common mental health conditions that can be experienced by individuals with an autism spectrum disorder or ASD are. Start talking with the doctor about how they are feeling. Let them speak a little for themselves. You also can opt from the different types of behavioral and also mental health treatment programs for your child.
Here we would also like to mention that go with the best treatment provider for autism; always remember autistic children always require the best care.