Happy May! May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Did you know, according to research (Ghaziuddin and Zafar, 2008) up to 80 percent of individuals with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum disorder have at least one co-occurring mental health disorder. Common co-occurring mental health disorders include ADHD, anxiety disorders, depression, mood disorders, and eating disorders.
It is important to make the point that there are other medical issues that need to be ruled out before a mental health diagnosis. However, if you have a child on the Autism Spectrum and suspect a mental health concern here are some signs and symptoms to be aware of: impulsivity, attention challenges, hyperactivity, aggression, irritability, crying, avoiding school, restricted or rigid rules with food, resistance to change, low frustration tolerance, bullying, unusual fears or worries. If you feel that you child may be having mental health concerns please contact your primary doctor for a referral for an mental health evaluation.
For Mental Health Practitioners:
Take a look at our mental health guide book to support you while working with individuals on the autism spectrum who have a co-occurring mental health disorder.
As always if you need assistance with resources please contact CARD-USF for assistance. We can be reached at (813) 974-2532 or Cardfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Charisse Dawkins, LCSW