Thursday, May 16, 2024

Is Autism Considered A Mental Health Issue

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Combines Aba And Cognitive Treatment Techniques

Autism and mental health problems

A combination of these approaches has resulted in perhaps the most scientifically validated mental health therapy available today, cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT.

CBT merges behavioral analytic techniques rooted in operant conditioning with cognitive therapy approaches designed to alter the thoughts and emotions of the patient. By approaching the issue from both angles, CBT provides an avenue to address both troubling behaviors resulting from mental health issues, and the underlying mental issues themselves.

The approaches are mutually reinforcing and provide an objective mechanism for assessing the effectiveness of the treatment: if negative behaviors decrease, the patient is making progress. By addressing cognitive biases, patients have the antecedents of their behavior addressed by addressing the consequences, motivation for the negative behaviors is reduced.

Autism Stimming: Causes Management And Types

Under its standards, someone must have been exposed to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence to qualify for a PTSD diagnosis. The person might have

  • Been threatened or harmed directly
  • Witnessed others die or be threatened/harmed
  • Found out that a loved one died or was threatened/harmed
  • according to the DSM, if a loved one died, the event must have been violent or accidental to cause PTSD
  • Been exposed to details of traumatic eventsfor example, a social worker may develop PTSD after repeatedly handling severe abuse cases
  • Exposure by photographs, television, movies, etc. doesnt count, unless this exposure is work-related
  • Practicing Applied Behavior Analysis As A Mental Health Professional

    In addition to ABAs who deal with mental health issues as a part of ASD treatments, more and more behavior analysts are finding work treating mental illnesses. In 2012, according to the 2015 BACB employment survey, only 4 percent of ABA listing were for positions in mental health. But by 2014, that had crept up to 9 percent.

    ABAs working in private practice or for social services are likely to end up working with some clients who have mental health issues. These patients are typically functional enough to be candidates for outpatient therapy, so the ABA may see them only a few times a month for direct therapy.

    But their influence on the patients treatment will extend further into their lives. After conducting an FBA, the analyst will create a behavior intervention plan that governs how the patients environment should be altered, or behaviors rewarded, that must be implemented consistently in all facets of the patients life.

    The ABA will probably work with family or caregivers, and possibly other health care professionals, in order to implement the BIP and monitor the patients progress. Changes are typically made through the course of treatment as new issues rise or old ones disappear.

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    Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Asking questions and providing information to your doctorealth care provider can improve your care. Talking with your doctor builds trust and leads to better results, quality, safety, and satisfaction. Visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website for tips at

    Why Is It Important We Know The Difference Between Autism And Mental Health Conditions

    Is Autism a Disability?

    It feels odd that I should have to point out why its important that we stop calling autism a mental health condition. After all, wrong is wrong and when you look at just how many differences there are between the two, thats a whole lot of wrong people are willing to be. However, when you call autism a mental health condition, its not just accuracy which is at stake, but also damage that could be done to our community,

    This isnt because its bad to be considered as having a mental health condition, its just that mental health conditions dont have much positivity going for them either. This is in stark contrast to autism, where many in our community see our alternatively wired minds as something to be proud of a view which becomes pretty hard to promote with connotations of the latter.

    But the challenges that are caused by these connections arent only ones of perception and identity, as a recent enquiry into the legislation like the Mental Health Act of 1983 have found that, by classifying autism as a mental health condition, members of our community are opened up to the possibility of improper sectioning in which autistic people have ripped away from the familiar and inappropriately accommodated, whilst a solution to a problem that does not exist is sourced.

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    When Should I See My Doctor

    It’s important to seek help if you are concerned you or your child has autism. Early intervention offers the best outcomes, no matter what type of autism a child has.

    There may be different signs of autism in different ages.

    In the first year, a baby with autism might not be interested in other people and may not make eye contact with their parents. They may not smile or gesture like other babies.

    As toddlers, children with autism might not respond to their name, or might focus on activities like lining up toys. They may not be interested in playing with other children or might speak in a monotone way.

    Older children with autism might have difficulties in social situations, following instructions or making friends.

    Sometimes people are not diagnosed with autism until they are adults. They may spend their lives feeling like they dont quite fit in. They may have difficulties with relationships, work and social situations. They may also have mental health conditions like anxiety or depression.

    Autism Awareness Australia provides information about signs of autism in people at different ages.

    Still In Doubt Take An Autism Test Online

    I have provided this information as a solely informational and educational advise for those who may have been mis-informed on the difference between Autism and Psychological Disorders. Use this information to become aware of the symptoms your child exhibits, write them down and take the autism test for toddlers or for children .

    If these results of these tests seem to indicate that your child may have Autism, please consult with your physician immediately so that they can refer you for proper diagnosis. Remember, you spend the majority of your time with your child and any little glimpse on their behavior anomalies or habits is invaluable to your doctor!

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    Are You In Need Of Support

    To find support in your area, call or email our InfoLine or contact your local Mind. Ambitious About Autism have information about making the most out of your visit to a psychiatrist. National Autistic Society have a directory of support for people with autism and mental health problems.Counselling Directory can help you find a therapist with experience working with people with autism. These counsellors would be paid for.Please see our page on finding a therapist to consider which option is right for you.

    “I have experienced services that treat mental health and autism as completely separate issues and both services seem fearful of people with the other condition.”

    Autism And Mental Health Conditions

    Autism Co-Existing With Mental Health Issues: Schizotypal & Borderline Personality Disorders

    Current evidence reports that around 5070% of autistic people also experience mental health conditions. There is also emerging evidence to suggest that autistic women and girls experience higher rates of mental illness than autistic men and boys.

    The most common mental health conditions experienced by autistic people are depression, anxiety disorders and/or obsessive compulsive disorder.

    These facts highlight the urgent need for mental health services and resources that are designed for and with autistic people.

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    Losing Control Of Emotions

    Children with autism often lose control of their emotions and experience meltdowns . In autism, meltdowns are almost always the result of either sensory assaults, anxiety, frustration, or a combination of all three.

    In a child who has not been diagnosed with autism, however, the symptoms may look like oppositional defiant disorder which is considered a behavioral disorder.

    Children with higher-functioning autism may also receive a range of inappropriate diagnoses before receiving their autism diagnosis. Some of the most common include ADHD, hyperlexia, learning disabilities, and speech delays.

    It’s important to note that some children with very high functioning autism may not be diagnosed until they are well into their teens or even adulthood. When that happens, it can be tricky. Developmental disabilities usually appear in childhood, and it may be necessary to dig into an individual’s past to unearth signs that disabilities existed prior to adulthood.

    If childhood information isn’t readily available, it may be impossible to provide an autism spectrum diagnosis even if it is the most appropriate diagnosis based on symptoms and behavior.

    Why Children Are Misdiagnosed

    Autism is not always a child’s first diagnosis, particularly if he or she is verbal and of average intelligence. Not infrequently, children who wind up with an autism diagnosis receive a range of other diagnoses firstincluding, in some cases, other types of mental disorders.

    There is a simple reason for these misdiagnoses: a child who is bright and verbal may not be evaluated for autism. As a result, the child’s symptoms are viewed not as a set of related challenges, but as individual issues that could potentially be signs of another mental illness. There are a number of behaviors in autism and other mental illnesses that may share characteristics and lead to an erroneous diagnosis.

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    Common Traits Autistic People Experience

    Some common traits many autistic people experience include:

    • difficulty recognising or understanding other people’s emotions and expressing their own
    • being over- or under-sensitive to things like loud noises and bright lights, and finding crowded noisy spaces challenging
    • preferring familiar routines and finding unexpected changes to those routines challenging or distressing
    • having intense and specific interests in things
    • difficulties reading body language, understanding sarcasm and facial expressions

    All of these traits can be experienced to lesser or greater degrees. Experiencing one or more of these traits doesnt necessarily mean you are autistic. But if these kinds of things are consistently present and are impacting upon your life, you may consider talking to your GP to discuss how you can seek a formal diagnosis.

    • As part of my autism, I tend to take things very literally.


    • For those on the spectrum anxious about the future, I want to instill a sense of belief that I know many of us lack. The truth is every day we overcome our condition in so many different ways.


    What Needs To Change

    Does My Child Need Help?

    Mental health services need to be better resourced and educated to support autistic people.

    Amaze welcomed the Victorian Governments commitment in December 2017 to develop a strategy to improve autism understanding across health workforces, and we continue to advocate to the government to ensure this strategy is created, with autistic people at its centre.

    In particular, Amaze is working to ensure the Victorian Government:

    • Develops a strategy for autism and mental health in an updated State Autism Plan, which includes the roll out of autism specialist mental health services and a strategy for autism training and professional development of mental health service professionals and staff.
    • Ensures all public hospital and healthcare facilities provide dedicated quiet spaces.
    • Increases funding to mental health and community health services so they have the capacity to provide services and support for autistic people with a co-occurring mental health condition.
    • Improve autism recognition and understanding, together with improved service coordination and collaboration across sectors.

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    Myth: Vaccines Cause Autism

    Truth: Numerous large-scale, high-quality research studies have been carried out to determine what relationship vaccines have to autism. None of this research has found any scientific evidence to back up this widely believed claim. The truth is, autism is highly complex and has a range of risk factors, including genetics and environment. Vaccines are not a risk factor for autism.

    Is Autism Spectrum Disorder A Mental Health Diagnosis

    Mental health disorders are most commonly defined by problems with behavior, emotions, and thinking that affect a persons ability to function in one or more life areas. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition provides specific diagnostic criteria. People often assume mental health diagnoses only cover problems such as depression or anxiety, but the DSM-5 has a broad range of categories.

    ASD falls under the Neurodevelopmental Disorders category. The DSM-5 defines these disorders as developmental deficits that produce impairments of personal, social, academic, or occupational functioning. In other words, these problems start in childhood and affect the persons day-to-day functioning.

    To better understand autism spectrum disorder, consider the other disorders in this category: intellectual disabilities, communication disorders, motor skills disorders, specific learning disabilities, and ADHD. While we might not always think of these conditions as mental health issues, they affect the same daily functioning as challenges you would consider mental health issues.

    The ASD diagnostic criteria reflects our current understanding of ASD problems, such as language delays, learning problems, and levels of outside support needed. When people argue that ASD isnt a mental health condition, they misconstrue the meaning of the term mental health.

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    How Is Autism Managed

    If your child is diagnosed with autism, you will be guided through the various treatment options. There are education programs and support services available for children with autism and their parents or caregivers from a number of organisations such as Autism Spectrum Australia.

    Treatments used to manage autism are best started as early in a persons life as possible. Specific symptoms and social skills can be improved with the right support and programs. Because everyone with autism is different, the best results are obtained from a treatment program specifically tailored to their individual needs.

    Language and social skills are taught through intensive educational programs and behavioural therapies. Speech pathology focuses on developing communication and social skills. Occupational therapy concentrates on sensory motor development, such as learning play and fine motor skills, as well as how to cope in social situations.

    Public and private schooling options are available for children with autism. Find out more about schooling options on the Autism Awareness website.

    Sometimes claims are made about treatments that are misleading. Avoid treatments that offer a cure or recovery as there is no evidence to support these claims. Ensure that the treatments and supports you choose are informed by evidence.

    Autism Awareness Australia provides self-care tips and helpful links and resources.

    Myths & Misconceptions About Autism

    What is autism spectrum disorder? | Mental health | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy

    Researchers are learning more and more about autism every year. While it was virtually unheard of just a few decades ago, autism is now a well-known disorder. Its prevalence has risen from one in 1,500 children in 1975 to one in 59 children today, according to the CDC, making autism a very common disorder.4 Still, myths and misconceptions about autism spectrum disorder abound. Here, we debunk the most common of these.

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    Do Symptoms Of Autism Change Over Time

    For many children, symptoms improve with age and behavioral treatment. During adolescence, some children with ASD may become depressed or experience behavioral problems, and their treatment may need some modification as they transition to adulthood. People with ASD usually continue to need services and supports as they get older, but depending on severity of the disorder, people with ASD may be able to work successfully and live independently or within a supportive environment.

    Mental Illness Vs Developmental Disorder

    Mental illnesses are health conditions that involve changes in mood, emotion, thinking, and behaving. They are associated with mental distress and problems with social functioning. Around one in five adults in the United States has some form of mental illness at any given time, according to the American Psychiatric Association.1 The most common mental illnesses are anxiety and depression. Mental illness can occur at any age and is treatable with medication, therapy, or a combination of medication and therapy.

    One in Five Adults Have a Form of Mental Disorder

    Developmental disorders like autism differ from mental illness in several important ways. Developmental disorders generally appear at birth or during childhood and are diagnosed by the age of 18. While mental illness doesnt typically interfere with cognitive abilities, a developmental disorder may impact a persons ability to learn or to understand certain thoughts. Unlike mental illness, which can be successfully treated, developmental disorders are lifelong disabilities.

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    Social Understanding And Social Behaviour

    People with an ASD have difficulty in understanding the social behaviour of others and can behave in socially inappropriate ways. People with ASDs are very literal in how they think and interpret language and are unable to read social context. Children with an ASD often find it hard to play and communicate with other children, who may be confused by their behaviour and may avoid or tease them.

    Types Causes And Symptoms Of Mental Illness

    New Mental &  Medical Conditions In Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Over 200 different forms of mental illness have been classified to date. Anxiety disorders, major depression, and ADHD are among the most common mental illnesses that occur in people with autism spectrum disorder.

    In general, mental illness is believed to be caused by a range of factors, including:

    Genetic traits: Mental illness is more common in people who have blood relatives with a mental disorder.

    Environmental exposures: Being in the womb, including toxins, stressors, and inflammatory conditions.

    Brain chemistry: Brain chemicals govern mood and emotion, and when the production of neurotransmitters or the function of nerve receptors change, mental illness often occurs.

    Environmental factors: Stress, drug or alcohol abuse, and trauma commonly lead to mental illness.

    While each type of mental illness has its own specific set of signs and symptoms, general signs and symptoms of mental illness, include:

    Feelings of sadness

    Changes in eathing or sleeping habits or sex drive

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