Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Is Autism Considered A Mental Illness

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Why Children Are Misdiagnosed

Autism and Mental Health

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.

What Help And Resources Are Available For People Who Need Support Or Further Advice

Get advice by seeing:

  • A health visitor
  • Any other health professional your child sees e.g. doctor or therapist
  • Special Educational Needs staff at your childs school

For more information:

It is important to gain a better understanding of autism to provide the best support you or your loved ones need. They provide diagnosis, more information on treatments available and help you connect to the right support.

  • Speacial Needs and Parents

The Strange Battle Over What’s Psychiatric Versus Neurological

There was an interesting exchange this past Tuesday on CNNs Anderson Cooper show about whether autism is a mental illness versus some other kind of developmental or neurological state. The two guests were Dr. Wendy Walsh, a psychologist and regular speaker on CNN, and Liza Long, an author, fellow PT blogger, and mental health advocate. The guests were discussing the new revelations that the gunman in the Roseburg, Oregon shootings may have been diagnosed with Aspergers at one time. For most of the interview, the two guests were in complete agreement and said many things that should be said, such as reminding viewers that people on the autism spectrum are far more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators of it. But then Dr. Walsh veered in a different direction and made the comment that, by the way, Aspergers was not a mental illness but rather a description of people who are not neurotypical. Dr. Walsh also implied, incorrectly, that the reason Aspergers was removed from the official catalogue of psychiatric disorders in the DSM-5 manual was in recognition of this recategorization. Liza politely objected to the idea that autism should be carved out this way and argued that such boundaries were artificial and potentially harmful.

For more reading on a related topic, please see my earlier post, What If We All Got Mentally Sometimes?

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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!

Myths & Misconceptions About Autism

Autistic Mental Health

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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Intercorrelations Among Panss And Ados Symptom Domains

Table 3 shows intercorrelations between ADOS-Positive, ADOS-Negative, PANSS-Positive, and PANSS-Negative across the entire sample. Of particular interest, there was a strong, significant correlation between ADOS-Negative and PANSS-Negative, r = 0.58, p< .001, suggesting overlapping content between the two scales. In contrast, ADOS-Positive and PANSS-Positive had a low, nonsignificant correlation, r = 0.16, p = .077, suggesting the positive symptom domains from either scale are tapping relatively distinct constructs.

Table 3 Intercorrelations Among ADOS and PANSS Symptom Domains.

Is Oppositional Defiant Disorder A Mental Illness & Is It A Part Of The Autism Spectrum

The oppositional defiant disorder is a widespread medical diagnosis that has enticed modest study, and questions about its legitimacy. Nevertheless, it experiences significant variations from DSM-III to DSM-III-R, and more are projected for DSM-IV.

This conduct frequently occurs at a young age, but primarily it can be challenging to recognize from developmentally correct, even though disruptive, behavior. Children who develop a steady form of oppositional behavior during their preschool years tend to have oppositional defiant syndrome during their elementary school years.

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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.


The 5 Pillars Of Psychology

A Lil Lecture Autism Is Not A Mental Illness 1

Lets go back into history and take a look at the Ancient Greek Civilization . The five pillars of civilization were taught by all Greek philosophers these pillars are known as wisdom, courage, self-control, justice and cooperation. Psychiatrist and Psychiatry itself has exactly opposite pillars for people with mental disorders: irrationality, detachment, disinhibition, negative emotions and antagonism. Modern psychiatry has renamed them as the Big 5 dimensions of psychiatric personalities neuroticism, extraversion, intellect, agree and conscientiousness. The ancient 5 Pillars of Civilization as per Greek mythology :

The ancient 5 Pillars of Civilization as per Greek mythology : Wisdom Agree Conscientiousness

There are psychiatric disorders that may co-exist with people diagnosed with autism. Research is proving that some of these disorders coexist with the preteens, throughout the teenage years and sometimes through adulthood.

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How Autism Spectrum Disorder Is Diagnosed And Treated


Autism spectrum disorder is diagnosed based on a childs development and behavior, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.3 It can be detected as early as 18 months, although most children arent diagnosed until after the age of four. The sooner its diagnosed, the better the developmental outcomes.

While theres no cure for ASD, early intervention services available under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act can dramatically improve a childs development, including walking, talking, and interacting socially.


Treatment for autism spectrum disorder is highly individualized and involves a combination of therapies, services, and support. Although there are no medications that can treat the core symptoms of autism, medication may be used to improve functioning by helping individuals manage issues like seizures, depression, high energy levels, or difficulty focusing.

For the most part, treating ASD involves non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as:

Speech Therapy

Offers emotional support and resources to people with autism and their families

Other interventions may include intensive parent training programs, social skills groups, and play-based skills groups.

Is Oppositional Defiant Disorder A Part Of The Autism Spectrum

The oppositional defiant disorder often is identified alongside other disorders, like ADHD, autism, learning conditions, behavior disorder, bipolar syndrome, or attitude syndromes like hopelessness and fear. Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a hypothesis aimed to describe a continuing pattern of rebellious, aggressive, and insolent behavior toward authority substance that goes beyond the limits of typical childhood conduct.3

When a child cannot tend to manage his fury or disappointment, even over what tends to be minor or uncomplicated to others, the child will usually respond in vicious or depressing ways to his own thoughts. However, when your child is older in preschool or elementary school and they frequently appear to have challenges with parents or peers, or theyre continuously annoyed if they are unable to achieve what they want, there may be an underlying factor causing this issue.

If your child is autistic and battles with communicating if theyre tired or angry, they may respond likewise to one with oppositional defiant disorder by becoming enraged, having a breakdown, or behaving disobediently. Oppositional defiant disorder may also be confused for learning disorders, ADHD, or anxiety. A diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder alone is rare.

  • Is oppositional defiant disorder a mental illness
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    What Are The Common Treatments For Autism


    Because ASD is a spectrum disorder, each person who has it is unique, and their requirements will vary.

    Though they may face challenges, with the right support in place, they are more than capable of living fulfilling and happy lives.

    Therapies such as Behavioural, Psychological and educational therapy consist of learning life-skills necessary to live independently, reduce challenging behaviours, learn social, communication and language skills. Research has shown that early intervention can improve learning, communication, and social skills.


    Autism itself does not require medication, although individuals can be treated for conditions often associated with autism, such as anxiety.

    What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

    What is Autism

    Autism spectrum disorder refers to a group of complex neurodevelopment disorders characterized by repetitive and characteristic patterns of behavior and difficulties with social communication and interaction. The symptoms are present from early childhood and affect daily functioning.

    The term spectrum refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability in functioning that can occur in people with ASD. Some children and adults with ASD are fully able to perform all activities of daily living while others require substantial support to perform basic activities. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders includes Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorders not otherwise specified as part of ASD rather than as separate disorders. A diagnosis of ASD includes an assessment of intellectual disability and language impairment.

    ASD occurs in every racial and ethnic group, and across all socioeconomic levels. However, boys are significantly more likely to develop ASD than girls. The latest analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 children has ASD.

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    Myth: People With Autism Can’t Feel Or Express Emotion Or Understand The Emotions Of Others

    Truth: People on the spectrum enjoy a wide range of emotions like neurotypical people, but they often express their emotions in different ways. Although some people with autism may have trouble deciphering unspoken communication or tones of voice, the majority can feel empathy when someone clearly expresses their emotions.

    What Treatments Are Effective For Serious Mental Illness

    Treatment choices for serious mental illness and any mental health conditions vary from person to person. Even people with the same diagnosis have different experiences, needs, goals and objectives for treatment. There is no one size fits all treatment.

    Choosing the right mix of treatments and supports is an important step in the recovery process. When individuals are actively involved in designing their own treatment plan including defining recovery and wellness goals it can enhance the experience of treatment and improve outcomes.

    There are many tools and treatments that may be part of a well-rounded recovery plan for SMI.

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    Is Autism A Disability

    By Sharon Longo, BA

    Is autism a disability? If its not a disability, what is autism? Is it a disorder? Or is it simply a different way of responding to people and the world around us? These are questions many parents ask, as well as people on the spectrum themselves. Unfortunately, the answers are far from straightforward.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , autism spectrum disorder is defined as a developmental disability while the National Institute of Mental Health, states that ASD is a developmental disorder.

    Meanwhile, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act has 13 categories for disabilities, and autism spectrum disorder is number three on the list, calling it a developmental disability that affects social and communication skills but can also have an impact on behavior.

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

    Autism and mental health problems

    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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    Common And Specific Effects Of Genomic Variants On Intermediate Brain Phenotypes

    Single variant approaches reported in the previous chapter can only be applied to a few recurrent pathogenic variants frequent enough to establish a case-control study design. Thus, the effects of most rare deleterious variants remain undocumented. Single variant studies are therefore at odds with the extreme polygenicity of schizophrenia and ASD highlighted by GWAS discussed in the top-down approach. Several studies have suggested that every megabase of the genome contains common variation associated with increased risk for schizophrenia. This infinitesimal model also referred to as omnigenic applies to ASD and evidence shows that any megabase deletion including coding genes increases the risk for this condition. In this context, two non-exclusive hypotheses could be pursued: an infinite number of disease-associated variants map onto an infinite number of neuroimaging patterns and variants converge on a parsimonious set of large scale network alterations. The first hypothesis alone appears improbable because ASD and schizophrenia case-control neuroimaging studies would have otherwise obtained no result.

    Larger GWAS studies will improve the amount of variance explained by polygenic risk scores and will increase the relevance of bottom-up neuroimaging genetics studies using common variants. Such scores can capture individual-level variation and will be particularly appropriate for future predictive models.

    How Mental Illness Is Diagnosed And Treated


    Because of the wide range of mental illnesses in the books, along with the fact that many people have one or more co-occurring mental illnesses, diagnosing mental health problems can be challenging. Diagnosis of mental illnesses is made using specific criteria found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders. In general, mental illness can be classified as mild, moderate or severe. If more than one mental illness is present, mental health professionals will try to determine whether one led to or influenced another. For example, someone with social anxiety may also experience depression as a result of feeling isolated.


    For someone who is on the autism spectrum and also has a mental illness, treating the mental illness in the context of the developmental disorder is essential for success. People with autism should find a mental health provider who is experienced in treating people who are on the spectrum.

    Treating mental illness, like treating autism, requires a highly individualized treatment plan. Ideally, treatment will include both medication and therapy, along with lifestyle changes that support good mental health.



    Some of the therapies used to treat mental illness include:

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    Helps individuals identify and change dysfunctional thought patterns and develop skills for coping with negative thoughts and emotions

    Interpersonal Therapy

    Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

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    Some People Use Other Names For Autism

    There are other names for autism used by some people, such as:

    • autism spectrum disorder the medical name for autism
    • autism spectrum condition used instead of ASD by some people
    • Asperger’s used by some people to describe autistic people with average or above average intelligence

    Unlike some people with autism, people with Asperger’s do not have a learning disability.

    Some people call this “high-functioning” autism.

    Doctors do not diagnose people with Asperger’s anymore.

    But if you were diagnosed with it before, this will stay as your diagnosis.

    Children With Autism At Increased Risk For Several Mental Health Conditions

    Is Autism Considered A Mental Health Issue

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    Caregiver-reported mental health conditions were prevalent among children with autism spectrum disorder in the United States from a young age, according to study results published in Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

    Though cumulative evidence from multiple sources suggests an increasing prevalence of in general population children, a current population-based estimate of in children with ASD is lacking,Connor M. Kerns, PhD, of the department of psychology at the University of British Columbia in Canada, and colleagues wrote.

    To address this research gap, the investigators analyzed data of 42,283 caregivers of children aged 3 to 17 years who were included in the 2016 population-based National Survey of Childrens Health. They estimated prevalence of correlates of mental health conditions reported by caregivers among children with ASD and compared these with those of children with intellectual disability, children with special health care needs and all others, the latter of whom did not have any of the former conditions.

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