Autism, and Depression can be an issue for the autistic youth. This does not come as a surprise considering such things as the pressure of school and how important social skills are to be able to maneuver it properly. Without these skills, an autistic youth is at risk of sadness, anxiety, and other symptoms.
Officially called autism spectrum disorder, ASD, manifests in several ways. In case you’re unfamiliar with the condition, autism is a developmental disability. And causes impairments in language acquisition, social interaction, and general communication skills. It also manifests in a dependence on repetitive behaviors.
Autism & depression
Even for people with high functioning autism know as Asperger’s syndrome. Being autistic can be a tremendous pressure. Humans are a very social species. And knowing you’re different from others in a way that impacts this fundamental aspect of existence. Is, understandably, a source of stress and depression for many. As well as for their loved ones.
Diagnosing depression in people with ASD is challenging, though. Their facial expressions and body language, which are often used in diagnosis, may not be reliable tellers. Instead other symptoms such as sleep patterns, diet, and energy level may be used.
Support for autistic Kids.
People with ASD need support and understanding from their loved ones, and this is no less true for those who are also diagnosed with depression. Along with seeing a mental health professional, coping mechanisms are much the same as for those without ASD: for example, listening to music, taking a nap, and doing exercise. Due to their dependence on routine, scheduling activities can also be a big help, as can mental stimulation.
Time spend together.
Another point to note is that social interaction can also help. This might seem counterproductive considering how difficult this can be for some people with ASD, and that this may, arguably, be a source of the depression. However, interacting with others in a safe and understanding environment (such as among family members and friends) can decrease the symptoms.
ASD family awareness helps with coping.
Not to mention, it teaches others how to interact with those who are different from them, such as those who have ASD. This may seem unimportant, but increasing awareness will lead to people who are better equipped to interact with people with ASD, and this just may take some of the pressure that people with ASD suffer.
Parents you can’t do this alone.
At this point, we take the focus off the person with ASD and turn to their loved ones. If your teen is diagnosed with depression along with ASD. They will need your support, but it is also crucial that you do not neglect yourself. It may be overwhelming to process and deal with all this. But, as much as possible, ensured that your mental well being is also taken care of. Set aside time away from your job and your family if you need it. Spend time doing things that you enjoy. Then, with your tank refueled, you will be better able to provide the support and love that your child needs.
Together, we can fight depression, even in those who have ASD.