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Understanding Autism and Co-occurring Conditions

Understanding Autism and Co-occurring Conditions
February 9, 2024 Barbara Cravey
Lonely autistic child

Understanding Autism and Co-occurring Conditions Is Vital for Caregivers and Providers

For parents of neurodivergent loved ones, there is a lot to learn. Co-occurring conditions in autism, also known as comorbidities, refer to additional medical or mental health conditions that an individual may experience alongside autism. It is crucial to be aware of co-occurring disorders in autism because they can have a significant impact on a person’s overall well-being, behaviors, and how others treat them, which often complicates daily experiences.

Identifying co-occurring disorders can help healthcare providers tailor treatment strategies that address both autism and any other health issues, ultimately leading to better outcomes and quality of life for everyone affected. According to the Autism Research Institute, comorbidities common in autism may include:

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastrointestinal and immune function disorders
  • Bipolar disorder (BP)
  • Sleep disorders

The symptoms of co-occurring conditions in autism can manifest in many ways. Some of the most common symptoms of co-occurring disorders in autism include excessive worry, general sadness, insomnia, and difficulties with impulse control. Additionally, many individuals may experience impairment in social functioning, communication and challenges with attention and focus.

For instance, a person with autism who also struggles with anxiety may find it challenging to socialize, participate in school or work, or take part in other activities they enjoy.

Understanding the overlap between autism and co-occurring disorders is crucial for providing the proper support because, in most cases, these disorders can further complicate autism and contribute to additional challenges for affected individuals and their families, making it more difficult for individuals to cope with everyday life.

It’s important to note that the causes of co-occurring disorders in autism are diverse and highly dependent on individual factors such as genetics, environment, and personal history.

ABA Therapy Can Help Autism and Co-occurring Conditions

ABA therapy has shown great promise in helping individuals with autism and their co-occurring conditions. By utilizing ABA techniques that help individuals learn skills step-by-step, ABA providers help clients with autism and co-occurring disorders systematically improve their communication, relationships, and self-care skills.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child Achievement Balance would love to help. Please contact us at 972-410-5297


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