Life on the autism spectrum is nothing short of complex. Along with the diverse set of symptoms one can experience, many individuals on the spectrum may struggle with other medical conditions and adversities. According to some studies, more than half of people on the autism spectrum have four or more other co-occurring conditions. In this post we’ll discuss autism’s related conditions.
Conditions and Related Symptoms
Many of the related conditions people on the spectrum experience tend to go hand-in-hand with their symptoms. At times, these conditions can even affect the timing of an autism diagnosis. Some of the most common conditions include:
- Gastrointestinal Issues
- Sleep Disorders
- Intellectual Disabilities
- Language Delays
- Depression, Anxiety and other Mental Health Conditions
These conditions vary in commonality dependent on gender, intelligence quotient, age and race.
Related Conditions’ Diagnoses and Effects
Many people on the spectrum live most of their lives without knowing what other conditions they may have. This is due in part to the fact that the way these conditions are diagnosed can easily miss someone on the spectrum as they may experience the condition’s symptoms very differently than their neurotypical counterparts. Many clinicians and autism advocates call for specialized screenings for this exact reason.
These related conditions can also have some severe effects on an individual’s wellbeing. As such, further research and studies are well warranted. Many of the challenges children on the autism spectrum face can also be a result of overlapping symptoms. Many people who are depressed or suffer from anxiety have severe social challenges, as do people on the spectrum. Having both can exacerbate these issues.
When it comes to treating these conditions, help from medical professionals is paramount. It may be hard to decide how to prioritize which symptoms to treat, related conditions’ or those attributed to the autism spectrum.
In truth, there’s no one right answer, but getting treatment for related conditions can often help with autism’s symptoms. Seeking treatment for sleep and gastrointestinal issues in particular can help improve children on the spectrum’s behavior and mood.
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