Is it autism? Mental illness? Both? How to navigate double diagnosis

AUSTIN (Austin American-Statesman) —

Is this autism? Is this anxiety? ADHD? Depression? A behavioral disorder?

For parents of kids with autism, often the answer in day-to-day life is a combination of those things.

Recent studies show a strong link between autism and a mental health condition.

Last year, the University of British Columbia's department of psychology and the AJ Drexel Autism Institute at Drexel University published a study of more than 42,000 caregivers of children. It found that 77.7% of children with autism also had a mental health condition and 49.1% had two or more. The most common type was behavior or conduct problems, 60.8%; followed by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, 48.4%; anxiety, 39.5%; and depression 15.7%.

By comparison, that same study found that only 14.1% of children without an autism diagnosis had a mental health condition.

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