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Anxiety among children on the Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is a neurodevelopmental disorder which presents with social and speech impairments as well as repetitive behaviours. Many clinical studies have demonstrated that children on the ASD spectrum have higher rates of anxiety, depressive disorders, and ADHD (Gurney 2006).

About 40% of children and adolescents with ASD have clinically elevated levels of anxiety. Anxiety in a ASD child may manifest in various ways like social anxiety which leads to avoidance of social situations, obsessive compulsive disorder, characterized by unwanted and intrusive thoughts and consequent compulsive behaviours, specific phobias which may be due to over responsiveness to sensory stimulation (often colours or noise).

(Anxiety and Depression Association of America).

  1. Gurney JG, McPheeters ML, Davis MM. Parental Report of Health Conditions and Health Care Use Among Children with and Without Autism: National Survey of Children's Health. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160(8):825–830. doi:10.1001/archpedi.160.8.825.
  2. Anxiety AND Depression Association of America