This week, Autism Speaks issued the first in a series of annual, in-depth reports on special topics in autism – Autism and Health: Advances in Understanding and Treating the Health Conditions that Frequently Accompany Autism.
The last decade has brought tremendous advances in understanding and addressing the many physical and mental health conditions that frequently accompany autism. We now know that autism is a whole-body disorder for many people on the spectrum. Its common co-morbidities include epilepsy, gastrointestinal distress, sleep disturbances, eating and feeding challenges, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
While each new piece of high-quality research adds to our understanding of autism, it also adds to the complexity of developing the best practices to address the diverse needs of the autism community.
So in this, our inaugural special report, we have gathered the most-authoritative research on autism-associated health conditions and the latest guidelines on treatment and support for those affected by them.
This report – and much of the research behind it – would not be possible without the passion and generosity of our community of volunteers, donors and families.