The relationship between autism spectrum disorders and anxiety

Anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorders

the relationship between autism spectrum disorders and anxiety

Youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by the relation between IQ and anxiety in youth with ASD is not clear itself. Communication skills have been shown to have differing effects on levels of anxiety depending on whether or not a child has an autism spectrum disorder ( ASD). Exploring the relationship between anxiety and insistence on sameness in autism spectrum disorders. Gotham K(1), Bishop SL, Hus V, Huerta M, Lund S, Buja A.

the relationship between autism spectrum disorders and anxiety

Anxiety and Autism There are many common behaviors seen in children with ASD that overlap with symptoms seen in varying anxiety disorders. For example, the obsessions and compulsions of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder may look similar to repetitive and stereotyped behaviors in children with ASD. For this reason, there is speculation as to what psychologists should consider symptom overlap and what is a distinctly different disorder van Steensel et al.

Relationships between autism spectrum disorder and intolerance of uncertainty.

Many researchers speculate that this could be because teenagers with fairly high cognitive functioning may have a heightened awareness of their environment and the way they are perceived by others. As children with ASD enter into adolescence, the difference between themselves and their peers may become more pronounced Alfano, et al. Alternatively, a child with more intellectual impairment may experience less anxiety or simply have a harder time reporting their anxieties in a way that lends itself to formal diagnosis.

Children and teens with ASD, in general, will have a much harder time self-reporting their anxious symptoms — many of which may only occur internally i. These limitations make it difficult for individuals with ASD to be diagnosed because of the difficulties with self-report.

There are some who argue that we may need to develop different ways of measuring anxiety in individuals with ASD. For example, a better way to possibly assess levels of anxiety is to interview adults that interact on a regular basis with the individual. However, reports from adults are not necessarily consistent. For example, Gadow and colleagues found that teachers reported significantly higher levels of anxious behavior than parents.

Anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Therefore, there is obviously room for improvement in the measurement of anxiety in children and teens with ASD. Cognitive-behavioral therapy uses graded exposure, or taking small steps toward facing anxiety-inducing situations, as well as teaching modes of relaxation. It also uses cognitive restructuring, or identifying and working to change irrational thought patterns, and modeling appropriate thinking.

Further, van Steensel et al. Thus, next to the type of comparison group, type of informant e. Other factors of interest are age and IQ.

the relationship between autism spectrum disorders and anxiety

It is known that anxiety tends to increase with age in general, and it seems that the prevalence of anxiety disorders in youth with ASD follows a similar developmental course van Steensel et al.

However, what is not known is whether the difference in anxiety levels between children with ASD and typically developing children, or between children with ASD and clinically referred children, is the same or different across developmental phases.

The same applies for IQ, which may be even more complicated because the relation between IQ and anxiety in youth with ASD is not clear itself. That is, some studies found a positive association between IQ and anxiety e. The aim of the current study was to meta-analytically estimate the difference in anxiety levels between children with ASD and typically developing children, and between children with ASD and clinically referred children.

Connection Between Autism Spectrum Disorder and Panic Disorder Explained

As previous studies point to different findings, and results seem to be depending on the type of comparison group and informant, additional analyses were conducted for the different comparisons groups internalizing, externalizing, and other problems and informants parents and children.

Further, the moderating influence of age and IQ was examined by including these variables as moderators. Method Literature Search The literature search was conducted in two phases. The first phase covered articles published till the half of leading to a selection of 86 studies that reported about an ASD sample and an anxiety measure procedure and results of this first phase are reported in van Steensel et al.

The second phase of the literature search covered the period till The same approach for the literature search was used as in the first phase: During both phases, abstracts were screened for relevance and got selected if they reported about 1 an ASD sample and 2 a measure assessing anxiety problems which did not explicitly needed to be mentioned in the articles; e.

Exploring the relationship between anxiety and insistence on sameness in autism spectrum disorders.

Studies were excluded if 1 they did not report on empirical data i. The later exclusion criteria was based on the dimensional focus of the current meta-analyses instead of the focus on a categorical approach as was done in van Steensel et al.

the relationship between autism spectrum disorders and anxiety

Table 1 Overview of the studies included in the meta-analyses Author year.