Autism is not a mental health condition itself, but around 70-80% of children and adults on the autism spectrum have experienced mental health problems.
Autistic young people have particular difficulty finding suitable help. This new report presents recommendations from a study in which young autistic people themselves were partners in an academic research project to explore their experiences and needs.
A team of academic researchers from the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) and young autistic people worked together – as equal partners – to explore young autistic people’s experiences of mental health problems and mental health services. The goal of the research was to find out how best to meet the mental health needs of this potentially vulnerable group.
In total, 130 young autistic people took part in the research – 109 completed an online survey, and 21 took part in detailed interviews. The aim was to identify their perception of what ‘normal’ mental health was for them and, critically, how they knew something more serious might be arising. Another aim was to find out about their experiences of, and their satisfaction with, seeking support for mental health problems.
You can view the report, including a video of the key findings, here