Understanding autism spectrum conditions
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Understanding autism spectrum conditions

Paul Maloret Principal lecturer, Centre of learning disability studies at University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
Katie Sumner Visiting lecturer, Centre of learning disability studies at University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield

Paul Maloret and Katie Sumner outline the lessons to be learned by mental health service professionals who care for people with autism

People with autism are especially vulnerable to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. They need their environments to be predictable, which may involve isolating themselves as far as possible from other people and from anything that is changeable. Healthcare organisations have a statutory duty to carry out reasonable adjustments to make provision suitable for people with autism, but should be aware that clients may not access services because they cannot understand them or fear the consequences of doing so. In addition, because few people with ASCs can communicate their feelings, it may be difficult to diagnose comorbid depressive or anxiety states, or learning disabilities. To resolve these problems, practitioners need training in ASCs and clients should be involved in planning their own care.

Learning Disability Practice. 17, 6, 23-26. doi: 10.7748/ldp.17.6.23.e1537



Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 12 February 2014

Accepted: 17 February 2014

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