There is no getting away from the fact that as a child and through my school years, I lived with anxiety. As the adult I still continue to live with anxiety. I also know that my anxiety is linked to Autism Spectrum Disorder, that I didn’t know I had as a child. Autism is a co-occurring condition of cerebral palsy.
There are many common behaviours seen in those with Autism that overlap with symptoms in other anxiety disorders, therefore familiarity and understanding for someone with autism is very important.
Where autism creates fear, panic and anxiety, with the help of a CBT counsellor, it has become easier for me to talk about the issues that cause me anxiety.
Anxiety disorders affect 42% of autistic children compared with just 3% of children without autism. Mental health issues affect 79% of autistic adults, but many of those adults won’t get the help and support they need. Two in five autistic people are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, but many more will go on to experience symptoms of anxiety that affect how they live their lives.
With autism, we may struggle to work through situations, not because we don’t want to, or because we don’t trust other people’s judgment, but because autism makes it difficult for us to understand conversations and the meanings of those conversations. For us to be comfortable with our choices and for us to feel settled, we must have understanding.
Not having the first will cause a ripple effect on the second. New circumstances, any changes to our routine, and new environments will cause us to be and feel anxious.