As a child and through my school years, I lived with anxiety that I didn’t know I had. As the adult now I still continue to live with anxiety.
Now having been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (“ASD”) my anxiety relates to that, but I didn’t know that as a child. Through my autism diagnosis I have also found out that ASD is a co-occurring condition of cerebral palsy.
There are many common behaviours seen in those with ASD that overlap with symptoms in other anxiety disorders, therefore familiarity and understanding for someone with Autism is very important.
Autism creates fear, panic and anxiety, where it wouldn’t be such a consideration for those without the condition. 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 affects 79% of autistic adults, but many of those adults won’t get the help and support they need. 2 in 5 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 we don’t trust other people’s judgment, but Autism makes it difficult for us to understand. For us to work through things, we must have the understanding, for us to be comfortable with our choices and so that we can feel in control and settled in our lives.
Not having the first will cause a ripple effect on the second. New environments can cause us to be anxious and that causes us to feel anxious.