Feb. 05.

Is the Prevalence and Incidence of Mental Illness in Adults with Autism Comparable to Other Disorders?

Studies were done to see the prevalence and incidence of mental illness in adult with autism is comparable to the whole intellectual disabilities adult population (Melville, Cooper & et al, 2008) Conversely, when comparison was with gender, age, ability and Down syndrome, there were no differences. (Melville & Cooper, 2008). The high prevalence was due to behavioral problems, which was not attributed the presence of autism in the individuals. (Melville, Cooper & et al, 2008). There was a trend that illustrates the low incidence of behavioral problem in adults with autism compared to the control group in the study, but is not supported by statistics. (Melville & Cooper et al, 2008). During a two year period, the recovery rate of challenging behaviors was notably lower for adult with autism (Melville, Cooper & et al, 2008)

Screening tool used in the study for psychiatric disorders was the PAS-ADD Checklist for adults with intellectual disabilities (Melville, Cooper & et al, 2008). This checklist is comprise of 29 item to help determine psychopathology frequently experience with this population (Melville, Cooper & et al, 2008). There was a physical to help rule out any health problems that contribute any psychiatric issues (Melville, Cooper & et al, 2008).

During the first study, researchers use the matched control method to identify the confounding factors that relate to mental illness and challenging behaviors (Melville, Cooper & et al, 2008). The female population in this study had higher rates of depression (Melville, Cooper & et al, 2008). They did not have psychosis (Melville, Cooper & et al, 2008). However, the male population in this study was reported to have a higher rate of challenging behaviors (Melville, Cooper & et al, 2008). Behaviors that would make psychiatric referrals for this population would be self-injurious behavior, destruction of property, verbal aggression, physical aggression towards others, etc(Melville, Cooper & et al, 2008).

A  current study reports difference in the prevalence of adults with autism and intellectual disabilities and adults with intellectual disabilities without autism in experiencing mental-illness(Melville, Cooper & et al, 2008). There are several authors that have pinpointed that the experience of depression has increased with adults who have autism and intellectual disabilities (Melville, Cooper & et al, 2008). There was a similar finding in a study by Tsakanikos (Tsakanikos et al.2006) However, the solid support of evidence in the study is lacking (Melville, Cooper & et al, 2008).  The link of autism and schizophrenia has been explored; however, the link has not supported in this study (Melville, Cooper & et al, 2008).

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