April is world autism awareness month, and so there is no better time to bring to light not only the challenges associated with autism, but also the most common conditions that impact this community. Children and adults on the autism spectrum are more likely to have an anxiety disorder than others. And research suggests they also may face challenges with getting an anxiety diagnosis and treatment.
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders affecting those on the autism spectrum. Anxiety can cause extreme fear, dread, sweating, restlessness, and even chest pain. “A lot of us do experience anxiety, and we struggle with it in our own ways,” says Jairo E. Arana, an autistic member of the Community Advisory Council for SPARK, the largest study of autism.
The virus has upended the world as we know it, and kids are struggling. Kids were not meant to live this way. None of us were meant to live this way, but as a child therapist, I have a special focus on kids and their well-being.
The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly and abruptly changed human life in unexpected ways. In the last few months, since the COVID-19 stay at home restrictions came into place, millions of people have been working from home and practicing social distancing. As the lockdown restrictions are getting lifted or eased in various places, most people are experiencing some degree of re-entry anxiety, as they contemplate or attempt to navigate some degree of resumption of required pre-lockdown activities, such as going to work.
Today I said thank you to the staff at the senior living facility where my 97-year-old grandmother lives. At the outbreak of COVID-19, she found herself hospitalized with bacterial pneumonia – nothing related to COVID-19. Just poor timing.