There is a new paper out entitled, ‘‘People like me don’t get support’: Autistic adults’ experiences of support and treatment for mental health difficulties, self-injury and suicidality.’
Thanks for posting this, Graham.
3 things I've heard this week at work:
1 - a colleague referring to an autistic service user: 'She needs to learn that she can't always do the things she wants to do on the day she expects to do them.'
2 - another colleague referring to another service user who is hypersensitive to sound, when she covers her ears as an ambulance passes with sirens going: 'You'd think she'd have gotten used to that noise by now and not be so affected by it.'
3 - a member of the behaviour support team, writing to me about my recent problems with bullying at work: 'You are definitely not the first person to have some struggles like this at work, neurotypical or diverse it is a very normal thing.'
Bear in mind that I work for a charity specialising in care for autistic people!
No - we don't get support. Or proper understanding.
It’s good that the problem is getting some recognition, but I’m rather disappointed by the lack of detail. There may some supplementary information I missed - I downloaded the pdf.
Going by NAS statistics there are 700,000 autistic people in the UK. According to government statistics approximately 20% of the UK population (66 million) are under 18, meaning 560,000 of the autistic population are adults. Again, according to NAS statistics, approximately 50% of the autistic population have no intellectual disability. Which means, according to my maths, this research is addressing the problems encountered by 280,000 people.
I can’t find the criteria used to classify treatment or support. I assume anti-depressants count as treatment, but maybe not. CBT is mentioned as being useful for some people, and not for others. Whether this is due to some individuals being more responsive to CBT than others, or because of a regional disparity in quality or practice is not explored.
It’s always easy to criticise, and I’m sure the researchers would far prefer to have the wherewithal for a more comprehensive survey. I just hope that this report will at least draw some attention to the appalling lack of support available for a group of people twice the population of Brighton.