nothing about us without us
Who: South, Costa, & McMorris
Journal: JAMA Network Open
Published: January 2021
Title: Death by Suicide Among People With Autism: Beyond Zebrafish
Autistic people are 3x times more likely to attempt or die by suicide, at every age, from
10 years old
with female autists having a suicide risk of four times that
“millions of dollars go to genetically altered zebrafish and rats that groom too much, but hardly any to finding out why so many autistic adults attempt suicide.”
- Sara Luterman Professionals with mental health awareness overlook autism; professionals with autism awareness overlook mental health problems (diagnostic overshadowing).
- Autists cannot always access traditional therapies and require adaptive therapies.
- Social camouflaging is associated with poorer mental wellbeing and increased levels of suicidality; this must be understood in reference to social skills trainings and behavioural therapies (PBS, ABA)
- Autistic people are overwhelmingly stigmatised and rejected; neurotypical individuals must work to create more accessible environments for autists.
- Rates of suicide attempts are more associated with levels of depression than with autistic traits.
- Rate of suicide attempts increased with the age of first diagnosis; those diagnosed later in life are most at risk of suciide, with the highest rate in inidividuals aged 30-39 years.
- There are not many measurement tools for mental wellbeing and sucuide risk for autists.
- There is an urgent need for funding agencies, health care systems, policy makers, and communities to dedicate more resources to the tragic and pervasive problem of suicide in autistic populations.