Autism is typically not a standalone diagnosis…According to the survey results (based on reports from 188 parents of people with autism), most of those with autism have some other “co-occurring” condition. One-third (34%) have 1 co-occurring condition, and another third (35%) have 2 or more co-occurring conditions. The final third (32%) do not report any other diagnosis or disorder.
When looking at the specific co-occurring conditions that are reported, anxiety and ADHD top the list, followed by OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), apraxia of speech, and mood disorder. Given that the three “prongs” of an autism diagnosis are speech/language difficulties, social issues, and repetitive/unusual behaviors, these co-occurring conditions are not surprising.
20% mention some “other” specific co-occurring conditions with autism, shown in the word cloud below. Most of these comments mention sensory processing disorder (SPD) and specific speech/language issues like articulation issues, phonological disorder and echolalia.
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Are you an autism parent or caregiver? Complete the survey below. Results will be shared back with you!
When my son was first diagnosed with autism, I remember thinking how unique he seemed to me compared to the other kids I knew (and how unique those other kids were too!) I wanted a resource where I could find other kids like him, with a similar constellation of symptoms, and talk to the parents about what worked and what didn’t help. I think we all can agree that autism is not a “one size fits all” disability.
Now, almost 10 years later, I don’t think a lot of progress has been made on this front. My career is in market research, so I thought I would start surveying parents and caregivers on a regular basis. My primary goal is to establish a single source of information and insights gleaned from the people in the trenches trying to help their kids. I am also planning on segmenting and cross-tabbing the data (market research terms!) to see if there are any insights that will help parents and caregivers with their own very unique kids.
This is the first step in this process.
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