Suicidal Thoughts in Adults with Asperger Syndrome
Medical Research Council, UK; Three Guineas Trust; Baily Thomas Foundation; The Autism Research Trust; The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care East of England at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust*
Dr Sarah Cassidy (Centre for Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement, Coventry University; Autism Research Centre, University of Cambridge)
Professor Simon Baron-Cohen (Autism Research Centre, University of Cambridge, UK; Cambridge Lifespan Asperger Syndrome Service, Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Trust).
- To explore the life time experience of suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts in adults with late diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome in comparison to other clinical groups
- To explore the risk factors (depression and autistic traits) associated with life time experience of suicidal ideation and behaviours in adults with late diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome
Transition into adulthood for people with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) is a particularly challenging time because it is often accompanied by a lack of support services (Pilling et al. 2012), and poor outcomes in terms of health and social difficulties (Balfe et al. 2010), quality of life (Howlin et al. 2013), achievement of occupational potential (Howling et al. 2000), social exclusion and isolation (Baron-Cohen, 2008) and high rates of depression (Lugnegard et al. 2011; Sterling et al. 2008), a known risk factor for completed suicide in typical development (Barraclough et al. 1974). However, very little is known about suicidality in those with ASC (Cassidy et al., 2014; Segers and Rawana, 2014). We conducted the first large scale clinic study showing that adults with late diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome (a subgroup on the autism spectrum showing core symptoms in the absence of language delay or intellectual disability), to be at significantly higher risk of suicidal thoughts (66%), than patients with psychosis (59%), and the UK general population (17%). Depression and high autistic traits were significant risk factors in this. Under the new developmental disorders research theme in the Centre for Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement, we are continuing to explore the rates and risk factors for suicidal thoughts and behaviours in adults with ASC, and identifying ways of better supporting and improving outcomes and quality of life for these individuals.
* the views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health
Co-Creating Welfare (CCW)
The project is funded by Erasmus+, the EU’s programme for education, training, youth and sport, and involves partners in Denmark, France and Portugal. As this is all about co-creation, we have practiced what we preach and have been talking to people working in welfare from the beginning and will continue to gather feedback along the way. We hope that with our help, welfare organisations across Europe will start putting these methods into action. Everyone should be involved together as a team from the beginning and all the way through.
Coventry Young Researchers 2018
Coventry Young Researchers will run from the 6th August to the 10th Aug 2017, and is open to children aged between 6 to 12 years old. Children will take part in a wide range of psychology, brain and behavioural science experiments and activities, all of which are designed to help them learn about psychology in a way that is fun and engaging. They will also be helping the research group to learn more about the way that young people learn and think.
Criminal Justice and Violence Across the Lifespan Conference
The Criminal Justice and Violence Across the Lifespan conference will be of interest to academics, law enforcement agencies, students, government and non-government organisations sharing an interest on diverse ways in which violence intersects with the criminal justice system.
Evening Conversations on Being Human: The Good Death
This event is part of a series of Evening Conversations open to anyone interested in debating science and its impact on society. Join us for an evening of discussion where scientists and religious and humanist leaders will discuss whether there is such a thing as a “good death”. Open to everyone.