Children with autism are at an increased risk of contemplating and attempting suicide when compared to children without autism, according to researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine.
Psychiatrists analyzed the information collected from parents of 791 autistic children, 186 neurotypical children and 35 children who were depressed but were not autistic.
AdvertisementIt was found that certain demographic factors like being a male, aged above 10 years, being a Black or Hispanic and belonging to a lower socioeconomic status drastically increased the risk of autistic children pondering over the idea of suicide. 71% of the children falling under all four demographic criteria had either contemplated or attempted suicide.
Depression, behavioral problems and being bullied were strongly associated with the autistic child thinking about or even attempting suicide. Parents of 77% of autistic children who were also depressed reported that their child had talked about or tried suicide.
Researchers warn that autistic children with higher cognitive ability are equally prone to attempting suicide.
This large scale, which is first of its kind, is published in the journal, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders.