In a new study, Disability Scoop reports on March 12 that children with autism are 28 times more likely to commit suicide directly or indirectly than children that have a normal upbringing. The only group that was more likely to kill themselves were children that were bullied or suffered severe depression.
Autism is a neurological disorder that limits social skills, and presents a person with many lifelong challenges such as sensory processing challenges, limited speech abilities, different thinking patterns, often times a high IQ, and attention and learning difficulties. In the study, a child's IQ had no bearing on whether they were at a higher risk.
The study looked at 800 children with autism, 200 children without any disability, 35 with depression but no autism diagnosis. All the children were between the ages of one and 16. The mothers of the younger children were interviewed and clinical data was looked at.
Of all the kids with autism, 14 percent had talked about, or performed self injurious wounds to themselves that suggested suicide. It was found that socioeconomic status also played a huge part in a child's participation in suicidal acts.
Some of the findings also suggested that in cases of younger autistic children, self injurious behaviors were a part of how they helped to ground themselves when sensory overload was present. Head banging against a solid object or wall was common and in some cases fatal.