Let's Talk About Autism & Mental Health Part 2 (Tri-State Webinar)
Audience: Educators, Other District/School Staff, Parents | Topic: Autism, School Health, Special Education | Hosted by: Office of Special Education
In recent years, our society has become more informed on understanding mental health conditions, identifying the issues that associate with them, and learning how we can provide support to those who need help. However, the intersection of neurodiversity and mental health contains some unique differences. Our world is not as “fluent” in how to identify when people on the autism spectrum are experiencing a mental health crisis; nor are we able to clearly identify how to provide support that is effective while at the same time being “neurodiverse-friendly”. Research has indicated that autistic adults may have a higher risk of suicide than the rest of the population*, making it a crucial conversation topic we need to keep enforcing.
In Part 2, we will continue the conversation with a few ideas on how we can help those on the spectrum with coexisting mental health conditions, and a few ideas for those of us who are autistic on how we can take better care of ourselves.
View the previous webinar
Identify possible barriers (at home, at school, in the community) that can make it especially difficult for people on the autism spectrum with coexisting mental health conditions
Identify possible red flags that indicate when a person on the autism spectrum is experiencing a mental health crisis, and determine effective approaches for those involved in the person’s everyday life (family members, educators, coworkers, etc.)
- Determine effective approaches for the person to apply to their own self-care
- In the area of communication what are ways we can make access to care more inclusive?
- Learn how the individual communicates
- Give prompts and ask follow up questions
- Be genuine
- Take it seriously
- All of the above
- It is important for the individual with ASD to not assume their loved ones or crisis team “just know” what is going on with them. They must learn to advocate for themselves.
- For a person with ASD who has experienced a trauma, the effects may not be evident for some time due to a longer period of processing for that individual.
- What are some of the ways a negative experience when facing a crisis can be avoided?
- Training for 1st responders
- A plan made by/for the individual (contacts, medical information, strategies, etcc…)
- More sensory friendly environments in hospitals or crisis centers
- All of the above
Lindsey Nebeker is a Development Specialist at the Autism Society of America and remains actively involved in music, photography and as a freelance presenter. She was born in Tokyo, Japan and received her autism diagnosis at age Two. She holds a B.A. in Music Technology from the College of Santa Fe (2004) and she is a Partners in Policymaking graduate (2011). As a sibling to an autistic adult with higher support needs, she is strongly focused on the message of presuming competence for all people regardless of their labels. Lindsey has appeared in Glamour, Good Morning America, NPR, and the Emmy-nominated documentary Autism in Love.
Contact InformationCDE Autism Team