Better tools needed to diagnose depression in autistic adults

Researchers from the University of Nottingham's School of Psychology have found that there are no validated tools to assess depression in autistic adults reports Medical Xpress.

The study, published in Autism Research, was led by Dr Sarah Cassidy who says: "current tools available for diagnosing depression rely on people self-reporting, relying on the ability to reflect and report on personal emotional experience, something autistic will find extremely difficult to do, with many finding it impossible".  She adds that symptoms of depression and autism overlap - such as social withdrawal, difficulties sleeping, loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed - making it difficult for clinicians to pick up on the subtle differences.  

Dr Cassidy is now developing a new depression assessment tool for autistic adults. 

Date added 21 February 2017