Around half of kids getting neurodevelopmental assessment show signs of mental distress. We can support them better
Neurodevelopmental conditions, including autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), affect one in ten people. While the primary focus is often on these diagnoses, worrying research shows people with neurodevelopmental conditions are at a much higher risk of experiencing serious mental health concerns. They may also find it particularly challenging to access mental health support.
For instance, when young autistic people seek help from youth mental health organistion headspace, they often present with severe anxiety and depression. Importantly, these mental health symptoms are one of the most important contributors to their disability in daily life.
We wanted to get a better understanding of how early mental health symptoms emerge. Our new study, published this week, assessed mental health symptoms in young children attending their first neurodevelopmental assessment. This study used the Sydney Child Neurodevelopment Research Registry, an ongoing program focused on child development