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Autism: Assessment tool developed to help diagnose mental health issues

University of Birmingham’s pioneering research tool aims to assist in the identification and assessment of anxiety and depression in people with autism.

University of Birmingham’s pioneering research tool aims to assist in the identification and assessment of anxiety and depression in people with autism


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It is estimated that 79% of people who have autism have mental health issues at some point in their lives. Mental illness is difficult to diagnose if the person who has autism also has a learning disability, which is why an assessment tool has been developed to address this.

The tool aims to assist in the identification and assessment of anxiety and depression in people with autism who also have learning disabilities, and who have limited or no verbal communication skills.

It aims to help distinguish between the distress caused by psychological problems such as the anxiety and distress caused by physical health difficulties.

The team who have developed this tool are now looking to research its effectiveness among volunteers who have autism.

All potential candidates should contact Emma McKinnery, communications manager, University of Birmingham on 0121 414 6681. 

Stacey Atkinson is matron/manager-inpatient services for people with learning disabilities and lead nurse, St Mary's Hospital, Leeds


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