Suicidal Thoughts More Common in Kids With Autism: Study

Health News / Tips & Trends / Celebrity Health

By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) — Children with autism may have a higher-than-average risk of contemplating or attempting suicide, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that mothers of children with autism were much more likely than other moms to say their child had talked about or attempted suicide: 14 percent did, versus 0.5 percent of mothers whose kids didn’t have the disorder.

The behavior was more common in older kids (aged 10 and up) and those whose mothers thought they were depressed, as well as kids whose moms said they were teased.

An autism expert not involved in the research, however, said the study had limitations, and that the findings “should be interpreted cautiously.”

One reason is that the information was based on mothers’ reports, and that’s a limitation in any study, said Cynthia Johnson, director of the Autism Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

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