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  • Writer's pictureJen Gonda

Mental Health, Autism, and Behavior Intervention

Updated: Apr 10

Any time a child struggles, it is stressful. From typical tantrums to speech delays, parents always want the best for their child. These stressors, combined with the ever increasing life stress that goes with being a parent in the 21st century, increase the need for mental health support for children, parents and siblings. To address the ever increasing need for these support, Community Behavior Consulting has added mental health supports to help families navigate the stress surrounding behavior intervention.

The need for mental health support with children is ever present with 1 in 6 children diagnosed with an emotional or behavioral disorder, 1 in 36 diagnosed with autism and over ⅔ of children experience a traumatic event by age 16. According to Kerns et al. (2020), 78% of children with autism have at least one mental health condition and 49% had two co-occurring mental health conditions. Researchers found that nearly 45% of preschool children with autism have a mental health condition present. Some of the most common conditions are anxiety, ADHD, and depression.

The need for mental support for parents is also well researched and documented. According to ten Hoopen et al. (2019), 40% of parents of children with autism reported anxiety and depression despite 96% of parents reporting fulfillment from caring for their child. This research indicates it is possible to be fulfilled as parent and still experience anxiety and depression.

This evidence confirms the need to have mental health support in combination with behavior intervention. Whether this support is in combination with ABA, in combination with behavior intervention occurring at a school, or in combination with special programs attended by the child, it needs to happen.

At Community Behavior Consulting, we hope to spread this information to increase the mental health support of our clients. We have added mental health counseling and plan to embed these services side by side with ABA to meet this ever present need.

Kerns CM, Rast JE, Shattuck PT. Prevalence and Correlates of Caregiver-Reported Mental Health Conditions in Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorder in the United States. J Clin Psychiatry. 2020 Dec 22;82(1):20m13242. doi: 10.4088/JCP.20m13242. PMID: 33356021.

ten Hoopen, L.W., de Nijs, P.F.A., Duvekot, J. et al. Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Caregivers: Capturing Health-Related and Care-Related Quality of Life. J Autism Dev Disord 50, 263–277 (2020).

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