Autism: Devastated to Death

Suicide is more common in individuals with autism (Photo by Flickr/Pink Sherbet Photography)

While the pressures of raising a child with autism take its toll on the parents and family, many forget the insurmountable frustrations the individual endures every day. Most recently, Ryan Emory of Greenville, a teen with autism, has expressed his increasing pains through the act of suicide.

Recently, as Emory was being transported back to his psychiatric hospital, he struggled out of his gurney straps. Leaping out onto the speeding road, the paramedic desperately tried, but failed, to grab him and prevent his death.

Suicide rates among individuals with autism have skyrocketed. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), in 2006, 33,300 (approximately 11 per 100,000) people died by suicide in the U.S. More than 90 percent of these people have a diagnosable mental disorder.

Shelley Hodge, the teen’s tearful mother described her shock; “He jumps out of an ambulance. I mean, how does that happen?” But she also says her son’s suicide has not been marked by unexpected changes. Hodge notes that Emory became more aggressive and lashed out at everyone from relatives to strangers.

The National Autistic Society (NAS), in England has conducted studies linking autism and depression. A major report in 2001 found that 56% had suffered with depression and 8% felt suicidal or had attempted suicide. To prevent this, the National Autistic Society (NAS), places extreme emphasis on early diagnosis of the autism, and hidden disorders that may lie beneath.

For more information on this story, please check back. The International Center for Autism Research and Education (ICare4Autism) will continue to post on this topic, as new details are received.

Official link to site: www.icare4autism.org

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One Comment

  1. Ezra Basore
    Posted April 6, 2010 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    hey man come on this is good stuff

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