Health effects of conditions associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Learn how health conditions often associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can affect your health.

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What are the health conditions associated with ASD?

Someone with ASD may have other health conditions that can be related to or are often seen with their ASD diagnosis. ASD makes it hard for people to adjust their behaviour to meet the demands of everyday life. Additional mental and health conditions can make this even more difficult. 

Additional health conditions may include a:

  • medical condition
  • behavioural disorder
  • mental health condition

Some mental health conditions affecting those living with ASD include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

People with ASD also have higher rates of:

  • epilepsy
  • sleep disorders
  • digestive issues
  • uncommon responses to pain (over- or under-reacting)
  • metabolism problems (how your body breaks down food for energy)

These extra conditions can greatly affect the lives of people with ASD. They can also affect the lives of their families and caregivers. These conditions can change an individual’s:

  • behaviour
  • quality of life
  • emotional coping abilities

These additional conditions may mean someone with ASD needs more time and support to get through their day.

It can be hard to find and test other conditions in someone with ASD if that person has trouble communicating. But it is important to look at and treat these conditions when possible. This can improve their quality of life as well as their ability to function.

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