Depression Symptoms in Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Page : 114 pages

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While a body of literature exists that discusses the signs and symptoms of ASD and lends support to the fact that co-morbidity between ASD and depression exists, there is little evidence that explores the meaning that this population places on typical occupations that they engage in, and the relationship that these occupations have on their depression. Therefore, based on both empirically-validated scientific experiments and qualitative phenomenology about ASD and the individuals who live with this unique disorder, this thesis utilizes a mixed methods approach to study and develop a more complete understanding of how depression symptoms may affect occupational performance in young adults with an ASD. Qualitatively, results suggest that there were four common occupations including virtual gaming and computers that were engaged in by individuals with an ASD, although there was little theme emergence. Quantitatively, forty percent of the participants were found to have some form of depression. Literature further suggests that there are neurobiological correlates that relate to autism and depressive symptoms. Occupational therapists have knowledge of ASD, depression, and the neurosciences, and further have a role in the management and therapeutic enhancement of individuals experiencing the co-morbidity of autism and depression.

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