For Immediate Release
Contact: Kathryn Ryan
New Rochelle, NY, May 21, 2020—What is “autistic burnout,” a term frequently used by autistic adults? Its characteristics, and what may cause or alleviate it, are discussed in Autism and Adulthood.
Autistic adults use the term to describe a chronic state of exhaustion, loss of skills, and reduced tolerance to stimulus. These characteristics are long-lasting and permeate people’s lives.
According to the study, autistic adults say chronic life stress and a mismatch of expectations and abilities without adequate supports is very difficult. Autistic burnout had a negative impact on autistic adults’ health, capacity to live independently, and quality of life, including suicidal behavior.
“Autistic burnout has been a matter of extreme and under-examined urgency for far too long. I hope our work opens a new avenue of research into understanding, relieving, and preventing it in our community,” says coauthor Dora Raymaker, PhD, Portland State University.
“While the autistic community frequently talks about autistic burnout, the concept has been almost completely absent in the scientific and clinical literature. It’s time we start listening to autistic adults and pay attention to what may be an important mediator of poor outcomes,” says senior author, Christina Nicolaidis, MD, MPH, Portland State University and Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, and Editor-in-Chief of Autism in Adulthood.
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institutes of Health under Award Number1R21MH112038 and by Oregon Health & Science University/Portland State University Collaboration Seed funding. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
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