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Pervasive Developmental Disorders

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Research articles:

Fitzgerald, M. (2007). Suicide and asperger's syndrome. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 28(1), 1-3. doi:10.1027/0227-5910.28.1.1

Presents an overview of research associated with Asperger's syndrome and suicide. Asperger's syndrome is one of the most common missed diagnosis in adult psychiatry. Depression is very commonly associated and can be helped by Fluoxetine and other antidepressants. The suicide risk is much higher than previously recognized. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

Hardan, A., & Sahl, R. (1999). Suicidal behavior in children and adolescents with developmental disorders. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 20(4), 287-296. doi:10.1016/S0891-4222(99)00010-4

Children and adolescents with developmental disorders exhibit a wide range of self-destructive behaviors. However, suicidal ideation and gestures have been underreported in this population. This study was designed to examine suicidality in a clinically referred sample. The medical records of all individuals assessed in a specialized program during a 1-yr period were reviewed looking at the incidence, the type and the clinical characteristics of any suicidal behavior. 47 patients (20%) experienced either suicidal ideation, threats, or attempts, with hanging being the most frequent method considered. Suicidality was more often encountered in individuals diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder, depressive disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and less often in the autistic and the severely/profoundly mentally retarded groups. Suicidal behaviors were frequently encountered in children and adolescents with developmental disabilities. Prospective studies should be conducted to examine rigorously the variables associated with suicidality in this population. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

Shtayermman, O. (2008). Suicidal ideation and comorbid disorders in adolescents and young adults diagnosed with asperger's syndrome: A population at risk. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 18(3), 301-328. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

The purpose of this study was to examine the level of suicidal ideation and comorbid disorders (major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder) among adolescents and young adults with diagnosed Asperger's syndrome (AS). A cross-sectional study using a self-administrated mail questionnaire and a Web-based questionnaire were used. Two samples were selected for this study. The first sample used snowball sampling, starting with parents of adolescents and young adults with diagnosed AS who participated in a qualitative study conducted in 2002. The second sample consisted of a volunteer sample of parents who visited Web sites for parents and individuals with diagnosed autism spectrum disorder. The sample included 10 adolescents and young adults with diagnosed AS. Fifty percent of the sample had a clinically significant level of suicidal ideation, 20% met criteria for a diagnosis of major depressive disorder, and 30% met criteria for generalized anxiety disorder.

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