Suicide and ASD

What does the research tell us? What can we do?

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience higher rates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts than people in the general population. This highlights a critical but not well recognized issue facing individuals living with ASD, their families, and the professionals and front line staff who engage with the ASD population.

This Worktopia Research Snippet summarizes the key areas discussed in the published paper titled, Suicidality in Autism Spectrum Disorder: a Commentary, authored by Lai, Rhee, Nicholas, 2017. It provides a high level overview of some of the risk factors for suicidality that are raised in the paper including personality factors, developmental and contextual factors, and external factors. The Snippet also looks at some of the things we can do to help support individuals living with these challenges such as greater risk awareness, prevention efforts and improved research and screening efforts.

To read more about what research is telling us related to suicide and ASD, and what we can do to help, click on the RESEARCH SNIPPET link below.

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Worktopia & Ready, Willing and Able: A National Collaboration Building Bridges to Supports on the Pathway to Employment

Worktopia and Ready, Willing and Able are working together to meaningfully influence the employment futures of youth and young adults with autism. To read more about how the programs are helping job seekers develop their employment skills, gain a better understanding of the employment services and supports in their local community, and make connections to inclusive workplaces that are looking to hire, click on the news story attached featuring a recent graduate of the EmploymentWorks Canada program.

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Supporting the Employment Journey

“If you have a (young person) who does not open up and does not talk about those things then … having (a written report with) strengths, weaknesses, what to work on, resources, all that is very important.” (Parent of Worktopia Participant)

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Relating What We Are Learning to Research

Using national population survey data, researchers from The School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary explored the education, daily needs and labour force participation of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). They looked at data from the 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability that surveyed 45,500 Canadians with disabilities and found valuable information about the challenges people with disabilities encounter getting into and remaining in the workforce. Their research is also providing insights that inform policy development.

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