Another sfari.org blog http://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/news/2014/suicidal-thoughts-alarmingly-common-in-people-with-autism discusses recent work on suicidality in ASD, especially aspergers. It’s an excellent piece, and I just wanted to add a few points:
1) as professionals we should be asking young people with ASD about thoughts of self harm and suicide whenever possible. Conventional depression scales won’t cut it.
2) this should put to bed once and for all the myth of autistic people as emotionally ‘frozen’. Their emotional life is qualitatively different to typicals, but no less intense.
3) the data suggesting an increase in suicide attempts is unpublished, so should be treated with caution, but there are good reasons given to think there might be a greater risk. How much can be accounted for by conventional depression is unclear
4) if people with autism can be suicidal but not depressed, how on earth do we treat/ protect them? This I suspect will be a puzzler
5) this is a good example of a problem that would reward particular attention on people with aspergers. It seems a shame to have dispensed with the term, doesn’t it?