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A long-term study by UC Davis Health researchers sheds new light on the relationship between autism traits and mental health in middle childhood. The paper, published in the journal Autism, finds that changes in core autism characteristics are related to whether children develop additional mental health challenges during their elementary school years.

“Our findings suggest that different aspects of a child’s development may affect each other over time,” explained Einat Waizbard-Bartov, a doctoral researcher in developmental psychology at the UC Davis MIND Institute and the lead author on the paper. “Core autism traits and mental health challenges likely interact throughout development.”

A key finding was that a reduction in restrictive and repetitive behaviors during elementary school was linked to the emergence of mental health challenges, lending support to the idea that these behaviors may benefit autistic individuals. An increase in social-communication difficulties during this time was also linked to anxiety and other mental health challenges.

This article delves into a study shedding new light on the relationship between autism traits and mental health during middle childhood. The research explores the complex dynamics between autism characteristics and mental well-being in children, offering insights into the challenges and support systems required for this unique demographic. The study underscores the importance of recognizing and addressing mental health concerns within the context of autism to provide tailored interventions.

The article discusses the study’s significant findings, emphasizing that children with autism traits may be more susceptible to mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Understanding these correlations is critical for developing strategies that enhance their overall well-being.

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Fel Clinical Director of Content
Felisa Laboro has been working with addiction and substance abuse businesses since early 2014. She has authored and published over 1,000 articles in the space. As a result of her work, over 1,500 people have been able to find treatment. She is passionate about helping people break free from alcohol or drug addiction and living a healthy life.

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