Proportions and Severity Levels of Anxiety among Children and Adolescents Presenting with Autism Spectrum Disorder in two Schools in Nairobi, Kenya

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Elixir Psychology


Autism is one disorder among a spectrum of disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It is a general term that describes mental ailments that has diverse symptoms and characteristics. These include; restricted/repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests, and activities during the early developmental period. Others exhibit hyperactivity, aggression and anxiety. The individual’s functionality is impaired requiring early intervention. Anxiety is a common comorbid and if left untreated affects the social functionality in ASD. This study looked at the proportion and levels of severity of the anxiety in a sample of 80 school children and adolescents with ASD. The goal of this study was to determine the levels, proportions and severity of anxiety among children presenting with ASD. The sample of 80 children and adolescents with ASD were observed and rated by their parents/teachers/caregivers using the Child and Adolescent Symptom Inventory (CASI) to measure anxiety. Eighty four percent of the total sample met cut-off criteria of at least one anxiety disorder. Anxiety was associated with poor coping skills and greater impairments in social reciprocity. Anxiety is a common comorbid in ASD which requires clinical assessment and treatment. It is important to those who deal with children and adolescent with ASD to understand the symptoms and management of anxiety both in school and other settings (home, social places).


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Anxiety, Children, Adolescents, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Nairobi


Ireri, N. W., Mbwayo, A. W., Munene, A., & Tuikong, S. (2017). Proportions and severity levels of anxiety among children and adolescents presenting with autism spectrum disorder in two schools in Nairobi, Kenya. Elixer International Journal. Elixer Psychology 109, 48090– 48094. ISSN: 2229-712X