Investigating the impact of anxious symptomatology in autistic children

Published June 2021


Symptoms of anxiety are common in autistic children. In non-autistic children, anxiety can have considerable negative impact across various life domains. To date, there has been limited investigation of the impact of anxiety symptoms on the lives of autistic children and their families. In order to explore the impact of anxiety symptoms, the Child Anxiety Life Interference Scale (CALIS) and Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale (SCAS) were administered to 30 autistic children and their parents. Children and parents reported high levels of anxiety-related life impact across all life domains assessed. Parents reported higher levels of impact than children. Both parents and children indicated that school performance is the life domain most impacted by anxiety symptoms. Findings indicate that anxiety symptoms have considerable negative consequences for autistic children and their parents. Further research exploring the impact of anxiety symptomatology in this population is required.
den Houting, J., Adams, D., Roberts, J. & Keen, D. (2020). Investigating the impact of anxious symptomatology in autistic children. Taylor & Francis, International Journal of Disability, Development and Education.

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