Assessing the Wellbeing of Individuals with Autism Using the interRAI Child and Youth Mental Health (ChYMH) and the interRAI Child and Youth Mental Health – Developmental Disabilities (ChYMH-DD) Tools
Brianne K. Redquest, Shannon L. Stewart, Pamela J. Bryden, and Paula C. Fletcher
Individuals with autism experience multiple issues affecting their overall health and wellbeing. A comprehensive picture of the numerous domains affected in children and youth with autism is lacking. To understand the care planning needs of these children and youth, data were collected and analyzed using the Child and Youth Mental Health (ChYMH) Assessment and the Child and Youth Mental Health –Developmental Disabilities (ChYMH-DD) tools. Specifically, this study analyzed a series of collaborative action plans (CAPs) triggered by individuals with autism without intellectual disability (ID) and individuals with autism and with ID. Individuals with autism both without and with ID triggered numerous CAPs, suggesting individuals with autism are at risk for a myriad of issues. Findings also revealed children and youth who triggered one concern also triggered concerns in other domains. Prevalent areas with many consequential concerns highlighted in this article include social challenges, sleep, and injurious behaviors. These areas signal issues of concern for individuals with autism, their caregivers, and health care professionals. Further research to determine the most effective interventions to manage or prevent these issues from affecting the wellbeing of individuals with autism is needed.