Children and young people with comorbid intellectual disabilities (ID) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are more likely to exhibit comorbid mental health disorders (MHD) and other significant behaviours (SB) in addition to the core symptoms of ASD. The purpose of this paper is to identify the prevalence of comorbid MHD and behaviours in children and young people with ID and ASD in Egypt.Design/methodology/approachThe Reiss scale for children’s dual diagnosis was administered by parents and teachers of 222 Egyptian children and young people with mild/moderate ID and ASD to screen for MHD and SB. The mean age of children and young people was 12.3 years (SD = 3.64), with 75.6 per cent male.FindingsThe results revealed that 62.2 per cent of children and young people with ID and ASD had high rates of comorbid MHD and behaviour disorders were shown in 64.4 per cent of the participated children and young people. The results identified anger, anxiety and psychosis being the most frequently diagnosed disorders while crying spells and pica were the most SB. No differences were found between the male and female with ID and ASD in the current study.Research limitations/implicationsMental health assessment of children and young people with ID and ASD will help to highlight the needs of these vulnerable children and develop the appropriate services.Originality/valueThe findings highlight the prevalence of MHD in children and young people with ID and ASD in Egypt. This has implications on the assessment of comorbid disorders and services needed for children with ID and ASD in Egypt.
Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 4, 2019
Keywords: Egypt; Mental health; Children; Intellectual disabilities; Comorbidity; Autism spectrum disorder