Autism, Suicide, Crisis Supports
@AspieSurvngLoss Lisa Morgan and Amelia Lehto @Atoes84 Chat about the #AAS Toolkit “Crisis Supports for the Autism Community.”
Purpose of the Autism & Suicide Toolkit:
This resource was developed to aide crisis center workers in identifying and supporting autistic callers/texters who are in crisis.
A person with autism may or may not disclose their diagnosis to a crisis center worker or even be aware they are on the autism spectrum, yet still need individualized, specific support.
This resource includes ways to identify potential callers/texters who show autistic traits and characteristics, as well as ways to support an autistic person in crisis.
The resource also explains the unique differences in communication, thought processes, sensory issues, and misunderstandings a crisis worker may encounter while helping an autistic person in crisis.(2018, AAS)
Did you know? CDC increased estimate of autism’s prevalence by 15 percent in 2018, to 1 in 59 children
Did you know? The nation still lacks any reliable estimate of autism’s prevalence among adults. As autism is a lifelong condition for most people, this represents an unacceptable gap in our awareness of their needs – particularly in areas such as employment, housing and social inclusion. Each year, an estimated 50,000 teens with autism age out of school-based services.
Toolkit author’s statement: “The decision on whether to use person-first language versus identity-first language is a personal choice. As an autistic adult, I prefer to use identity-first language. I use the word autistic as a descriptive adjective in defining who I am. While other autistic adults may also choose identity-first language, there are people on the spectrum who prefer to use person-first language, not wanting to be defined by autism. In respect for all people diagnosed with autism, I have chosen to use both types of language in this autism-friendly resource to be used in crisis centers as a means to identify and communicate with people in crisis who are diagnosed with autism.” ~ Lisa Morgan
Lisa is author of Living Through Suicide Loss with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and a co-author of Been There Done That, Try This! , both published through Jessica Kingsley Publishing. Lisa is an assistant editor, feature writer, and columnist of Spectrum Women magazine. She is also co-chair of the Suicide and Autism committee of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), a committee dedicated to helping the autism community with all issues of suicide. Lisa authored, in collaboration with the committee, a first of its kind autism resource to aid crisis center workers communicate with autistic callers/texters who are in crisis. She has developed and presented two webinars for AAS called “Crisis Supports for the Autism Community – Starting a Conversation” and “Autism Resources for Crisis Centers”. Lisa is a speaker and advocate for the autism community in issues of suicide. She is a member of the Community Council of AASET, Autistic Adults and Stakeholders Engaged Together, a team of autistic adults working together to provide the top priorities of the autism community to guide future research topics. In July of 2018, Lisa was invited to speak at the National Academies of Science, Health and Medicine on lived experience with health literacy issues, and is co-authoring a book on the results of that workshop.
Video Link from the July workshop:
Amelia Lehto is a leader who specializes in suicide prevention and postvention on the local, state and national levels through trainings, advocacy and technology. She is the Vice President for local nonprofit Six Feet Over, Crisis Centers Division Chair for the American Association of Suicidology and works full time for a local Crisis Center.
After experiencing suicide loss at a young age, she discovered that one is not defined by how they died, but how they lived. To quote the famous and family favorite Lorax, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”