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Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among autistic people.


Females with ASD are more than 3X as likely to die from suicide as their neurotypical peers. Cite:

Autistic people are 6X more likely to attempt suicide than the general population. Cite: “Where do we go from here?”, Autism Community priorities for future suicide research was published in June 2021

Twice-exceptional youth—children who have a diagnosis of autism and who also have exceptional cognitive ability—are at increased risk of suicidal thoughts. Cite:

The highest rate of suicide attempts and death by suicide among autistic people are those who do not have an intellectual disability. Cite:

About 1 in 10 autistic individuals who also have ADHD have attempted suicide. Cite:

Autistic children with an IQ of 120 or higher are 6x more likely to have thoughts of suicide. Cite:

Young people with ASD are at twice the risk of suicide than young people without ASD. Cite:

Individuals with ASD were less likely than others to die from firearm‐related suicides. Cite:

Up to 66% of autistic people have considered suicide. Cite:

Autistic children are bullied 3-4 times as often as their neurotypical peers. Cite:

Co-occurring mental health conditions can increase an autistic person’s suicide risk. Cite:

41% to 50% of autistic kids have 2 or more mental health conditions. Cite:

Risk Factors

Suicide Risk Factors for Autistic People

Co-Occurring Mental Health Conditions: 78% of autistic children have at least one mental health condition. 41% to 50% of autistic kids have two or more mental health conditions. Anxiety affects about half of those with ASD who have a mental health condition.

Camouflaging/Masking: Autistic people—particularly those with level 1 autism—often try to “camouflage” their autism, finding ways to mask their symptoms to fit in with others. Camouflaging is mentally burdensome and is linked to higher rates of mental illness and suicide.

Autistic Burnout: Autistic burnout is a syndrome that results from chronic life stress and a mismatch of expectations and abilities without adequate support. It is characterized by pervasive, long-term (typically 3+ months) exhaustion, loss of function, and reduced tolerance to stimulus.

Being Female: Autistic females are more than 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than their neurotypical peers.

Adverse Life Events: Navigating life as an autistic person is often challenging, and autistic people are at greater risk of being bullied, experiencing financial problems, being socially excluded, and facing workplace and relationship problems, any of which may be at the root of suicidality.

Late Diagnosis: Many autistic people remain undiagnosed well into adulthood, with women being more likely to receive a late diagnosis (or stay undiagnosed altogether). Late diagnosis is linked with a greater risk of suicidal ideation.

Isolation: Autistic people face social and communication problems, leading to isolation and a lack of support—difficulty building relationships, which increases their risk of suicide.


Warning Signs

Sudden or increased withdrawal

No words to communicate acute distress

Current traumatic event reported by self or others

Increase in rate and severity of self-harm

Worsening levels of symptoms of anxiety and depression

A new focus on suicidal talk

Perseverative suicidal thoughts and ruminations

Seeking means or making plans for suicide or suicidal rehearsal

Statements about no reason to live or no purpose in life




Believe them

Listen to them

Ask clear and specific questions

Give time for the person to respond

Provide support that is tailored to meet the person's unique needs

Connect them with social support

Promote feelings of belonging and self-worth

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