Psychiatric assessment in congenital blindness, ASD and ID: experience from two clinical cases

Arvid Nikolai Kildahl (Regional Section Mental Health, Intellectual Disabilities/Autism, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway and NevSom Norwegian Centre of Expertise for Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Hypersomnias, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway)
Maria Hagen Engebretsen (Regional Section Mental Health, Intellectual Disabilities/Autism, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway)
Kristin Horndalsveen (Regional Section Mental Health, Intellectual Disabilities/Autism, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway)
Jane Margrete Askeland Hellerud (Regional Section Mental Health, Intellectual Disabilities/Autism, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway)
Jorunn Ytrehorn Wiik (Department of Visual Impairment, Statped, Oslo, Norway)
Gro Aasen (Department of Visual Impairment, Statped, Oslo, Norway)
Sissel Berge Helverschou (NevSom Norwegian Centre of Expertise for Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Hypersomnias, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway)

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities

ISSN: 2044-1282

Publication date: 24 June 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Psychiatric assessment in adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID) is complex and challenging. With co-occurring congenital blindness, this complexity is increased. Systematic knowledge about psychiatric assessment in this combination of challenges is virtually non-existing, and there is little guidance available for clinicians faced with this task. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Experiences from comprehensive psychiatric assessments in two adults with congenital blindness, ASD, and ID are explored and discussed.

Findings

Adaptation of assessment procedures usually employed for individuals with ASD and ID involved no major alteration, but co-operation between mental health and visual impairment professionals was important, as was the involvement of the families of the individuals in question. In both cases, the patient met criteria for an anxiety disorder, underlining the vulnerability and the challenges involved in living with this combination of challenges.

Research limitations/implications

There is an urgent need for research into mental health issues for this group, including case studies describing successful treatment or intervention for these issues.

Practical implications

Psychiatric assessment in individuals with this combination of challenges may be feasible, but requires involvement of professionals specializing in mental health in developmental disabilities, and professionals in visual impairment. Assessments need to be individually adapted.

Originality/value

This is the first study systematically describing psychiatric assessment in this group involving the use of checklists and assessment tools. Strategies and tools that were useful are described and discussed to aid other clinicians faced with similar challenges.

Keywords

Citation

Kildahl, A., Engebretsen, M., Horndalsveen, K., Hellerud, J., Wiik, J., Aasen, G. and Helverschou, S. (2019), "Psychiatric assessment in congenital blindness, ASD and ID: experience from two clinical cases", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/AMHID-03-2019-0007

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.