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Understanding separation anxiety

Posted by: alisrowe, June 10, 2020

Something that I remember very strongly from my childhood is a feeling of anxiety whenever my parents left me anywhere, such as to drop me off at school or when they went out for a while.

As an adult, I still have that feeling of anxiety even now about my parents. I also sometimes feel anxiety when I am spending time with someone and the time is coming to an end. Saying “goodbye” can be really hard.

It is obvious now why such situations make me feel so anxious. The anxiety is largely caused by the transition from being with someone to being apart from them. I have learned that transitions can be incredibly hard for autistic people.

The Covid-19 lockdown will likely have emphasised feelings of separation anxiety for autistic people. For example, they might have been separated from family and friends who were part of a routine. And, as the lockdown is eased, autistic people will have to get used to being apart from those they live with because of the return to school and work.

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