Autistic & ADHD adults often have multiple intertwined health conditions.
Barriers within the healthcare system may interfere with clinicians having access to address all of someone’s medical problems all at once. Yet by treating these medical conditions as separate, this may result in a person not getting better.
Thinking of these medical conditions as a group (or cluster / constellation) may result in more improvements.
We hope that the resources on this website can make things easier for patients and clinicians to communicate and work through these patterns together.
About the project
Founded by an autistic doctor, All Brains Belong VT is a nonprofit healthcare and community organization in Montpelier VT. All Brains Belong provides neuroinclusive medical care in addition to social connection and educational programs. The majority of our adult patients are autistic and/or ADHD. This project was inspired by the patterns we see in our patients. The majority of our autistic and ADHD adult patients suffer from a constellation (grouping) of related medical conditions. We found that many of the common medical treatments for some parts of this grouping made others worse.
In May 2022, we formed a Task Force of clinicians, patients, and community members to discuss what works (and does not work) to manage these medical conditions or symptoms. We also gathered information from more than 100 autistic adults. These individuals gave feedback based on their personal experiences. The content we share on this website combines evidence-based medicine, lived experience, and our clinical experiences treating patients with these conditions.
Why is this important?
The average life expectancy for an autistic adult is 36-54 years.1,2 The main reasons for this are early heart disease and suicide.3 ADHD adults also have more medical problems and a shorter life expectancy.4 69% of autistic adults have untreated health problems.5
‘We believe that the results shared in this project will help autistic and ADHD adults to live longer, happier lives.
To learn more, please choose one of the following:
This project began because of All Brains Belong VT’s goal to improve health and well-being for neurodivergent adults. The project, website, and tools were built thanks to support from the Organization on Autism Research (OAR) and by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR‐P) grant. Click here for sponsor information.
- Learn more about ABB and our model for neuroinclusive healthcare.
- You can also sign up for our newsletter to receive project updates and extra resources.
- We also offer educational trainings for healthcare professionals, employers, and any organization looking to improve its neuroinclusivity.
Want to support All Brains Belong’s work to improve the health of neurodivergent patients through the lifespan?
NOTE: The information on this website is for education only. This is not medical advice. This is not meant to diagnose or treat individuals’ medical problems. All Brains Belong cannot provide medical advice to people who are not our patients. We recommend that all patients discuss their health with their personal healthcare providers.
Special thanks to the Organization on Autism Research (OAR) and the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR‐P) for their generous support.
We would like to acknowledge the following primary care physicians for reviewing and providing feedback on these resources: Yadira Acevedo MD, Laura Bujold DO, Tina D’Amato DO, Laura DePouli MD, Alan Douglass MD, Pranav Kapoor MD, McKalyn Leclerc MD, Alisa Minkin MD, Stephanie Rosener MD, Miriam Seguri-Harrison MD, Barton Smith MD, Mariah Stump MD, Miriam Sturgis MD, Alex Tentler MD, and Abbie Tillman MD.
- 1. Guan J, Li G. Injury mortality in individuals with autism. American Journal of Public Health. 2017;107(5):791-793.
- Hirvikoski T, Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Boman M, Larsson H, Lichtenstein P, Bölte S. Premature mortality in autism spectrum disorder. British Journal of Psychiatry. 2016;208(3):232-8.
- South M, Costa AP, McMorris C. Death by suicide among people with autism: beyond zebrafish. 2021;4(1):e2034018.
- Søren Dalsgaard, Søren Dinesen Øtergaard, James F Leckman, Preben Bo Mortensen, Marianne Giørtz Pedersen. Mortality in children, adolescents, and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a nationwide cohort study. The Lancet, 2015; DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61684-6
- Doherty M, Nielson SD, O’Sullivan JD, Carravallah L, Johnson M, Cullen W, Gallagher L. Barriers to healthcare for autistic adults: Consequences & policy implications. A cross-sectional study. medRxiv 2020.04.01.