Despite the fact that there is a considerable emphasis on promoting mental health in the modern society, most researchers, scholars and medical experts have over the years ignored autism as a mental health. According to Ghaziuddin (2005), the failure by some health professionals and caregivers to recognise autism as a mental disorder is often encouraged by the misperception that people with autism do not develop additional psychiatric conditions. However, this is not the case. On contrary, studies reveal that people with autism are likely to experience psychiatric problems such as hyperactivity, depression and anger outbursts (Ghaziuddin, 2005). Speaking from this perspective, autism cannot just be perceived as a development disorder but also needs to be perceived as mental disorder that affects the psychological perceptions of the affected people. This is further affirmed by Ali, O’Reilly and Karim (2013) who observe that ignoring the relationship between autism and mental health has undermined the ability of the healthcare industry to tackle this problem in children. Importantly, to affirm the need to recognise autism as a mental health issue, Ali, O’Reilly and Karim (2013) reiterate that children with autism are likely to develop further mental problems, thus undermining their ability of ever leading a normal life in future. With this in mind, understanding autism from a mental health perspective is critical to developing and deploying intervention measures to address the problem and as such, ensure that the affected persons are helped to lead normal lives.
Narrative psychology 叙事心理学
There are different intervention measures that could be adopted to help address the problem of autism in society and as such, help the affected to live normal lives. One of the ways to address this problem is through the use of narrative psychology. In reference to Crossley (2000), narrative psychology is perceived as a field of psychology that is concerned with the use of narratives on human experience to help individuals deal with their own experiences. Furthermore, Crossley (2000) emphasise that narrative psychology seeks to help individuals in society to build meaning through providing insights on human relationships and connections in society. In this case, through the use of narrative psychology, medical professionals seek to help patients creating meaning in the context of human relations and connections since human realms are founded on the experiences of people within the framework of social interactions.
The effectiveness of narrative psychology in helping improve the conditions of mental health patients is supported by the aspect that the narration of human experiences is integrated in social action, thus enabling events to become visible. As result, László (2008) affirms that narrative psychology helps to build reality among mental health patients, and as such, help them not only connect to the surroundings and to people around them but also define their identity. This is pointed out by Schiff (2012) who notes that narrative is a powerful way of understanding life. In this regard, Schiff (2012) emphasises that narratives are not made special because of their structural nature but rather by the meanings that people are able to articulate and express through narrating. Speaking from this point of view, the use of narrative psychology is dealing with patients with different psychological challenges is founded on the need to help such patients form and express meaning about their lives as well as their surroundings.