Commentary on Kerns and Kendall


Address correspondence to Susan E. Folstein, MD, 1695 NW 9th Avenue, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, FL 33136. E-mail:


The field has been uncertain about how to think about anxiety as it occurs in persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Kerns and Kendall (2012) review the relevant empirical literature and conclude that the preponderance of evidence suggests that anxiety is a co-occurring condition with ASD. I agree with this conclusion. However, my agreement is not based on the literature but rather because when anxiety can be identified and treated with anxiolytics in a person with autism, the person's functioning is improved. As the authors point out, identification of anxiety is not always easy, and improved methods of detection are needed.