What features characterise autism co-occurring with ADHD?

  • Yamawaki K & al.
  • Pediatr Int
  • 16 Dec 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Among boys ages 6-12 years with autism and ADHD, the tetrad of high screening scores, conduct issues, hyperactivity, and low prosocial behaviour characterises the 2 together.

Why this matters

  • These 2 conditions often occur together, but teasing out which features are associated with their co-occurrence has been difficult.

Key results

  • Children with ADHD only were taking more prescribed medications compared with those with ADHD and autism or autism only (P<.001>
  • Compared with children with autism only, those with ADHD or autism+ADHD had higher total difficulties scores on the strengths and difficulties questionnaire screening for autism (P=.002).
  • They also had more behavioural problems and hyperactivity scores.
  • The children with autism+ADHD had lower scores for prosocial behaviour than the children with ADHD only.

Study design

  • Study included 102 boys: 39 with autism and ADHD, 37 with autism only, 26 with ADHD.
  • Parent ratings were used.
  • Funding: Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Limitations

  • Selection bias for children referred to a leading paediatric centre.
  • Included only boys.