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Examining autistic traits in children with ADHD: Does the Autism Spectrum Extend to ADHD?

Phyllis Green and Randolph Cōwen Institute for Pediatric Neuroscience, Child Study Center of the NYU Langone Medical Center, 215 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.06). 11/2010; 41(9):1178-91. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-010-1135-3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

We examined to what extent increased parent reports of autistic traits in some children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are the result of ADHD-related symptoms or qualitatively similar to the core characteristics of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Results confirm the presence of a subgroup of children with ADHD and elevated ratings of core ASD traits (ADHD(+)) not accounted for by ADHD or behavioral symptoms. Further, analyses revealed greater oppositional behaviors, but not greater ADHD severity or anxiety, in the ADHD(+) subgroup compared to those with ADHD only. These results highlight the importance of specifically examining autistic traits in children with ADHD for better characterization in studies of the underlying physiopathology and treatment.

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Available from: Rebecca Grzadzinski, Mar 29, 2014
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    • "). Third, these disorders share symptomatology, showing considerable overlap in the core and associated symptoms , that is, issues with attention, impulsivity, repetitive behaviors , impairments in socialization and communication, anxiety, sleep disturbance, obsessive compulsive behaviors, sensory processing abnormalities, depression, and ritualistic behaviors, such as counting, repeating, or ordering and arranging (see Table 1 for a comparison of the shared symptomatology) (Grzadzinski et al., 2011; Hariz and Robertson, 2010; Hattori et al., 2006; Taylor, 2009; Terband et al., 2014; Tourette Syndrome Fact Sheet, 2013). Fourth, these disorders share neuropathology. "
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    • "Other studies have also pointed at the increased rate of autistic symptoms in samples of children with ADHD. Grzadzinski et al. (2011) confirmed the presence of a sub group of children with ADHD and elevated ratings of core ASD traits not accounted for by ADHD or behavioral symptoms. The ADHD group with AT revealed greater ODD behaviors than those with ADHD-only. "
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    • "Whereas the majority of the items was deduced from DSM- IV-TR autism symptoms, several items were selected additionally as non-specific but frequently observed symptoms in children and adolescents with ASD (Bölte and Poustka 2008; Grzadzinski et al. 2011). The SRS demonstrated good psychometric properties and cross-cultural validity (Bölte et al. 2008; Wang et al. 2012). "
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