Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 41, Issue 9, pp 1178–1191

Examining Autistic Traits in Children with ADHD: Does the Autism Spectrum Extend to ADHD?

Authors

  • Rebecca Grzadzinski
    • Phyllis Green and Randolph Cōwen Institute for Pediatric NeuroscienceChild Study Center of the NYU Langone Medical Center
    • Phyllis Green and Randolph Cōwen Institute for Pediatric NeuroscienceChild Study Center of the NYU Langone Medical Center
    • Department of Neuroscience, Division of Child and Adolescent NeuropsychiatryUniversity of Cagliari
  • Emily Brady
    • Phyllis Green and Randolph Cōwen Institute for Pediatric NeuroscienceChild Study Center of the NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Maria Angeles Mairena
    • Phyllis Green and Randolph Cōwen Institute for Pediatric NeuroscienceChild Study Center of the NYU Langone Medical Center
    • Hospital Sant Joan de Déu
  • Matthew O’Neale
    • Phyllis Green and Randolph Cōwen Institute for Pediatric NeuroscienceChild Study Center of the NYU Langone Medical Center
    • New York University, College of Arts & Science
  • Eva Petkova
    • Division of BiostatisticsChild Study Center of the NYU Langone Medical Center
    • Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research
  • Catherine Lord
    • University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders Center
  • F. Xavier Castellanos
    • Phyllis Green and Randolph Cōwen Institute for Pediatric NeuroscienceChild Study Center of the NYU Langone Medical Center
    • Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-010-1135-3

Cite this article as:
Grzadzinski, R., Di Martino, A., Brady, E. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2011) 41: 1178. doi:10.1007/s10803-010-1135-3

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.

Keywords

AutismAutism spectrum disordersAttention-deficit/hyperactivity disorderSocial reciprocitySocial responsiveness scaleChildren’s communication checklist-2

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010