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?

  • Rebecca Grzadzinski
  • Adriana Di Martino
  • Emily Brady
  • Maria Angeles Mairena
  • Matthew O’Neale
  • Eva Petkova
  • Catherine Lord
  • F. Xavier Castellanos
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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca Grzadzinski
    • 1
  • Adriana Di Martino
    • 1
    • 2
  • Emily Brady
    • 1
  • Maria Angeles Mairena
    • 1
    • 6
  • Matthew O’Neale
    • 1
    • 7
  • Eva Petkova
    • 3
    • 4
  • Catherine Lord
    • 5
  • F. Xavier Castellanos
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Phyllis Green and Randolph Cōwen Institute for Pediatric NeuroscienceChild Study Center of the NYU Langone Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Neuroscience, Division of Child and Adolescent NeuropsychiatryUniversity of CagliariCagliariItaly
  3. 3.Division of BiostatisticsChild Study Center of the NYU Langone Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric ResearchOrangeburgUSA
  5. 5.University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders CenterAnn ArborUSA
  6. 6.Hospital Sant Joan de DéuBarcelonaSpain
  7. 7.New York University, College of Arts & ScienceNew YorkUSA