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Current Developmental Disorders Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 49–57 | Cite as

Trends in the Overlap of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Prevalence, Clinical Management, Language and Genetics

  • T. May
  • A. Brignell
  • Z. Hawi
  • A. Brereton
  • B. Tonge
  • M. A. Bellgrove
  • N. J. Rinehart
Autism Spectrum (A Richdale and L Hollier, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Autism Specrtum

Abstract

Purpose of Review

To review recent literature on the overlap of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), now both conditions can be dually diagnosed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders 5th edition.

Recent Findings

There is a high comorbidity with rates of comorbid ASD and ADHD ranging from 40 to 83%. Multidisciplinary assessment and management of the combined presentation is thus required. Language difficulties are a common comorbidity in both ASD and ADHD with around 60% of children with ASD and 40% of those with ADHD having language problems. Twin studies show up to 72% of the co-variance of ADHD, and ASD symptoms can be explained by shared additive genetic factors providing a genetic basis for the observed clinical overlap.

Summary

There are still many gaps in our knowledge with limited research exploring well-defined groups of children with ASD only, ADHD only and ASD with ADHD. Clinicians should thoroughly assess ADHD symptomatology in children with ASD and vice versa to understand the challenges for these children and inform treatment planning.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Comorbidity Treatment Language 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. May
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • A. Brignell
    • 2
  • Z. Hawi
    • 4
  • A. Brereton
    • 1
  • B. Tonge
    • 1
    • 5
  • M. A. Bellgrove
    • 4
  • N. J. Rinehart
    • 1
  1. 1.Deakin Child Study Centre, School of Psychology, Faculty of HealthDeakin University GeelongGeelongAustralia
  2. 2.Murdoch Childrens Research InstituteParkvilleAustralia
  3. 3.Deakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia
  4. 4.Monash Institute for Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences (MICCN), School of Psychological SciencesMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  5. 5.Centre for Developmental Psychology and PsychiatryMonash UniversityNotting HillAustralia

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