Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp 1459–1464 | Cite as

Brief Report: Prevalence of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Among Individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Ellen Hanson
  • Bettina M. Cerban
  • Chelsea M. Slater
  • Laura M. Caccamo
  • Janine Bacic
  • Eugenia Chan
Brief Report


Currently, both the DSM-IV-TR and ICD-10 preclude the diagnosis of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in cases that present with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This criterion will be removed in the upcoming DSM-V, but the relationship between ASD and ADHD, and in particular the prevalence of ADHD among the ASD population, remains controversial. Previous studies have reported clinically significant ADHD symptoms in one-third to three-quarters of ASD-affected individuals (probands). In our sample of 1,838 simplex children and adolescents with ASD, we found that less than 16 % met clinically significant levels of ADHD symptoms, per parent report. When both parent and teacher reports were considered, the comorbidity rate was even lower, at 2 %.


Autism spectrum disorder Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Comorbidity DSM-V 



The authors wish to thank Dr Leonard Rappaport for constant support and review of this paper. This study was supported in part by grants from the Simons Foundation, Boston Autism Consortium and the National Institutes of Health (MH85143 and MH083565-01).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen Hanson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bettina M. Cerban
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chelsea M. Slater
    • 1
    • 2
  • Laura M. Caccamo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Janine Bacic
    • 3
    • 4
  • Eugenia Chan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Developmental MedicineChildren’s Hospital BostonBostonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Developmental MedicineHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Clinical Research ProgramChildren’s Hospital BostonBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Health Policy and ManagementBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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