Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Kevin M. Antshel
  • Bridget O. Hier


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by developmentally inappropriate degrees of inattention, impulsiveness, and/or hyperactivity that most often arise in early to middle childhood, result in impairment across multiple domains of daily life activities, and remain relatively persistent over time. Despite research suggesting that between 41 % and 95 % of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have significant symptoms of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity, the DSM-IV-TR (ADHD Criterion E) currently prohibits diagnosing ADHD in the context of an autism spectrum disorder. There is biological, neuropsychological, and behavioral overlap between children with ADHD and those with ASD. Nonetheless, there are several important differences which suggest that ADHD and ASD are distinct disorders, yet often coexist. These differences can be viewed in terms of quantitative and qualitative differences. Existing data provides some limited evidence of the efficacy of stimulant medication use as a means of treating ADHD-like symptoms within individuals with ASD. Nonetheless, to date, there has not been a randomized control clinical trial to test this hypothesis.


Autism Spectrum Disorder Autism Spectrum Disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Stimulant Medication 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesSUNY Upstate Medical UniversitySyracuseUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologySyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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