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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter will review the available evidence on individuals with co-occurring diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This chapter contends that children diagnosed with both disorders (ASD+ADHD) are a subset of the ASD population that is at risk for delayed recognition of their ASD diagnosis, poor treatment response, and poorer functional outcomes compared to those with ASD without ADHD. Specifically, the chapter highlights the best estimates of the prevalence of the comorbidity, the developmental trajectory of people with co-occurring ASD and ADHD, how ADHD symptoms change across development, overlapping genetic and neurobiological risk factors, psychometrics of ADHD diagnostic instruments in an ASD population, neuropsychological and functional impairments associated with co-occurring ASD and ADHD, and the current state of evidence-based treatment for both ASD and ADHD symptoms. Finally, the chapter discusses fruitful avenues of research for improving understanding of this high-risk comorbidity so that mechanism-to-treatment pathways for ADHD in children with ASD can be better developed.

Keywords: cognitive neuroscience, neuropsychology, pleiotropy, comorbidity, frontoparietal, executive function, neurodevelopmental disorder

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