View Full Version : Autistic traits in children with ADHD: a marker of severity?

05-29-13, 07:20 PM
I am currently going through the list of winning blogs from, and found a wealth of new scientific timesucks on a site called scilogs. This one ( was particularly interesting, because it's relevant to us. It was written by a guest blogger:

Today's post was written by Joanna Martin. Joanna is a 2nd year PhD student at Cardiff University, in the Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences. For her undergraduate degree, she studied Experimental Psychology at Bristol University.

Her introductory paragraph reads:

The way researchers, clinicians and society think about child mental health problems is constantly evolving as we discover and come to understand more about the nature of human mental health. This is a particularly topical issue with the forthcoming release of the DSM-5 (, the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which is a book used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental health problems across the lifespan. One fairly subtle change which we can expect to see is the removal of a restriction under attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) ( Under the current version of the manual (the DSM-IV), ADHD cannot be diagnosed in the presence of a pervasive developmental disorder (which is an umbrella term for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) ( and related conditions like Rett’s syndrome (

She goes on to describe her findings (which were published open-access here ( and why she feels that ADHD needs to be considered as a comorbid condition along with other developmental disorders. I think that many of our members here who experience ADHD as a co-existing condition along with ASD will find much to agree with.