Brief Report: Adaptive Functioning in Children with ASD, ADHD and ASD + ADHD

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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often co-occur. Children with ASD and ADHD demonstrate deficits in adaptive functioning, yet pure and comorbid groups have not been directly compared. Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales (VABS-II) data were examined in boys with ASD (n = 17), ADHD (n = 31) and ASD + ADHD (n = 38). Results demonstrated lower socialisation and composite scores and greater discrepancy between cognitive and adaptive abilities in the ASD + ADHD group compared to the ADHD-only group. Significant associations were shown between reduced adaptive functioning and autism symptoms, but not ADHD symptoms. Children with ASD + ADHD present with exacerbated impairments in adaptive functioning relative to children with ADHD, associated with ASD symptoms. Disentangling variation in adaptive skills may aid the assessment of complex cases.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of autism and developmental disorders
Early online date23 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


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