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ADHD Too or Just Autism?

According to a study, children with autism may be falsely diagnosed with ADHD as diagnostic criteria overlap, (Benjamin E. Yerys, Jenelle Nissley-Tsiopinis, Ashley de Marchena, Marley W. Watkins, Ligia Antezana, Thomas J. Power, and Robert T. Schultz, "Evaluation of the ADHD Rating Scale in Youth with Autism," Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47, no. 1 (January 2017): 90-100, doi:10.1007/s10803-106-2933-z). This is particularly concerning as individuals with autism may be placed on medications with potentially harmful side effects unnecessarily. ADHD diagnostic symptoms such as being "easily distracted," "does not seem to listen when spoken to directly," or "has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities," may well be part of autism social impairments and not ADHD. Until we have effective rating scales for individuals who have autism to find out if ADHD is also present, we must be very cautious that individuals with autism are not being falsely diagnosed with ADHD.