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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Do kids with autism suffer from ADHD and other learning difficulties?

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    Autism Victoria, trading as Amaze, is a member-based not-for-profit organisation and is the peak body for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in the state of Victoria. View Profile

    Having ASD plus another disorder is sometimes called “comorbidity”. To have an ASD and a comorbid disorder is quite common and ADHD is one of the disorders that frequently co-occurs with autism.

    In terms of learning disabilities, it can be hard to separate the problems people with ASD experience with communication generally from the kinds of specific impairments that disorders like dyslexia or dyscalculia present. (In fact, some people with ASDs are better at reading or at math than you might expect given their other abilities – ASDs are funny like that.)

    Between 50% - 70% of people with an ASD will have some kind of intellectual disability. In younger children, a diagnosis of “global developmental delay” is often given which then becomes a diagnosis of “intellectual disability” once they are cognitively assessed before they start school. Having an intellectual disability will certainly present difficulties to learning and these people may need additional support in their schooling.

    Amaze has a position paper about comorbid disorders located here.

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    Family Therapy is my passion, I worked at Redbank House for 10 years, working intensely with families, primarily with children with behaviour difficulties. Then and ... View Profile

    As above, but not necessarily, I am working with acouple of young clients with aspbergers who certailnly do not have ADHD, one young lady who is seventeen also suffers with anxiety, so it is not unusual to have a secondary diagnonis, she has been a client for a couple of years now and for the last year or so just comes once a month for a check in and to discuss some ongoing difficulties. 

    Mary Jane Beach

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