Fact sheet on comorbid disorders with Aspergers and Autism, two Autism Spectrum Disorders


Most patients presenting in clinical settings with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, such as Aspergers syndrome or autism, have other comorbid disorders. Children are likely to present with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), while depression is a common diagnosis in adolescents and adults. Parents can familiarize themselves with these comorbid disorders to begin early intervention should a disorder emerge at some point of their child's development.


Disorders commonly associated with autism and Asperger's

Research indicates people on the autism spectrum may be far more likely to have the associated conditions. People with Aspergers syndrome symptoms may also be diagnosed with:

Gastrointestinal disorders

Sensory problems

Seizures and epilepsy

Intellectual disability

Fragile X syndrome


Bipolar disorder

Obsessive compulsive disorder

Tourette syndrome

General anxiety disorder

Tuberous sclerosis

Clinical depression

Visual problems.


Anxiety, autism and Asperger's

The particularly high comorbidity with anxiety often requires special attention. One study reported that about 84 percent of individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder also met the criteria to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Because of the social differences experienced by those with Aspergers syndrome, such as trouble initiating or maintaining a conversation or adherence to strict rituals or schedules, additional stress to any of these activities may result in feelings of anxiety, which can negatively affect multiple areas of one’s life, including school, family, and work.


Treatment of anxiety

Treatment of anxiety disorders that accompany an Autism Spectrum Disorder can be handled in a number of ways, such as through medication or individual and group cognitive behavioral therapy, where relaxation or distraction-type activities may be used along with other techniques in order to diffuse the feelings of anxiety


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This autism fact sheet is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation. It is derivative of an autism and Asperger's syndrome-related articles at http://en.wikipedia.org

Comorbid disorders are those that have a tendency to emerge if a child has an Autism Spectrum Disorder such as Autism or Asperger syndrome