Kiddie-SADS reveals high rates of DSM-IV disorders in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders

J Autism Dev Disord. 2011 Jun;41(6):761-9. doi: 10.1007/s10803-010-1095-7.


Prevalence of current comorbid DSM-IV disorders was assessed in a special school population of children and adolescents with ASD (N = 71, age 6.0-17.9 years), representing all cognitive levels and main ASD subgroups. Symptoms were assessed through parent interview and association to child characteristics was explored. Seventy-two percent was diagnosed with at least one comorbid disorder. Anxiety disorders (41%) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (31%) were most prevalent. Obsessive-compulsive disorder was more common in older children, and oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder more prevalent in pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified. Our results show high rates of comorbid DSM-IV disorders and underscore the importance of such evaluation in children ASD. However, diagnostic challenges are present and future research on the diagnostic validity of comorbid psychiatric disorders is needed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / diagnosis*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Conduct Disorder / diagnosis
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Parents
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Surveys and Questionnaires