Mild intellectual disability and ADHD; a comparative study of school age children's adaptive abilities

Acta Paediatr. 2013 Oct;102(10):1027-31. doi: 10.1111/apa.12351. Epub 2013 Aug 5.


Aim: To compare adaptive functioning in children with mild intellectual disability (MID) with that of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Methods: Thirty-three children with MID were contrasted with 27 children with ADHD with regard to adaptive functioning as measured by the Adaptive Behaviour Assessment System (ABAS-II). The group with MID was population-based, and the group with ADHD was considered representative of a clinically referred group with that diagnosis. The two groups were subdivided into those ≤11 years and those ≥12 years.

Results: The group with ADHD had lower adaptive functioning, but differences were not significant at total group levels. In children 12 years or older, the group with ADHD had significantly lower adaptive functioning.

Conclusion: Older children with ADHD had poorer adaptive functioning than those with MID, a finding which should be of interest to school and other authorities mapping out education and intervention plans for children with special needs.

Keywords: ABAS-II; ADHD; Adaptive behaviour; Adaptive functioning; Mild intellectual disability.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / psychology*
  • Male
  • Psychological Tests
  • Schools
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires