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Children with Autism Increasingly Misdiagnosed with ADHD, Study Says

· ADHD,William Deyesso

After working for nearly 30 years in the Boston real estate field, William Deyesso transitioned into the role of CEO of Buyers Choice Inc., a third-party insurance administrator in Hanover, Massachusetts. Outside of his professional life, William Deyesso has been a longtime supporter of autism research and support organizations.

Recent research indicates that the standard methods of screening children for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may not be as reliable when used in assessing patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In fact, data suggests that children with ASD are at a greater risk of being misdiagnosed with ADHD because their psycho-social issues stem from autism and not an attention deficit.

The research team who examined the ADHD assessment tool - comprised of professionals from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Baylor University - came to the conclusion that the tool needs to be revamped to better differentiate between ADHD and ASD. They also highly encouraged screenings to be conducted in concert with interviews by trained clinicians. 

Researchers concluded by stressing the importance of adequate training for healthcare providers, pediatricians, and childhood psychologists that they might be equipped for understanding the differences between ADHD and ASD in order to screen and treat children properly. Their findings are published in the Oct. 13 issue of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.


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