One-third of Children with Autism also have ADHD

In a recent study of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in early school-age children (four to eight years old), researchers have found that nearly one-third of children with ASD also have clinically significant ADHD symptoms.

Researchers who facilitated the Kennedy-Krieger study reported that children with co-occurrence of ASD and ADHD were significantly more impaired than children with only ASD, when it comes to cognitive and social functioning, and in the ability to function in everyday situations. These children may need different treatment methods or intensities than those with ASD only in order to achieve better outcomes.

The recent change to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) will remove the prohibition of a dual diagnosis of autism and ADHD, which is an important change since co-occurrence is becoming more common. Read our blog post for more information about the DSM-5, and changes that will take place.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), ASD affects 1 in 88 children, and 1 in 54 boys. Hundreds of families are receiving news of an autism diagnosis every day. More than $13 billion a year is spent to care for individuals with ASD.  For the average affected family, this translates to $30K per year. The cost may be even higher for families of children affected with both ASD and ADHD, who may need tailored therapies to improve their outcomes.

We here at The Fairfax Special Needs Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C., know that the majority of American families who have a loved one with special needs require a Special Needs Trust.  These families typically have very little in tangible assets, second mortgages on their homes, and little to no savings (likely due to paying for the costly therapies).  A Special Needs Trust is a vehicle that provides assets from which a disabled person can maintain his or her quality of life, while still remaining eligible for needs-based programs that will cover basic health and living expenses. Please visit our Special Needs web site at If you or a loved one have special needs, call 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a consultation.

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

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