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A 34-year-old female asked:

Could a child w developmental delay be diagnosed w high functioning autism w adhd & gdd/asperger all at the same time?

4 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Holmberg
A Verified Doctoranswered
24 years experience
Poly-dx: While some developmental diagnoses speak to different areas of development (e.g., cognitive delay, social disability like autism) it is unlikely (and in the case of autism and aspergers) or even inappropriate to diagnose all you listed as co-existing. Seek a second opinion from a developmental pediatrician and/or early childhood psychologist.
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Dr. Johanna Fricke
Pediatrics - Developmental and Behavioral 52 years experience
No. The diagnosis of: "global developmental delays" (gdd) refer to infants, toddlers & preschoolers whose overall development proceeds at a slower-than-normal rate.If verbal & non-verbal IQ tests reveal overall cognitive abilities less than 70 by KG-1st grade, the diagnosis is intellectual disability, seen in ~ 45-65% of kids with autistic spectrum disorder. ADHD occurs in 40-70% of kids with ASD, independent of IQ.
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Dr. Marie Trenga
Family Medicine 38 years experience
Yes: These diagnoses all overlap and since kids with autism can look so different from day to day it can be hard to tell what fits best. Autism includes attention problems. How significant does it have to be to add the adhd label? Depends on the providers training and experience. A good approach is not to worry about the labels, but focus on what the child needs in order to reach their full potential.
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Dr. Carlos Barrios
Child Psychiatry 25 years experience
Definitely not!: adhd symptoms must be understood to be part and parcel of the autism spectrum. In DSM, it is incorrect to make a second diagnosis of adhd if the child is already on the autism spectrum. Unless the child is so severely adhd that limits function or puts them at risk e.g. climbing so much or running that they injure themselves multiple times per week. And choices are either autism, aspy, or PDD.
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Last updated May 1, 2016
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