5. Comorbidity in autism

Goal: To determine the role of comorbid diagnoses in people with autism.

Results: In a chart study of adults with autism who received their autism diagnosis in adulthood we saw that the participants first contacted the mental health care (MHC) at a median age of 19 years (range 2 to 78 years). The main referral reasons were social problems, feelings of anxiety, and mood disturbances. The most common earlier diagnoses were anxiety and mood disorders or psychoses related disorders. Surprisingly few differences emerged between those who finally received an ASD diagnosis and those who did not. However, those with an ASD diagnosis contacted the MHC on average 15 years earlier and less frequently received former diagnoses, though the type of diagnoses did not differ. Currently we are testing the role of comorbidity in a more systematic way in a series of studies.

Details: See Autism (Geurts & Jansen, 2011) for details.

vlag-nl For a description of this project in Dutch see d’Arc onderzoek.