Common Comorbidities with Autism – AutismSTEP

Comorbidity is the simultaneous presence of two chronic diseases or conditions in a patient. In this article, we will be discussing the common comorbidities with Autism.


Fragile X Syndrome

Research has shown that around 33% to 50% of people with Fragile X Syndrome also has Autism. Even those who do not have autism often share certain autistic traits, such as avoidance of eye contact and difficulties in social situations. This syndrome affects around 3 to 5% of the population.


Approximately 1 to 3% of children are diagnosed with Epilsey. Among the children with Autism, approximately a third of them also have epilepsy. Seizures are the most common neurologic complication in ASD.

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

The symptoms of ASD and ADHD overlap. ADHD itself, however, is not part of the autism spectrum. 62.7% of children with ASD are diagnosed with ADHD as compared to 7.2% of the general population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 14% of children with ADHD also have ASD.


Estimates of the prevalence of depression in autism range from 10 to 72%. A new study suggests that depression may show up as insomnia and restlessness in children with autism, rather than as the more common feelings of sadness.

Intellectual Disability

Nearly one in three autistic people has intellectual disability, defined as an intelligence quotient (IQ) below 70. The new study tracked 106 autistic children at four time points from ages 5 to 20 years. Of these children, 98 had mild to severe intellectual disability at age 5 — meaning they had an estimated IQ of 20 to 69.

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

Autism and OCD are separate conditions, even though many of the behavioral symptoms overlap. Both ASD and OCD patients engage in repetitive behaviors that appear compulsive, and both can become agitated or even combative if someone attempts to stand in the way of those behaviors. A study found that approximately 17 percent of people with ASD also have obsessive-compulsive disorder, as compared to around 1.6% of the general population.


The purpose of this article is for parents and caregivers to be more informed of the statistics and find early treatments and to better understand your child.


If you have any questions regarding this subject, feel free to contact us at info@autismstep.com and we’ll be delighted to assist.

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