Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently have co-occurring (comorbid) psychiatric conditions, with estimates as high as 70 to 84 percent. A Comorbid disorder is defined as a disorder that co-exists or co-occurs with another diagnosis so that both share a primary focus of clinical and educational attention. Research indicates that autistic children and youth have a high risk for meeting criteria for other disorders, such as mood and anxiety disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and disruptive behavior disorders, all which contribute to overall impairment.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.) Washington, DC: Author.