Autism and attention‐deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children with cerebral palsy: high prevalence rates in a population‐based study

Påhlman, M., Gillberg, C. and Himmelmann, K. (2021) Autism and attention‐deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children with cerebral palsy: high prevalence rates in a population‐based study. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 63(3), pp. 320-327. (doi: 10.1111/dmcn.14736) (PMID:33206380) (PMCID:PMC7894137)

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Aim: To assess a total population of school‐age children with cerebral palsy (CP) for autism and attention‐deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with a view to determining their prevalence and to relate findings to motor function, intellectual disability, and other associated impairments. Method: Of 264 children, born between 1999 and 2006, from the CP register of western Sweden, 200 children (109 males, 91 females, median age at assessment 14y, range 7–18y) completed comprehensive screening and further neuropsychiatric clinical assessments. Results: Ninety children (45%) were diagnosed with autism, ADHD, or both, 59 (30%) were diagnosed with autism, and 60 (30%) were diagnosed with ADHD. Intellectual disability was present in 51%. Two‐thirds had autism, ADHD, and/or intellectual disability. In regression models, autism was mainly predicted by intellectual disability (odds ratio [OR]=4.1) and ADHD (OR=3.2), and ADHD was predicted by intellectual disability (OR=2.3) and autism (OR=3.0). Autism was more common in children born preterm (OR=2.0). Gross motor function was not associated with autism. ADHD prevalence was low in children with severe motor impairment, possibly due to diagnostic limitations. Interpretation: Autism and ADHD were common in this population of children with CP and were mainlyindependent of motor severity and CP type. The strongest predictor of autism/ADHD was intellectual disability. Assessment for autism and ADHD is warranted as part of the evaluation in CP.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This study was supported by grants from the Gothenburg Society of Medicine, the Linnea and Josef Carlsson Foundation, the Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital Research Foundations, the RBU Research Foundation, the Sahlgrenska University Hospital Foundation, and the Swedish State under the agreement between the Swedish Government and country councils, namely ALF agreement no. ALFGBG‐726001.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gillberg, Professor Christopher
Authors: Påhlman, M., Gillberg, C., and Himmelmann, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology
ISSN (Online):1469-8749
Published Online:18 November 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 63(3):320-327
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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