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Keywords:

  • Asperger syndrome;
  • childhood autism;comorbidity

Objective: To provide a clinically useful analysis of the extent to which autism and Asperger syndrome coexist with other disorders.

Method: Selective review of the literature detailing data pertaining to symptoms and disorders sometimes encountered in connection with autism or Asperger syndrome.

Results: A large number of medical conditions, psychiatric disorders and behavioural and motor dyscontrol symptoms are associated with autism and Asperger syndrome.

Conclusion: Comorbidity is to be expected in autism spectrum disorders — directly or indirectly. Comorbid conditions may be markers for underlying pathophysiology and suggest a more varied treatment approach. There is a great need for in-depth research into this area, meaning that the exclusion criteria of current diagnostic manuals, i.e. those that rule out a diagnosis of autism in some disorders, and a diagnosis of certain other disorders in autism may have to be revised.