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Language Comprehension in Children with Attention Defficit – Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Is there an overlap?

Daniel Gonçalves, Sofia Ferreira, Ana Isabel Santos, Ana Magalhes Bessa, Victor Viana, Micaela Guardiano.

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Language disorders involve a deficit in the understanding or use of written and spoken words or other symbolic systems and are frequent comorbidities in various Neurodevelopmental Disorders, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Our main goal was to evaluate language comprehension, through the use of 6 PALPA-P subtests, in a sample of children and adolescents with ADHD and in a sample of children and adolescents with high functioning ASD, and thus evaluating if these groups differ in their comprehensive language profile.
A total of 73 children and adolescents were evaluated, of which 34 had a diagnosis of ADHD, 18 had a high functioning ASD, along with 21 controls. ADHD significantly affected language comprehension compared to the control group, although to a lesser extent than children with ASD.
Language comprehension impairment may be an additive factor for the school failure of children with ADHD and ASD, and should not be neglected by health professionals who work with these children daily.

Key words: Attention-Deficit, Autism, Comprehension, Hyperactivity, Language

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