A Review of Executive Functions in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


  •  Carmen Berenguer    
  •  Belen Rosello    
  •  Geraldine Leader    

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are two of the most common childhood-onset neurodevelopmental disorders. Literature has shown different patterns of deficits in executive functioning in children with ASD and ADHD. To date few studies have examined executive functions in both ASD and ADHD and with mixed results.

The current study provides the first systematic review to explore distinct executive function components (attention problems, response inhibition, working memory, planning and flexibility) that underlie the specific deficits seen in children and adolescents with both ASD and ADHD disorders. Findings provide evidence for executive dysfunctions across different key components such as attention, response inhibition and verbal working memory in children and adolescents with ASD and comorbid ADHD clinical symptoms. This research explores the neurocognitive profile of the comorbid condition, which is also critical for designing appropriate interventions.



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