You could be reading the full-text of this article now if you...

If you have access to this article through your institution,
you can view this article in

Comorbid ADHD and Anxiety Affect Social Skills Group Intervention Treatment Efficacy in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Antshel, Kevin M. PhD; Polacek, Carol PhD, NP; McMahon, Michele CSW; Dygert, Karen NP; Spenceley, Laura MA; Dygert, Lindsay BS; Miller, Laura BA; Faisal, Fatima

Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics:
doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e318222355d
Original Article
Abstract

Objective: To assess the influence of psychiatric comorbidity on social skill treatment outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).

Methods: A community sample of 83 children (74 males, 9 females) with an ASD (mean age = 9.5 yr; SD = 1.2) and common comorbid disorders participated in 10-week social skills training groups. The first 5 weeks of the group focused on conversation skills and the second 5 weeks focused on social problem solving skills. A concurrent parent group was also included in the treatment. Social skills were assessed using the Social Skills Rating System. Ratings were completed by parents at pre- and posttreatment time periods.

Results: Children with ASD and children with an ASD and comorbid anxiety disorder improved in their parent reported social skills. Children with ASD and comorbid attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder failed to improve.

Conclusion: Psychiatric comorbidity affects social skill treatment gains in the ASD population.

Author Information

From the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, SUNY—Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY.

Received March 2010; accepted April 2011.

Address for reprints: Kevin M. Antshel, PhD, 750 East Adams Street, Syracuse, NY 13210; e-mail: antshelk@upstate.edu.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.