Autism and ADHD -- Do They Run in Families?

GenericResearchers recently reporting in an article by HealthDaily News; Autism, ADHD in One Child Tied to Raised Risk in Siblings, that autism and ADHD are so closely linked that they not only run in families, but each increases the risk of the other in future siblings. Researchers found that younger siblings of children with autism have a "30-fold increased relative risk" of being diagnosed with autism themselves and are nearly four times as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. In addition to the sibling connection, researchers found that later-born siblings have 13 times increased odds of being diagnosed with ADHD.

Lead researcher Meghan Miller states; “This really provides support for the idea that there are shared familial -- probably genetic -- mechanisms that underlie these two conditions and link them together.”

The article goes on to describe more of the specific results and tests conducted by the researchers; these results can also be found in JAMA Pediatrics. However, Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics with Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. said, "Simply put, these results suggest that families that have a child with either ADHD or ASD are at increased risk of having a child with one or the other condition."

The bottom line is that parents and doctors need to track a wider range of symptoms in younger siblings of a child diagnosed; these symptoms include not only autism and ADHD but self-regulation and executive function symptoms as well.

If you suspect your child has attention difficulties, weak executive function, or issues with self-regulation, Play Attention can help. Play Attention's method, inspired by NASA, uses powerful, advanced technology call BodyWave that allows individuals to control all cognitive exercises by mind/attention alone. Play Attention's brain enabled exercises to improve cognitive skills that lay the foundation for strong executive function. All the games within Play Attention address attention, processing speed, and impulse control. Therefore, every time you start an activity within Play Attention, you are developing skills that will help with emotional control, as well as executive function and self-regulation. 

Play Attention includes a two user license with every home system.  This means at any one time, you can have 2 family members enrolled in the program.  The user licenses are reusable.  If you find you need to work with more than 2 family members at one time, you can upgrade your user license.  We will customize each family member's plan to address his/her specific needs. Play Attention also offers support from a Personal Executive Functions Coach to guide you every step of the way. Parents and children alike will benefit from Play Attention’s skill building for the rest of their lives.