DÄ internationalArchive7/2014Comorbid Intellectual Disability
LNSLNS

The article by Lehnhardt and colleagues successfully links empirically based facts with the authors’ own clinical experiences from a specialized outpatient clinic for people with high-functioning autism; it can therefore be used as a practice guideline for the diagnostic evaluation of adults with suspicion of autism spectrum disorders (1).

However, the population described in this paper accounts for only about half of people with autism spectrum disorders. According to Fombonne, 30–74% of individuals with autism spectrum disorders have below average intelligence (2). In both, individuals with and without additional intellectual disability (ID), autism spectrum disorders often remain undiagnosed until adulthood. In fact, autism spectrum disorders were diagnosed as such in only every fourth affected individual (3). This is not least owing to the fact that specific diagnostic instruments have yet to be developed (3, 4). According to the Conventions of the United Nations on the Rights of People with Disabilities and the Charter for people with autism adopted by the EU, all individuals with autism spectrum disorders have the right to receive diagnostic evaluation and appropriate treatment. We think that adequate availability of services for individuals with ID and suspicion of autism spectrum disorders would be a highly desirable goal in Germany.

DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2014.0117a

Dr. med. Tanja Sappok, Prof. Dr. med. Albert Diefenbacher

Dipl. Musiktherapeut Thomas Bergmann

Berliner Behandlungszentrum für erwachsene Menschen mit geistiger Behinderung und psychischer Erkrankung am Ev. Krankenhaus Königin Elisabeth Herzberge, Berlin

tanja.sappok@t-online.de

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that no conflict of interest exists.

1.
Lehnhardt FG, Gawronski A, Pfeiffer K, Kockler H, Schilbach L, Vogeley K:
The investigation and differential diagnosis of Asperger syndrome in adults.
Dtsch Arztebl Int 2013; 110(45): 755–63 VOLLTEXT
2.
Fombonne E: Epidemiology of pervasive developmental disorders. Pediat Res 2009; 65: 591–8 CrossRef MEDLINE
3.
Sappok T, Diefenbacher A, Budczies J, et al.: Diagnosing autism in a clinical
sample of adults with intellectual disabilities – how useful are the ADOS and the ADI-R? Res Dev Disabil 2013; 34: 1642–55 CrossRef MEDLINE
4.
Bergmann T, Sappok T, Diefenbacher A, Dziobek I: Musikbasierte Autismusdiagnostik (MUSAD). Entwicklung eines Untersuchungsverfahrens für erwachsene Menschen mit Intelligenzminderung und Autismusverdacht. Musiktherapeutische Umschau 2012; 33: 126–40.
1.Lehnhardt FG, Gawronski A, Pfeiffer K, Kockler H, Schilbach L, Vogeley K:
The investigation and differential diagnosis of Asperger syndrome in adults.
Dtsch Arztebl Int 2013; 110(45): 755–63 VOLLTEXT
2.Fombonne E: Epidemiology of pervasive developmental disorders. Pediat Res 2009; 65: 591–8 CrossRef MEDLINE
3.Sappok T, Diefenbacher A, Budczies J, et al.: Diagnosing autism in a clinical
sample of adults with intellectual disabilities – how useful are the ADOS and the ADI-R? Res Dev Disabil 2013; 34: 1642–55 CrossRef MEDLINE
4.Bergmann T, Sappok T, Diefenbacher A, Dziobek I: Musikbasierte Autismusdiagnostik (MUSAD). Entwicklung eines Untersuchungsverfahrens für erwachsene Menschen mit Intelligenzminderung und Autismusverdacht. Musiktherapeutische Umschau 2012; 33: 126–40.

Info

Specialities