Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Kristen M. Newberry, Psy.D.

Second Advisor

Emese Vitalis, Ph.D., MBA


Two of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are diagnosed in early childhood. The two disorders share similar impairments across domains, are highly comorbid, and have many overlapping symptoms. Studies have shown that among this comorbid population, children receive an ASD diagnosis a few years after their initial ADHD diagnosis, which leads to many negative consequences, including a delay in treatment. The focus in this study was on the early indicators of ASD that are present prior to the age of 3 years in order to educate others on these symptoms. In an effort to help professions better understand ASD symptoms, a checklist was created using information gathered from internet-based databases as well as published questionnaires with a focus on the symptoms of ADHD, ASD, and comorbid ADHD and ASD. The checklist contains early indicators and impairments found across the domains of language functioning, social functioning, emotional functioning, motor functioning, restrictive and repetitive behaviors, and general behaviors. Future studies would benefit from more extensive research regarding early indicators of the comorbid diagnosis of ASD and ADHD.