Adapting Evaluation and Treatment of ADHD for High IQ Kids and Adults on the Autism Spectrum
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Expires on Apr 01, 2026
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Credit Offered
1.5 CME Credits
1.5 COP Credits

CDC estimates indicate that 1 in 54 children in the U.S. is diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. While most on that spectrum suffer from intellectual disability or borderline cognitive abilities, 44% on this spectrum have average or above average IQ. Those with relatively high IQ face many unique challenges in their schooling, social interactions, and employment. Moreover, about 3/4 of clinically-referred persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) also suffer from significant ADHD-related impairments. Objective of this general session is to provide clinicians with information and strategies to improve clinical understanding, treatment, and support for patients with ADHD/ASD and their families. Methods will include lectures including relevant research data, a variety of case examples and outcomes from various interventions utilized with high IQ patients with ADHD/ASD and their families. Numerous successes and some failures will be reported. Presentations will cover: 1. Review of similarities and differences between ADHD and ASD, review of recent research on genetic heritability as well as quantitative and qualitative similarities and differences. 2. Adaptations of evaluation and treatment approaches for higher IQ children, adolescents and adults with both ADHD and ASD. Case examples will be used to highlight strengths and difficulties of those with high IQ as well as adaptations to help assessment and to sustain effective treatment for executive function impairments related to ADHD. 3. Selection and "fine-tuning" of medications for those with relatively high IQ, ADHD and ASD. Emphasis will be on "sensitive body chemistry" found in many with combined ADHD and ASD and on common comorbidities. Examples of dosing strategies and adaptations for medication will be provided. 4. Strategies for psychosocial support of high IQ children and adolescents with ADHD and their families. The PEERS program developed at UCLA for social skills training of teens and young adults will be described as well as case vignettes for addressing family dynamics and parent-child and sibling conflicts in daily life.


Recorded webinar, non-interactive, self-paced distance learning activity.

This presentation was recorded at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting 2022.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe unique challenges of those with combined ADHD/ASD and their families.
  • Suggest and provide effective psychosocial interventions to support patients with ADHD/ASD, their parents, and other family members
  • Describe important similarities and differences between ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Target Audience


Estimated Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 90 minutes
Begin Date: April 1, 2023
End Date: April 1, 2026

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course including the evaluation. A multiple choice quiz is provided based on the content. A passing score of 60% must be achieved. Retakes are available for the test. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians) or certificate of participation (non-physicians) showing the event date and hours earned.

Continuing Education Credit

In support of improving patient care, the American Psychiatric Association is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.


The APA designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures

The American Psychiatric Association adheres to the ACCME’s Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Medical Education. Any individuals in a position to control the content of a CME activity — including faculty, planners, reviewers or others — are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with ineligible entities (commercial interests). All relevant conflicts of interest have been mitigated prior to the commencement of the activity.

Program Presenters

  • Thomas Brown, PHD, Yale University. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Ryan Kennedy, DNP, NP-C. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Elizabeth Laugeson, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA Semel Institute. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Program Planners

  • Jacqueline Maus Feldman, M.D., Chairperson, Scientific Program Committee, Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Robert O. Cotes, M.D., Vice-Chairperson, Scientific Program Committee, Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 
  • Uchenna Okeye, M.D., Vice-Chairperson, Scientific Program Committee, Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 

Accessibility for Participants with Disabilities

The American Psychiatric Association is committed to ensuring accessibility of its website to people with disabilities. If you have trouble accessing any of APA’s online resources, please contact us at 202-559-3900 for assistance.

Technical Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using any of the following:

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  • Internet Explorer 11+

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