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01-02-2013 | Original Article | Uitgave 1/2013

Child Psychiatry & Human Development 1/2013

Evaluation of Planning Dysfunction in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorders Using the Zoo Map Task

Child Psychiatry & Human Development > Uitgave 1/2013
M. D. Salcedo-Marin, J. M. Moreno-Granados, M. Ruiz-Veguilla, M. Ferrin


Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity-Disorders (ADHD) and Autistic-Spectrum-Disorders (ASD) share overlapping clinical and cognitive features that may confuse the diagnosis. Evaluation of executive problems and planning dysfunction may aid the clinical diagnostic process and help disentangle the neurobiological process underlying these conditions. This study evaluates the planning function problems in 80 male children and adolescents diagnosed with ADHD and 23 male children and adolescents with ASD using the Zoo Map Task; both groups were comparable in terms of age and IQ. The relationship between planning function and other executive functions is also assessed. In comparison to the ADHD groups, ASD children presented more errors in the open-ended tasks; these planning function problems seem to be mediated by processing speed and motor coordination, however it does not seem to be mediated by other executive function problems, including attention, working memory or response inhibition. In the time for planning, an interaction between the specific subgroups and working memory components was observed. ADHD and ASD present with different patterns of planning function, even when other components of executive function are taken into account; clinical and educational implications are discussed.

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