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J Autism Dev Disord. 2018 Dec 19. doi: 10.1007/s10803-018-3856-7. [Epub ahead of print]

Brief Report: Pilot Study of a Novel Interactive Digital Treatment to Improve Cognitive Control in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Co-occurring ADHD Symptoms.

Author information

1
Center for Autism Research, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2716 South Street, 5th floor, Philadelphia, PA, 19146, USA. yerysb@email.chop.edu.
2
Department of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. yerysb@email.chop.edu.
3
Center for Autism Research, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2716 South Street, 5th floor, Philadelphia, PA, 19146, USA.
4
Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders and Division of Neuropsychology, Children's National Health System, Washington, DC, USA.
5
Departments of Pediatrics, Neurology, Psychiatry, George Washington University, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.
6
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine - Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.
7
Department of Neurology, University of California - San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, USA.
8
Department of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
9
Duke Clinical Research Institute, School of Medicine - Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.

Abstract

The presence of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is associated with worse cognitive control. Children with ASD and ADHD often respond poorly to medications, thus we need alternative treatments. We examined the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of Project Evo-a digital treatment. Nineteen children with ASD and co-occurring ADHD symptoms completed this app-based treatment that targets multi-tasking through gameplay versus a comparison educational treatment. Children had a high engagement with both treatments, and parents and children reported high acceptability. Within-group analyses suggest the multi-tasking but not the educational treatment may improve cognitive control. This multi-tasking treatment is feasible, acceptable, and possibly efficacious for cognitive control impairments in children with ASD and ADHD.

KEYWORDS:

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder; Comorbidity; Executive function; Go/No-Go; Inhibition; Neurodevelopmental disorder

PMID:
30569407
DOI:
10.1007/s10803-018-3856-7

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