Associated Conditions and Autism Profiles

autism sensory strategies

Autism is often diagnosed alongside other conditions. There are also additional autistic profiles. In this post I will signpost to information on some of those conditions / profiles.

Associated Conditions

The presence of more than one condition co-occurring is also referred to as co-morbid conditions. It can be challenging to distinguish between some co-existing conditions whilst others will be more obvious. Being autistic does not mean you will have any of these associated conditions but it is fairly common to see these combinations of autism and the conditions below.


Dyslexia is a learning difficulty which affects reading and writing skills. The British Dyslexia Association and Amazing Things produces this great animation on Dyslexia – See Dyslexia Differently. It seeks to pre-empt misconceptions among young audiences by shedding light on the real challenges dyslexic children face whilst also acknowledging their strengths and potential.

school transition

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is a condition that involves inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. More information can be found at:


Dyspraxia is a developmental condition which affects co-ordination and planning difficulties. For more information see the Dyspraxia Foundation.


Epilepsy is a common condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures. More information is available from the Epilepsy Society and Epilepsy Action.

AUTISTICA has produced this guide to managing epilepsy in autism.

Down’s syndrome (DS)

Down Syndrome is a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome. For more information see the Down’s Syndrome Association and their page on dual diagnosis.

More information on associated conditions can be found in this Related conditions guide from the National Autistic Society

Other Co-existing conditions:

Autism Profiles

The following profiles are generally considered to be part of the autistic spectrum. Whilst individuals will have general autistic traits they also have an additional set of characteristics that fit the additional profile.

Some would describe them as behaviour profiles seen within individuals on the autistic spectrum whilst others believe they are separate conditions.


Hyperlexia is a self taught ability to read before the age of 5. An intense fascination with numbers and letters. Alongside significant social communication difficulties.


And Next Comes L has a great post on what is hyperlexia.

Another post on what is hyperlexia from Spanglefish may be helpful.

Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)

Pathological demand avoidance (PDA) .  PDA presents as extreme avoidance of everyday requests, demands and expectations, the behaviour is based in anxiety and a need for that individual to be in control.

The PDA Society is the best source of information on Pathological demand avoidance.

Steph’s Two Girls also has lots of helpful information on PDA. There is also some additional information on the National Autistic Society website.

Asperger’s syndrome

Asperger’s usually presents with people having a higher level of intelligence, often without specific learning difficulties.  People with Asperger’s tend to have difficulty with social interaction and non-verbal communication. More information can be found on the National Autistic Society Website.

Please share any additional helpful links in the comments.

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