Conduct disorders in autism spectrum disorders
Introduction. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are neurodevelopmental disorders that affect social communication and present stereotypic behaviours. Comorbidity associated to conduct disorders is frequent, starts in infancy and, in general, continues into adulthood. It is sometimes associated with aggressiveness, negativism, self-harm and breaking social norms. It causes a high degree of dysfunctionality in persons with ASD, their family, professionals and those around them, and is the main cause of pharmacological treatment, hospitalisation and special education. Factors related to the symptoms of ASD, comorbidity and social factors are associated with an increased risk of conduct disorders. In many cases it would be necessary to perform a detailed examination that includes a functional analysis and a combination of psychoeducational, social and pharmacological interventions.
Aim. To review the precipitating factors, causes, evaluation and treatment of the conduct disorders associated with ASD.
Development. The study outlines what is understood by conduct disorders in ASD, the different clinical and cognitive mechanisms associated with it, and the most effective strategies for intervention.
Conclusions. Comorbid ASD with conduct disorders is frequent, begins in early infancy and continues throughout life. A detailed evaluation that includes a functional analysis of the behaviour to be eliminated and treatment with different psychological, social educational and pharmacological strategies are essential.
Key words. Autism. Autism spectrum disorder. Behaviour.