Dual Diagnosis ASC/DS
In the past many professionals considered a dual diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) and Down’s syndrome (DS) to be uncommon if not impossible. One of the reasons for this may have been the persistent stereotype of people with DS as friendly, affectionate with outgoing personalities.
We now know that the two conditions can and do co-exist. There is a growing body of evidence (DiGuiseppi et al., 2010; Lowenthal et al., 2007; Moss et al., 2013; Warner et al., 2014) that suggests that a significant minority of people with Down’s syndrome may have dual diagnosis and that this group of people may not fit with traditional ideas about some of the common characteristics of people with just ASC or just DS. People with ASC/DS may have a specific profile which is perhaps why parents sometimes find it difficult to get a diagnosis for their child. Parents have told us that professionals have sometimes dismissed their worries about dual diagnosis on the grounds that their child does not have a certain trait typically found in people with just ASC.
When Down Syndrome and Autism Intersect – A Guide to DS-ASD for Parents and Professionals by Margaret Froehlke and Robin Zaborek (Woodbine House, 2013). This is the first book to focus on the unique profile and challenges of dual diagnosis. Available from online book sellers.