Co-occurring conditions

What is a condition associated with autism?

Autistic people are more likely to live with a variety of other challenges, such as ADHD, epilepsy, or dyslexia. Autistic people are all unique, and the co-occurring conditions they have to function with can sometimes make a big difference.

Autism rarely happens alone. Being autistic is like being born with a bag of marbles from which you have to pick a handful. These marbles are the other differences and challenges that the person lives with. Every autistic person is different, and the associated conditions contribute even more to the variation in their profiles.

Autistic people are more likely to have other diagnoses or differences in addition to autism.

Co-occurring conditions


Anxiety is an unpleasant emotion similar to fear. It can lead to palpitations, sweating, rapid breathing, and muscle tension. Anxiety can be normal and helpful in certain situations, but when there’s too much it can become problematic.


Attention deficit disorder (ADHD) makes it harder to pay attention and concentrate.

Behavioral disorders

Autistic people sometimes behave aggressively towards themselves or others.


Dyscalculia affects the understanding of mathematical concepts.


Dyslexia affects the ability to read accurately and fluently. It can make it difficult to decode certain words or to associate sounds and words in order to write.

Eating disorders​

Eating disorders can include binge eating, bulimia, anorexia, or orthorexia.


Epilepsy is like an electrical storm in the brain. It can cause a variety of difficulties, and sometimes even absence or loss of consciousness.

Fragile X syndrome

Fragile X syndrome is a genetic difference which generally causes people to need a lot of support. Another result is that these individuals have distinctive facial characteristics, but you would have to be knowledgeable in the subject to notice them.

Gastrointestinal disorders

Gastrointestinal disorders can present as pain, bloating, cramps, food intolerance, constipation or diarrhea.


Intellectual disability (ID) affects a person’s intellectual and cognitive development. It can cause difficulties with memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and learning in general. It also makes it more difficult for the person to adapt to their environment.

Developmental coordination disorder

Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) means that people have difficulty planning their movements and gestures.

Sensory issues

Autistic people may have hyposensitivities and hypersensitivities related to their senses.

Tourette's syndrome

Tourette’s syndrome is when someone has tics with movements or voice that they cannot control.

Sleep disorders can include difficulty falling asleep, waking up too often, or falling asleep at the wrong times.

Comorbidities associated with autism

Comorbidity is a term that will gradually disappear, as it is less respectful and accurate in meaning than the term co-occurence. The same applies to the term associated disorders. The conditions co-occuring with autism are varied; some are disorders, such as sleep disorders, but not all are.

Valérie Jessica Laporte