[Source: Science Daily]
For the better part of the last decade, a growing body of research has been revealing more and more similarities between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism.
Jean Gehricke, an associate professor of pediatrics at UC Irvine and a licensed clinical psychologist with the Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders, is focusing on this link to better understand why people with ADHD and autism may be more prone to substance abuse and, in the process, to develop more effective behavioral therapies.
“This is an emerging field with great promise,” Gehricke says. “We know a bit about the underlying causes of ADHD, and through this, we may be able to improve how we treat autism.”
The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders – which provides assessment, diagnosis, treatment, care coordination, family support and education for children, teens and young adults with autism and other developmental disorders – is one of only a few in the region to deliver a continuum of services until age 22 and to conduct research aimed at transforming the approach to autism.
Gehricke, who teaches 25 students in his lab, has expertise in the assessment and treatment of autism, ADHD and co-occurring problems such as depression, anxiety and drug abuse.