Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Julie Solberg


ASD, ADHD, PDD-NOS, Asperger syndrome, autistic disorder, Hyperactivity, Stimulants, MPH, Guanfacine, Clonidine


The incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in 8-year old children is 1 in 59. This increased from approximately 1 in 150 reported in 2000-2002 (Baio et al., 2014). Autism includes deficits in social emotional reciprocity, non-verbal communication for social interactions, developing and maintaining relationships and in some cases, hyperactivity response to sensory input. Hyperactivity is a shared behavior with ASD and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Medications such as Methylphenidate (MPH) and α 2-a adrenergic receptor agonists are used to modify hyperactivity behavior in ADHD and thus have been used as management in ASD. A review of literature was done to evaluate the use of medications typically used for ADHD in the use of ASD. The databases searched included PubMED, PsycINFO, Cochrane, and Clinical Key. Current findings are inconclusive as to whether these medications are as effective at treating impulsivity-hyperactivity behaviors in children with ASD.