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Is adhd a form of autism?
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Is adhd a form of autism?

This a question for anyone on this forum. Is adhd considered a form of autism? Please reply as I am very interesed in opinions on this.
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305180_tn?1279720347
Not as far as I have heard, read or been told by any doctors. ADHD is simply a lack of control to be able to focus. Its an over stimulation disorder. At least it is with my girls. They get distracted easily, and notice everything going on around them all at once. They are up out of their seats, talking out of turn, and just cant focus. It gets frustrating for them, but as far as I know, ADHD and Autism are not related other than being disorders. I may be wrong, and anyone can correct me, but I am pretty sure its not related.
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Avatar_f_tn
In contrast to what's written above, there are many people who believe that ADHD and Autism and Asperger's are all part of the same "spectrum" of disorders. From what I have gathered thus far, there can be SOME similarity in symptoms between the disorders. However, there are usually specific symptoms that designate one disorder or another.

I think that there is going to be some debate about this in the medical community for some time to come.
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492869_tn?1285022533
I've never really thought about it, but off hand I can tell you they are both considered developmental disorders.  I've been diagnosed with both ADHD (combined type), and Autism (PDD-NOS).  As LRM1021 pointed out, there are some people who believe they are on the same spectrum of disorders, while others do not.  Certainly there are symptoms that overlap, but the same can be said of many disorders.
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Avatar_m_tn
The reason I asked this question is that my son has been diagnosed with hyperactivity disorder but I still have a very strong suspicion that there are still alot of traits of aspergers there too. I have heard that a lot of the time adhd can be misdiagnosed initialy(especially if the child isnt too social extracted and displays some social qualities).Also, and I wonder what anyone else thinks of this. Because there are a lot of "cross-over" similaities between adhd, hd and aspergers is it possible that a lot of children already diagnosed with one of these, it it possible for them to maybe have another as well?
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Avatar_n_tn
From what I have seen, nearly every person on the autism spectrum will also have ADHD diagnosis, but all ADHD people do NOT have autsim spectrum disorders.
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492869_tn?1285022533
It's absolutely possible for your son to have ADHD, and be on the Autism Spectrum.  I would recommend you discuss your concerns with your sons pediatrician.  He/She should be able to help you find a specialist to perform an evaluation.
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Avatar_m_tn
I guess really when it comes down to it, it is a bit of the case of "the chicken and the egg" in so much as sometimes the diagnosis of the child can depend on who your dr is and their personal opinions on autism. It seems that some dr's completly rule out the possibility of the two and then other dr's seem to be more progressive in their approach to all of these disorders and seem to except the possiblity that sometimes when young, children can display as adhd but the turn out to be aspergers and even a combo of both. Any thoughts?
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492869_tn?1285022533
I might be having difficulty understanding your post, but if you disagree with one doctor, you should certainly get a second opinion.  I wish for you and your son much luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
No. They are both completely different conditions. Although with many disorders there are sometimes similarities in symptoms
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Avatar_m_tn
I think the thing that I difficulty understand is the conflicting things that the psych had said eg My son has an IQ of 140 so is doing well with learning( he had said kids with adhd/hd have difficulties with learning and schoolwork due to concentration) He said my son has major difficulties in focusing and sustaining attention yet my son can spend ages lining playing cards, toys, cars etc up in precise orders and rows! Any thoughts?
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470168_tn?1237474845
It is very possible for children to have traits of more than one disorder.  And sometimes the 'jargon' used for different disorders sounds similar to me.  So for example in ADHD they may talk about impulsivity, but in autism they talk about fixating.  My son is on the spectrum and I don't think he has ADHD, but there may be some aspects of ADD. I did recently go to a seminar by Wendy Lawson (she has Aspergers and is from Australia), and she was talking about the difference in focus and attention in autism.  Children on the spectrum can spend lots of time focused on things that interest them.  They are not able to shift their focus/attention onto what they should be paying attention to.  She described it as being like a pie.  We are able to cut our pie (attention), into lots of pieces and be aware of what we are doing, what other people are doing, what is going on in the environment etc.  An autistic person has one pie of attention and they have to put the 'whole pie' of attention into whatever they are interested in or focused on.  When they do that they are totally unaware of what is going on around them.  Therefore the best learning techniques are those that include using their interests/obsessions to teach rather than trying to make them pay attention to things they are not interested in.
I don't know enough about ADD or ADHD to know what the difference is, if any, regarding attention or focus.
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470168_tn?1237474845
I've just had a very quick look through the criteria and some of the differences seem to be:
ADHD, cannot sustain attention/focus on anything.  Autism tends to present with brilliant attention to detail in areas of interest and inability to pay attention to anything outside of their area of interest.
ADHD, no speech delay or communication/social communication problems. Although their behaviour may affect social interactions.  Apergers/autism there is always at least some social/communication problems and with autism usually speech delays and difficulties processing language along with a lack of understanding of social rules, gestures, theory of mind etc.
ADHD no mention of restricted imagination.  Aspergers and autism tend to have impairments in imagination, predicting outcomes etc.
ADHD children tend to find it difficult to sit still and are restless and hyperactive.  Those on the spectrum may also show signs of restlessness etc, but it is usually associated with sensory difficulties eg. rocking/spinning/flapping/pacing up and down.
Both ADHD and Aspergers/Autism can show difficulties in Executive Functions eg. planning, organising, sequencing. etc.
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Avatar_m_tn
The funny thing about my son is that even though he is dx hd, he can spend ages lining things up in very precise ways(something adhd kids aren't supposed to do and AS kids are) He has very limited interests and this makes it hard for him to have friends as they get fed up with him.  He didnt say a word until after 2 years of age and is still incredibly sensory especially to sound. Quite a conundrum!
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Avatar_f_tn
My son is 16 and has High Functioning Autism, ADD and a language processing disorder.  ADD/ADHD are different than Autism and the Autism Spectrum Disorders

Aspergers is a unique type of Autism.  However, High Functioning Autism (HFA) and Aspergers are different.  One of the differences is language delay.  Typically, Aspergers children do not have a language delay.  

Also, Aspergers children tend to have an interest that is central to their conversations and thoughts all the time.  It tends to be extreme in some children.  

My son also has incredible hearing, very sensitive, but at times, he would appear deaf as his mind was in another galaxy from the autism.  The hearing is still as good, but he has learned to cope with very loud sounds such as school fire drills and firework displays.

Many children, like mine, don't just have one 'disorder' or 'syndrome', some are combination kids.  Find more than one specialist/therapist/doctor.  More than one opinion is great to get, particularly if the child is young.

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Current estimates regarding autism rates are being challenged. A South Korean study sampled a random selection of thousands of individuals, and found that more children tested positive for autism than had been diagnosed in the general population. Autism might be affecting more people than current estimates indicate. Here is the proof: Autism rates could be higher than previously thought
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Avatar_f_tn
With ADD or ADHD there is also a symptom called Hyper Focusing. A person with ADD has trouble doing tasks that may be routine for those without ADD because the ADD brain has difficulty with Automaticity (Automaticity is the ability to do things without occupying the mind with the low-level details required, allowing it to become an automatic response pattern or habit. It is usually the result of learning, repetition, and practice.) So, to concentrate, a person with ADD needs to use their conscious thoughts to remember or complete a task that a person without ADD can do at the same time they are using conscious thoughts to talk or do something else. Which is why it is so overwhelming to focus or be distracted with outside noises or conversations. When an ADD brain is doing work in class, and hears a sound behind them it becomes distracted because it needs to completely withdraw from the work to be able to decipher what the noise was. Unlike a non ADD brain which can be doing the work in class, hear a noise and know automatically that it was a pencil dropping with out having to consciously think or figure out what it was. BUT when an ADD brain finally finds a task that it can do effortlessly and with out difficulty because it has been practiced, repeated, is enjoyable, and has been stored in the brain correctly to be used for the automaticity action (Sorting Stacking Drawing Painting etc) it can relax and enjoy what its doing which is when you witness an ADD person spending hours "Hyper Focusing" on something. It can be compared to zoning out, relaxing, or unwinding for the brain and person. This is one of the main reason so many doubt the diagnosis or ADD. Because many people wonder why a person can concentrate on a liked activity so well but not on a more difficult activity. Creating routine, repetitive steps, and consistent activity can reduce some of the ADD frustration because the activities can become part of the information stored by the ADD Brain and become automatic. Sometimes songs about the task can help too because they involve the conscious mind in the activity in a fun way to keep an ADD child focused.
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Avatar_m_tn
   Wow, a really great explanation.  Welcome to the forum.  I hope you continue to post and share your experiences.
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Avatar_m_tn
this is like my son, he was diagnosed with adhd when he was 7, showed alot of signs like dangerous behaviour, self harming when stressed, lack of focus etc but unlike alot of cases of adhd he made friends easily, was a high achiever, even tho he only did half days at school for a year he still stayed on parr with his learning, with the right support he can exceed his abilities
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Avatar_m_tn
   Hi, Jennette, Welcome to the forum.  Yep, it is not unusual.  When I taught at the elementary level, I saw several kids just like that!  
   What I am really curious about is what kind of support is your son getting to help him "exceed".  
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Avatar_m_tn
your wrong i have it and its alot more the just what u think the a hole range of different things and is very hard 2 live my life and people dont realise how bad it can be and it never that bad in girls always 100% worse in boys
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Avatar_m_tn
I agree, this was a really great and positive post. Coming from someone who advocates for many of the points you touched on, it is appreciated :)
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