Autism & Asperger's Syndrome Expert Forum
ADHD Vs Asperger's
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Questions in the Autism & Asperger's Syndrome forum are answered by researchers at the New England Center for Children. Topics covered include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Antisocial Personality Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, Autism, blindness, bullying, clinical depression, deafness, dyslexia, mental retardation, and social alienation.

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ADHD Vs Asperger's

I have a 7 year old son who was diagnosed 2 years ago with ADHD and just recently started him on Focalin. We do not feel he has ADHD and no one is taking us seriously. He has no friends, will not look at you, does not do well socially wont talk when spoken to, if asked a question by someone he knows he looks at me for an answer, he looks right through you, if someone asks him a question he wont answer totally ignores you, cannot handle change (shifting from one thing to the next or activity), always hiding himself, calls himself fat and he is tall and skinny, talks excessively, has a terrible fear of clouds and watches weather maps, talks about dinosaur bones and is intrigued with archeology, has outbursts, will not wait his turn, interrupts you all the time, anger, figity, cant sit still, easily distracted, will not do what is asked, hard time with school work, always says he forgot, misplaces things, always carries and writes things in a notebook (carries around with him), reads at  above average,doesnt feel bad if hurts someones feelings, took apart a small engine and put back together with hand tools as we watched in awww on an engine stand of course. My husband is having a hard time with this. I'm not sure what to do or who to talk to since his doctor wants to give him more meds and we didn't want to start him on this but really didn't have a choice since he was declining in school work. I feel he has Asperger's and my family also. Please help
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Asperger’s Disorder is diagnosed based on narrow or repetitive patterns of behavior or interests and severe and sustained impairment in social interactions. It does sound as though your son has some social deficits, but it’s hard to tell whether this really falls outside the range of normal and whether he would meet criteria for Asperger’s or other diagnoses. Further, many of the problems you noted (a high level of distractibility, behavioral excesses such as fidgeting, etc.) are also consistent with a diagnosis of ADHD. Only a professional who is conducting an in-person evaluation can provide an accurate diagnosis. Given your concern, I would recommend that you speak with your pediatrician about obtaining a second opinion from a specialist (a developmental psychologist, neurologist, or other expert) who can provide an independent evaluation.  Whether he is diagnosed with a spectrum disorder or not, you might consider contacting a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) that can help you address his social skill deficits. You can find a BCBA in your area at the BABB website (http://www.bacb.com/consum_frame.html).   Best of luck to you
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Jason C Bourret, Ph.D., BCBA-DBlank
The New England Center for Children
Southborough, MA
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