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Avatar universal

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.
21 Responses
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.
Avatar universal
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.
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.
Avatar universal
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?
Avatar universal
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.
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.
Avatar universal
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?
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.
Avatar universal
No. They are both completely different conditions. Although with many disorders there are sometimes similarities in symptoms
Avatar universal
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?
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.
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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