Relationship between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) & Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD):

adhd and autism

Autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) sometimes resemble one another. Individuals with this illness may have difficulty concentrating. They may be aggressive or have difficulty communicating. They may struggle with schooling and interpersonal interactions. Although ADHD and Autism may have similar symptoms, both ADHD and ASD are separate. Autism spectrum disorder is a condition of developmental problems that impact language abilities, behavior, socialization, and learning capacity. ADHD is a widespread disorder that can affect your ability to focus, stay still, or consider before acting. Timely diagnosis allows individuals to receive the appropriate therapy and avoid missing out on critical developmental and learning opportunities. People with these illnesses can have fulfilling lives.

How to distinguish between ADHD and ASD:

You should have a close check on your loved one`s attention span. Similarly, children with autism have difficulty focusing on activities they dislike, such as reading books or working on a puzzle. And they may become fixated on something they enjoy, such as engaging with a certain toy. Likewise, people with ADHD frequently hate and avoid tasks that require concentration.

You should also investigate how these individuals attempt to communicate. Although adolescents with either disease, i.e., ADHD and ASD, may struggle to engage with others, those with autism may be less socially aware of their surroundings. In addition, they frequently struggle to put their ideas and feelings into words. They may also be unable to point to an item to provide context for their remarks. They have difficulty making eye contact.

In contrast, an individual with ADHD may chatter incessantly. They are more inclined to interrupt when others are speaking or to try to dominate a conversation. Consider the subject as well. Similarly, some autistic adolescents can chat for a long time about a subject that interests them.

Adhd Specialist

Order and repetition are frequent favorites of autistic people. However, even if it is beneficial, an individual with ADHD may not benefit from it. A youngster with autism may grow unduly attracted to one toy or outfit, for example, or desire the same sort of meal at a particular restaurant. When routines alter, they might become agitated. An individual with ADHD, unlike ASD, dislikes doing the same thing again and over.

What is the relationship between ADHD and ASD?

The symptoms of autism and ADHD overlap somewhat, so it is possible to have both ADHD and ASD. APA guidelines prohibited clinicians from diagnosing persons with autism and ADHD concurrently. As a result, there has been relatively little study involving the conditions coexisting. However, medical practitioners are now aware that many youngsters fit both requirements.

According to the CDC, 14% of children with ADHD in the United States also have autism spectrum disorder. According to other research, this figure is between 15 and 25%. Unfortunately, researchers do not completely understand what causes each illness, although genetic factors are believed to play a role in both ADHD and ASD.

How to diagnose either ADHD or ASD:

If you suspect your loved one has ADHD or autism, consult your doctor about the appropriate tests. There is no one factor that can determine if someone has either ASD or ADHD. You can begin by consulting your care provider, who may recommend you to a specialist.

Care practitioners may look for a pattern of behaviors over time to diagnose ADHD, such as:

  • Distraction or forgetfulness
  • Not keeping track of things or follow
  • Having difficulty waiting for your turn
  • Squirming or fidgeting

They will solicit comments from the child’s parents (in the case of children), caregivers, and other providers. A doctor would also attempt to rule out any other potential reasons for the symptoms. An autism diagnosis begins with filling out a questionnaire, frequently regarding behaviors that started when they were very young. More evaluations, surveys, checkpoints, interviews, and observable activities may be included in future assessments and tools.

Are there any treatments available for ASD and ADHD?

It might be difficult for doctors to distinguish between ASD and ADHD, but it is essential for your kid get the appropriate therapy. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to ADHD treatment. Younger children begin with behavior treatment; if symptoms do not improve sufficiently, the physician may prescribe medication.  Older children are more likely to receive both. ADHD symptoms and therapy may evolve over time.

Different types of treatment, such as behavior, linguistic, sensory integration, and vocational, can help children with autism interact and communicate more effectively. Medicine cannot cure autism, although it can help with symptoms such as difficulty focusing or excessive energy.

Is this possible to have both Autism and ADHD?

Yes, both of these ASD and ADHD scenarios are practical. People with autism spectrum disorder are more likely to have symptoms of ADHD. Furthermore, some individuals with ADHD may have the tendency to autism in an early age, with signs such as difficulty with interpersonal skills or being overly sensitive to clothing texture. People who possess both ASD and ADHD are more prone to have a mixed kind of ADHD, which involves obsessive and compulsive symptoms as well as difficulty paying attention.

Some doctors have experience in treating patients suffering from both ASD and ADHD. If you can’t find one, you may have to meet with more than one specialist, such as:

  • Your medical practitioner;
  • A mental health professional who addresses ADHD and ASD;

See Also: Adhd and Anxiety

Work with your medical team to develop a treatment plan that is appropriate for your developmental stages. It might involve both autistic behavior treatment and ADHD medication. According to some specialists, ADHD medication is vital for children who have both illnesses. ADHD medications may assist with some autism symptoms that overlap with ADHD, such as being hyper, aggressive, or inattentive. Although neither disorder has a cure, numerous therapies and drugs can assist individuals in making progress in areas that individuals find difficult.

Family Medicine Austin

Written by Jeannette

I am Jeannette, the medical writing specialist here at Family Medicine Austin. I have over five years of experience working with a range of medical and healthcare across the U.S.