ADHD and autism are often mistaken, due to their close similarities in the initial parts of their development.
Kids with one of the conditions can show problems with staying focused and communicating with others. While they both exhibit qualities that are the same in some ways, they are two disorders of different natures.
While autism and ADHD have different symptoms, they also have some symptoms in common. Read on to see which symptoms differ and which they have in common.
Although both disorders aren't the same and are treated by dissimilar means, people diagnosed with ASD and ADHD have symptoms of an identical nature.
Furthermore, those that are diagnosed with each might exhibit problems that aren't typical of either yet cause a big strain on their day-to-day activities.
Although autism and ADHD traits are identical in their appearance, their causes are vastly different.
An autistic person has social issues stemming from having no experience with speech that is imitative and an inability to read body language. On the other hand, the social problems among ADHD individuals can stem from impulsiveness and non-conformist attitudes when in a group.
Based on the findings by professionals, ADHD has five primary risk factors. Brain injuries are one of them. Another could be exposed to substances in the environment, such as lead paint. This exposure would occur during the women's prenatal period.
The consumption of tobacco and alcohol may also contribute to ADHD in a child. A premature birth could be the cause or even a birth weight that's low.
As for autism, risk factors are very similar to those of ADHD, except for brain injuries. Autism might also be present due to disorders associated with genetic development, with fragile x syndrome being one of them.
Exposure to the specific drug during early prenatal is a probable cause as well. Autism can be hereditary, where alterations in genes may boost the chances of a child having the disorder.
Older parents have a higher chance of having a child that receives an autism diagnosis. However, the reason why has yet to be identified.
Medical tests for ADHD and ASD are nonexistent. The diagnosis for each is predicated on observance, interviews with patients and parents, and general assessments of behavioral development.
Before an ASD or ADHD diagnosis can be made, psychologists rely on a series of tests and questions to narrow down the potential contributions to the problems being exhibited, like learning difficulties and anxiety.
Most of the time, ASD and ADHD are found in people when they're small children or even an infant. The entire process begins with a pediatrician screening kids for all the primary symptoms through sets of questions.
These questions usually concern their overall behavior and social development.
If more tests are needed, the pediatrician might advise a more thorough evaluation at a later date.
Mild cases of autism and ADHD are most often seen in some adults. The diagnosis usually is done by a psychologist or equivalent, but could also be given by a general physician.
The evaluation is carried out by a group of specialists. Some of them include pediatricians with experience in developmental disorders. Others could be doctors that are knowledgeable in child development. At times, they may also work with adults that have either disorder.
Although the diagnosis and causes of ADHD and autism are at times identical, the treatments aren't alike. This is due to ADHD having medications used to combat symptoms, while no such pharmaceuticals exist for ASD.
ADHD isn't a spectrum disorder, but autism is. This means that the severity of symptoms in people with autism range from mild to severe, though can be better managed with therapy. The most extreme cases can disable someone and leave them unable to live a life of their own.
Treatments for autism are plenty and are based on one's needs and symptoms. The most popular treatment is the use of pharmaceuticals, yet these are given to lower certain characteristics of the disorder, and not the disorder itself.
For instance, a child might be given medication to help them with anxiety issues they might be experiencing. Another could be behavioral therapy. It helps boost skill levels and mitigate behaviors that are negative, like tantrums and a lack of composure.
Speech therapy is also needed for some with ASD.
Some autistic people have problems talking or are entirely nonverbal. Some retailers cannot have a conversation or socialize in public areas.
Occupational therapy is also common since many ASD patients have motor problems and sensory ailments making it difficult for them to be around bright areas and irritating sounds.
There's also therapy for social skills to assist with social interaction and help with learning how to make friends.
ADHD, it's treated with medications that can lower negative impulses and help them retain focus in everyday life. The medications are sometimes classified as stimulants and are prescribed heavily depending on age.
Other treatments involve training in skills, general counseling, and a similar behavioral therapy. There are children with ADHD that undergo applied behavior analysis, a treatment primarily given to people on the spectrum.
Here are the major similarities between ASD and ADHD:
In women with autism and ADHD, rates of self-harm are high, as is suicide.
Risk can increase when other disorders are present. Self-harm can happen when attempting to control the senses. It's also high in young girls with ADHD. They're more likely to keep their negative symptoms inside than boys are.
Studies show that suicide and ADHD are correlated, regardless of gender. As for children in general, adolescents with ADHD have one of the highest rates of suicidal thoughts.
The same applies to autistic people. A study found that people on the spectrum are at an elevated risk of attempting suicide. They're also over twice as likely to die by suicide.
In men and boys with ADHD and autism, self-harm exists at elevated rates when compared to the population as a whole.
Young boys of toddler age to preteen engage in self-harm more than older men with both disorders do. Likely women, the risk may be boosted when more than one diagnosis is present on top of ASD and ADHD.
A child with autism might exhibit anxiety and receive a diagnosis for it, where the symptoms could trigger an absence of emotional control that advances to head banging, hair pulling, and other physical reactions.
Men with either disorder have a probable chance of attempting suicide more often than people with no disorder.
At times, symptoms of ADHD and autism are hard to differentiate. They both can happen simultaneously.
Someone with ADHD might exhibit symptoms, like focusing intently on specific objects. When doing so, their behavior might not fit the description of someone with the disorder.
For this reason, a diagnosis isn't always made with clarity. A psychologist may think that only one disorder is the cause of certain symptoms. Based on findings by the CDC, about 14% of kids with ADHD also have autism.
Kids with both show more intense indications. Such children have a good chance of experiencing problems at school and poor social understanding.
There are people with both autism and ADHD, though it's found more often in children that are at first diagnosed with ASD.
Other children have ADHD but show traits characteristic of autism, like an unusual focus on single items.
Since the symptom does look alike, there has been ancient improper diagnosis being made.
However, the detection rate of autism has increased through rigorous interviews and multiple tests. This lowered the risk of being incorrectly diagnosed.
Determining whether a child has autism or ADHD isn't without its challenges. The characteristics can sometimes be too similar.
To prevent this, experts recommend that parents pay close attention to certain behaviors and if some of them correspond to symptoms not uncommon in one or the other.
No, ADHD isn't mild autism. They both are conditions that can stem from abnormalities found in the brain, but both have numerous symptoms that overlap with one another.
Some of them can be mild to severe, so someone with ADHD can experience acute problems such as self-harm and little emotional control.
On its own, autism no longer is classified as a singular diagnosis. The symptoms can be mistaken for ADHD very easily.
Even seasoned doctors and psychiatrists can give a misdiagnosis. For this reason, numerous tests are now given to lower the instances of this happening, yet it remains a problem.
ADHD can lead to poor focus, such as keeping still or sitting in place. Autism can cap an interest in things and cause bad social skills.
They have symptoms that appear the same, though the repetition of spells found in those with ADHD can hide milder autistic manifestations.