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ASD Vs ADHD

(23 Posts)
coogar Tue 14-Dec-10 15:56:33

I know some of the behaviours 'overlap' and are similar and many children receive a dx for both, but there must be some 'concrete' differences. Can anyone shed some light on what behaviours are associated to ASD (I pretty much understand the ADHD side). Many thanks!

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 14-Dec-10 16:25:39

ASD is not always, or even very frequently ime, associated with hyperactivity (though it is with my boy). ASD involves a triad of impairments - problems with social interraction (bad eye contact, not understanding how to make conversation, playing alone all the time); problems with speech (either delayed, or repetitive, or odd); and problems with lack of imagination/repetitive movements - eg hand flapping, spinning, making noises, or being unable to play imaginatively (ie lining up cars, rather than making them go vrroom vrrooom).The word autistic means literally "by himself" - as in very solitary, lives in own little world.

My boy has hyperactive autism, but is highly speech delayed, has lots of odd movements and sounds and doesn't know how to / want to play with other kids, or even know to say hello. It has taken us years to get him to say hello and look in people's eyes, not just their general direction. Aspergers is autism without the speech delay, and with normal IQ.

hth

purplepidjbauble Tue 14-Dec-10 16:32:49

Children dx with ASD have problems with in some or all of the areas of the "Triad of Impairment"

- Social communication
- Verbal and non-verbal language
- Repetitive or stereotyped behaviour

So a person with ASD may not understand that a conversation means input from both people, and will just ask questions without pause for the answer, or talk about something they like without noticing the other person's comments.

Those dx at the lower end of the spectrum may have little or no language at all, and be unable to communicate their basic needs. Further along the spectrum toward NT, you get people who have exceptional verbal skills with a huge vocabulary, but have no idea when to speak and when to listen, when the person they are talking to is bored, that water running out of the eyes means crying which means sad. They often don't know that smacking someone in the face hurts you - it just doesn't occur to them; but they know it gets them what they want!

Repetitive or stereotyped behaviours include stimming, echolalia, smearing, pica, lining up toys, having to keep things in certain places, rigidly sticking to rules, not being able to do school stuff at home and vv...

All this depends on the character of the person with an ASD dx. Everyone's different, especially people with SN smile

Things like ADD, ADHD, ODD, OCD, Tourette's etc are often co-morbid with ASD, which is why there's such a cross-over.

HTH

purplepidjbauble Tue 14-Dec-10 16:33:36

Ooh, x posted with sickof, who knows far more than me grin

StarlightWonderStarlightBright Tue 14-Dec-10 16:50:59

My ds doesn't have ADHD but he does have autism.

He can focus on a task for a long time, is generally calm (when not stimming) and a bit withdrawn in his own world. It can take quite some effort to bring him out, and whilst there doesn't notice other people, people addressing or talking to him, isn't aware of what he is meant to do etc.

He also has difficulties if we have to walk a different way to school, or doesn't put his clothes on in the same order, or sits in a different place for dinner (although we work hard to break any formed habbits like this as soon as we see them).

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 14-Dec-10 16:58:26

I thought your explanation was brilliant purple!

purplepidjbauble Tue 14-Dec-10 17:24:30

I thought my explanation sounded like NVQ bollockspeak and yours sounded like it came from a real person wink

signandsingcarols Tue 14-Dec-10 18:38:23

Hi purple have to say have cut and pasted your's to show to d's nanny, who struggles to get it.. wink

ps I notice there is a teddy bear face emoticon, am I being daft... what comment could you read that would involve you making the response 'teddy face'?????? bear

sneezecakesmum Tue 14-Dec-10 20:19:00

bear ? I've donated to children in need?

My DS had ADHD as a child (probably still does!) All typical behaviours, disobedient, hyperactive, rarely settled emotionally, could concentrate brilliantly on what interested him, couldnt be bothered with 'boring' school work etc.

Spoke very early on, constructed perfect sentences, made eye contact, played imaginative games, could play with other children if in the mood, but the 'naughty' element always crept in eventually, but he was never aggressive or bullying so that was a saving grace.

I dont think he had any significant ASD tendencies, and in his case there doesnt seem to have been any overlap, but I can see there are circumstances where it is more difficult to differentiate, but I think they can be pretty separate issues.

sugarcandymistletoe Tue 14-Dec-10 21:20:18

Most of the cases I've known are where the two conditions are hard to differentiate.

DS has a dx of ASD but his dx report said that 'he shows a range of developmental impairments widely associated with autism including...hyperactivity'. A few years after that we saw a psychiatrist who said he fulfilled all the critieria for ADHD but that his hyperactive behaviours should be regarded as part of his ASD. So he doesn't have a separate dx of ADHD but I usually list it when I have to explain his conditions.

He can concentrate on self-chosen activities though and will read or play games for hours. He actually sounds a lot like your boy, sneezecake - he can play with others and is highly verbal, although aggression is a problem with him.

I also know a boy who was dxd with ADHD when young and was only dxd with Asperger's once he started medication, as his ADHD was so severe it was masking his AS. But it's the AS that is considered his primary need, especially as the ADHD can be treated quite simply with medication.

sugarcandymistletoe Tue 14-Dec-10 21:21:03

bear is a pom bear I think!

purplepidjbauble Tue 14-Dec-10 21:39:59

ADHD issues are a lot to do with impulse control which is why methylphenidate (related to amphetemine) can help regulate it. People with ADHD act on impulse to the extreme - "I'm angry, I need to hit someone" - while people with ASD don't see why they shouldn't - "I'm angry and if I hit someone I'll get what I want". So the behaviour can often be very similar, even though the reasoning behind it is quite different. Obviously, being in a person's head, it's really bloody hard to work out which is which LOL

bear is a pombear, I think it's used for PFB/snobby middle-class posts?

Signandsing, bless you! Why don't you just move down here and I'll be your Nanny?

MrsMagnolia Tue 14-Dec-10 21:52:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

purplepidjbauble Tue 14-Dec-10 22:02:10

Then I'm probably wrong, MrsMagnolia. I haven't worked with ASD for a couple of years (been working in other SN areas) and I'm a bit rusty!

MrsMagnolia Tue 14-Dec-10 22:14:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

signandsingcarols Wed 15-Dec-10 07:46:15

Thanks for all teddy face help everyone, wink..

purple I'm sure I would be a queue to snap you up for that one! although it would mean swapping your lovely part of the country for sunny Swindon... hmm wink

(ps just read your comment on other thread about bus time tables, and laughed out loud, as dh (no diagnosis but....) spent time compiling a rota (on excel) of the different drivers for his bus to work, (even on the days he was not on it) so he would know who was on, just because it pleased him,
and thought it would interest me to know...
grin gotta love him. LoL

signandsingcarols Wed 15-Dec-10 07:51:53

dh says grumpily I have mis-represented him, as 'it was because he could see a pattern in the drivers and he needed to know who would be on, so he could complete the pattern'
(I rest my case!)grin

Goblinchild Wed 15-Dec-10 08:06:22

MrsMagnolia, your definition of anger/impulse hitting fits my DS. He used to lash out to remove a provocation or unbearable stress item, without thought or control of any sort.
Then he'd relax and be stress-free because what was pushing him into meltdown had gone.
I've never known him plan to hit something ion advance.

purplepidjbauble Wed 15-Dec-10 10:36:17

Have a cuddly bear back, MrsMagnolia. I always take things in the best possible manner, and am the first to admit if I'm in the wrong - or get stroppy if I'm blamed unfairly; that's my place on the spectrum lol

Signand sing, can't you just up sticks and live down here? Also LOL with DH grin

signandsingcarols Wed 15-Dec-10 11:35:54

ooo don't tempt me... i have moveable job(s) with OU and have already been asked if I would teach in Southampton area.... however have just found (hopefully...) lovely school for ds next year. So am stapled to Swindon. (which is not so bad) wink

purplepidjbauble Wed 15-Dec-10 11:40:10

Do it, do it, do it, do it, do it, do it...

sneezecakesmum Wed 15-Dec-10 13:23:47

sugar from what you say your DS is HF. If he is similar to my DS (now grown up) it may reassure you if I say my DS has a job (manual) despite being above average intelligence. Has his own house, has had relationships but currently on his own. Can empathise with others, is rubbish with money!

The impulsive behaviour which caused so many problems (he just couldnt see consequenses) has massively reduced, he gets on well with most people and knows when to back off if in awkward situations. Still obssesive about certain things (games, websites) but not to the exclusion of other things. Smokes the odd bit of cannabis and sometimes drinks too much (most young adults too I think?) but never did hard drugs/ecstasy etc as was aware how dangerous - so learned about consequences!

In other words he functions reasonably well independently and the ADHD symptoms are more of a mildish form of adult ADD. We had loads of professional help and what certainly helped was removing colourings and preservatives and talking often to him about how he was feeling.

mumslife Wed 15-Dec-10 20:58:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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