Advanced search

Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

ADHD / Aspergers- advice please

(11 Posts)
AlysWho Wed 22-Jun-11 01:07:37

I'm posting this for a friend, she would really appreciate some feedback! Where we live there's a 4-7 year waiting list for dx, which is a bloody disgrace.

'Does anyone have themselves or have a child that has adhd and aspergers? Im finding it really difficult to differentiate the two at the momment. My eldest Son has been diagnosed with adhd, we were told yesterday he has dyslexia and that the teachers also think he may have aspergers (we are on a waiting list to be seen by ed psych). I have also thought he may have asd alongside his adhd (only in the last year or two since learning about my Daughter, also waiting for dx) but i am finding it so hard to find any info about people/children having both.'

Thanks in advance! x

dolfrog Wed 22-Jun-11 02:51:40


I hope that these research papers help
Hearing abilities in children with dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
The neurobiological basis of ADHD
Fitting the pieces together: current research on the genetic basis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms moderate cognition and behavior in children with autism spectrum disorders
Identification and Evaluation of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorders

they may take a while to get through but they are fairly comprehensive

Parietal Wed 22-Jun-11 04:06:06

Have just been at a scientific meeting discussing how up to 50% of children with ADHD also have ASD but clinics are not yet good at recognising this or giving both diagnoses at once.

It may be better not to worry too much about dx labels in themselves. More important is - what areas does the child most need help / support in? What can be done to get that support?

Parietal Wed 22-Jun-11 04:08:54

This is a recent & v comprehensive review on both, but full text is probably not available.

AlysWho Wed 22-Jun-11 08:51:36

dolfrog Thanks! I'll have a look at these links and send them on, thank you.

Parietal- thanks, her ds is about to go to secondary school and its the school staff that have queried AS, refering him to EP in Sep. I think she would just appreciate some info from other people in the same boat. And as you say to get appropriate help. Another friends son was thought at first to be ADHD by his primary school, and they were recomended to start medication, however then recieved an ASD dx; he has made leaps and bounds of progress since attending specialised ASD unit provision at another school. She feels that if he had been medicated that the ASD may well have been missed. I do think the right dx is important particularly for ASD as there is so much available educationally once it has been spotted.

Triggles Wed 22-Jun-11 10:05:39

I think sometimes the focus is so much on diagnosis and not enough on needs. As far as school support goes, it shouldn't truly matter what his absolute diagnosis is - it's his NEEDS that matter. And if the school is referring him to EP in September, that's a step forward (and I'd say relatively normal as far as time frames go unfortunately). The school staff can query the diagnosis all they want, but their job is to provide support according to his needs - a diagnosis is not a "one size fits all" thing where if he has ASD, he get "this" and if he has ADHD, he gets "that". Every child is different.

DS2's senco/teachers/TA 1:1/headteacher are all involved in his care, and not once have they pushed the whole diagnosis thing. They are far more concerned about what he needs to access the curriculum and be comfortable and happy in school.

If there's one conclusion I've come to this past year, it's that you can get hung up on the diagnosis, but if we got DS2's diagnosis tomorrow, it wouldn't change anything at all as far as his school support is concerned.

Tiggles Wed 22-Jun-11 10:27:53

4 - 7 years wow, words fail me!
DS1 (8) has definite ASD and possible ADHD. I had no idea about the ADHD until he was assessed for ASD. At which point the consultant psychiatrist suggested it was a possibility as they found it hard to keep him on track during the ADOS, and he showed a lack of concentration in school. However as to the school I am not surprised as they observed him in a P.E lesson grin.
The school feel he fits just within the normal boundary for concentration, however as academically in general he is very high functioning his concentration levels are very out of sync, iyswim.
At the moment they have put him onto melatonin to help him sleep at night to see if that improves his concentration during the day (so far it only appears to have made him more chatty). They are also hoping that the school start implementing more AS type techniques e.g. you finish this work you don't like doing and you can have 10mins researching your special interest on the computer, to see if that improves his concentration - he obviously can concentrate for long periods on the few things that he wants to do.
He does have other things that fit within an ADHD dx, e.g. he does argue a lot with me and DH, however I had always put that down to his ASD - hating transitions, not able to judge age appropriate relationships, 'having' to say what he wants to say etc.

AlysWho Wed 22-Jun-11 10:31:55

triggles I do absolutley agree with you when you say 'As far as school support goes, it shouldn't truly matter what his absolute diagnosis is - it's his NEEDS that matter'. This does however leave us somewhat at the mercy of school staff and their particular knowledge /expertise/experience- and attitude. As a trainee teacher myself, so far we have had just 1 lecture on Additional Learning Needs, where the lecturer refered to 'the autistics in the class', and 'Asburgers syndrome'. I was really shocked.

Knowledge is power and given a properly assessed dx us parents can then access so much more information AND support so much more easily. once we have some guidelines as to what we are dealing with and looking for. Not to mention Peaceof Mind?

Sounds like you are lucky enough to have good support at school, which is excellent news. My dd also has brilliant support, but she has a very obvious ASD. For children like my friend's DS, who has less obvious/ identifiable issues, entering secondary school without a proper understanding or assessment of his 'learning needs', it's very daunting.

Triggles Wed 22-Jun-11 10:53:07

I understand that it might give peace of mind, however, having a diagnosis does not automatically outline what his needs are. The only way they can do that is to sit down with senco, teacher, TA, whoever works with the child, and discuss as a group what things he is having difficulty with and suggestions on how to support those difficulties. A diagnosis is not going to do that. Things like visual aids, 1:1, broken down/simplified directions, separate individual workstation, specific focus on certain behaviours - these are just some of the things that DS2's school does - to support NEEDS, not a diagnosis.

Not having a diagnosis does NOT leave you at the mercy of the school staff. If you know your child's needs and difficulties, you are able to communicate them to the staff, who can also bring up difficulties they have noticed in class. That's how it generally works. And if they are not providing support because the child has not yet received a diagnosis, then a complaint should be made up the chain.

The point I'm trying to make is that a diagnosis is just a label or a word - it is NOT a "proper understanding or assessment of his learning needs." Saying a child has ASD or ADHD does not automatically spell out his needs. That's why the parents need to sit down and discuss this with the senco and the teachers. The diagnosis is secondary.

dolfrog Wed 22-Jun-11 11:16:52

AlysWho and triggles

There are really two issues here, the medical / clinical diagnosis and the specific support needs required. One can help explain the other.
A diagnosis for the most part provides a name or a label for the underlying clinical problems, which most use, the problem is that these tags do not explain the varying degrees of severity of the problems involved, nor the range of tasks for which the diagnosed issue can pose a problem when performing a specific task, and neither does it explain the compensating skills developed and used when performing the specified task. However a diagnosis can explain the cognitive reasons for the difficulties experienced when trying to perform some specific task, and can go further to highlight a wider range of potential cognitive issues previously unrecognised, possibly because tasks have not yet been attempted which highlight the existance of the related problems. ( personally when i was assessed for APD I thought it was only about my listening problems but also found out at the age of 49 that I have the sequencing skills of the average 4 year old, it explained a lot lol)

The type of support needs an individual may require is all that the education system, and benefits systems are interested in, as it is the provision of the required support to perform specific tasks is their only interest, and the diagnosis will only provide medical evidence or support as to why that support is needed. All of our family have different subtypes and severity of auditory processing disorder (the diagnosed disability) but we all have different cognitive abilities to develop alternative compensating abilities to work around our diagnosed disabilities. So for instance we are on different levels of DLA Care dependent on the different support needs.

AlysWho Thu 23-Jun-11 10:31:23

little miss thanks for sharing info about your dc, I'll pass it on. My friend wants to hear from people in the same boat, so its great to hear from you. smile

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: