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What's the difference...

(17 Posts)
Notgivingin789 Tue 29-Dec-15 16:48:31

between a child with just ASD and a child who has Autism and ADHD?

I'm wondering if DS has ADHD onto of his Autism, as he gets very excited, when he is at a favourite place, and it's very hard to control him when his excited and he can't seem to stay in one place, unless it' a favourite activity.

Flanks Tue 29-Dec-15 19:48:58

The boundary is quite blurred and many professionals regard ADHD as part of the spectrum.

It is perhaps more useful to view it as a descriptive term for a behavioural aspect of his difficulties, much as you describe it in your post.

Notgivingin789 Tue 29-Dec-15 20:20:39

Thanks Flanks I thought it was just part if his ASD, the sensory difficulties. But was wondering if there was something more to it.

TheSecondOfHerName Tue 29-Dec-15 20:25:57

With DS2, his ADHD was masking the ASD, and the ASD only became obvious once the ADHD was treated.

Notgivingin789 Tue 29-Dec-15 21:26:39

Thesecond.. How did you know your DS2 something else going other than the Autism. But was he diagnosed first with ADHD, then later diagnosed with ASD?

TheSecondOfHerName Tue 29-Dec-15 21:50:31

He was noticeably different from his peers by the age of 2 or 3.

By the age of 6 or 7, I realised that he was significantly different, but didn't know if it was due to ADHD, ASD or giftedness. It turned out to be all three.

ADHD was diagnosed first. He started a trial of methylphenidate aged 7 which made a huge difference and enabled him to cope at school.

The giftedness was picked up next. In Year 3 the school gave him some SATs papers and he scored a level 5 in Maths and Science, which gave them the evidence they needed to get him specialised teaching in those subjects.

Once he was settled on the methylphenidate, the autistic traits were more obvious, and the school SENCo suggested we start the journey towards assessment. I'm glad we listened to her, as it took nearly 18 months to get a diagnosis.

A few years on, he has also been diagnosed with sensory processing disorder and hypermobility.

In my opinion, he also has dyspraxia, but on his notes this is just mentioned as 'delayed motor skills and coordination'.

Anecdotally, speaking to other parents of children with ASD, there seems to be a lot of comorbidity with these other conditions.

To end on a positive note, he is now a teenager and managing really well at school and at home. No friends yet though.

Notgivingin789 Tue 29-Dec-15 22:34:32

Thanks for your post second but could you see the difference between your sons ADHD and Autism? what are the difficulties that your son faces with the ADHD?

RoaringFirePlease Wed 30-Dec-15 01:25:07

Hi TheSecond

I didn't realise Sensory Processing Disorder could also be diagnosed separately. That's really useful to know. May I ask please: who can do this - the Paediatrician/ASD doctor or someone else?

It great the things I learn from this board!

TheSecondOfHerName Wed 30-Dec-15 08:27:16

The OT did an assessment for sensory processing disorder and then spoke to his paediatrician.

frazzledbutcalm Wed 30-Dec-15 13:01:19

They don't assess or dx sensory processing disorder in my area ...

Dd (12) has a dx of ASD, we're struggling trying to get anyone to look into her further issues. She has hypermobility, SPD, possible dyspraxia - but I can't get her assessed further. sad

Good luck OP

Lesley25 Wed 30-Dec-15 14:37:48

For us the asd was dx at 2 because of speech delay and numerous red flags all accurately dx as autism. Then at 6 came ADHD after school
Mentioned the fact ds couldn't sit still, concentrate etc. Success with medication. The spd was dx between 2-4 by an ot and salt mentioning it.

Notgivingin789 Wed 30-Dec-15 15:40:33

Lesley How did you know it was ADHD rather than sensory issues?

Lesley25 Wed 30-Dec-15 18:18:03

i didn't at the time tbh. But I always wondered because ds never ever say still- not even to watch a peppa pig episode. ADHD was mentioned before ds was 6 and then I pushed for a Camhs referral from our pead as soon as ds turned 6. We had 3 months of school visits home visits clinic visits before ADHD was dx and medication suggested that was a rocky path finding the right dose/medication
ADHD was Dx mainly because of the inability to sit still, concentrate etc- it was a barrier to the learning. The sensory issues for us have faded quite a bit since medication, that could be down to numerous reasons - we moved ds into a ss and the environment is toned down, focus on communication (ds largely non verbal) so frustrations decreased. In fact I'm sitting here typing this out and I'm thinking hard about which sensory issues he still has as so many have faded.

Notgivingin789 Wed 30-Dec-15 20:39:59

Thanks Lesley could he concentrate on the things he like? It's so difficult as I've seen many ASD children who cannot seem to sit still, concentrate. How do you work out the differences between the two?

Lesley25 Wed 30-Dec-15 21:05:44

I remember asking the same question, the response I got was that even if it was a "favourite" activity a child still wouldn't be able to sit still for a period of time that you would expect a child without ADD to do. I wasn't totally convinced of the dx of ADD but wanted to try medication to see if it would help with learning at school. I've always thought that if ds could concentrate for just a few minutes - he picks up concepts very quickly eg sky remote, DVD player etc. The effect at home was a shock because I felt he was too subdued. However, his school at the time - mainstream said it was a huge difference, no wondering and able to apply himself to a task much more. Bearing in mind he was only in year 1 at the time so the demands were not too great. I was still sceptical - I felt ms may have been more enthusiastic about the fact ds was subdued because it made life easier for them. I was wrong. I was planning on moving ds to ss in sept any way (this was Jan) so went back and forth with medication and dosages for several months. I always had a break away from medication during term times for other reasons besides the subdude mood (better sleep and a chance to add more calories into diet as the medication reduced appetite) so didn't really get a chance to see ds without medication and ds was quiet on it on the days I tried again - I felt almost guilty. We started ss in sept this year and I told them
My concerns re. Medication and subdued mood so we agreed on no medication for 4 weeks with Camhs monitoring this in school visits also. Special School said ds was doing great, then we decided to try medication again. The difference it made was "day and night" they said. Almost like a switch had been pressed in a positive way. More focused, more verbal and generally more compliant and tolerant.
So, I too was dismissive and apprehensive at first well, for a long time but I had to make sure this was the right step. I'm glad we did. Ds is happy and learning. The environment has an incredible role to play here too though. But in my case, both the dx are evident.

Notgivingin789 Wed 30-Dec-15 21:15:42

Thanks Lesley I'm happy that your DS is doing well. But I still don't understand by what the professionals told you "*if it was a "favourite" activity a child still wouldn't be able to sit still for a period of time that you would expect a child without ADD to do*". So was the person trying to say that if a child without ADD, was doing a favourite activity, he/she would not be able to sit still?

Lesley25 Thu 31-Dec-15 07:57:01

Sorry that's my tired fault, my pead specifically asked me if my ds could watch an episode on Tv that he loved for 10 minutes, I explained to him that he could not even watch an entire episode of peppa pig (ds favourite at the time) without getting distracted and doing something else. Ds never actually sat there and watched a whole episode ever. It was at that point our pead referred us to Camhs.

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