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What is the difference between AS/ASD/ADHD and Autism

(20 Posts)
Cosmo74 Fri 11-Mar-05 10:55:30

Sorry if I am sounding a bit dumb but is there anywhere that specifically sets out the symptons of each - our DS definately has some kind of disorder we are in the process of getting him assessed - he lacks concentration etc.. but I would not call him hyperactive - he can be sometimes but not always - others may disagree with me - as he is an only cild at the minute it is hard for me to know - but he does go to bed around 7:30pm and stays in bed all night and lots of people have told me that hyperactive children have problems sleeping all night - he is 5 his main problems are listening to people, concentration etc... I met with his teacher yesterday to fill in the referral for the Ed. psych. and she put on the form that his motor skills were poor- she said this was because she says he stubbles alot - I thought that this was just because he doesn't look were he is going - but I agree with her it is just not something i noted before - this to me would be more of an autistic trait - I am just confused and waffling here. This is just all new to me but I want to be as clued up on this as much as possible so I know how to deal with him for his own good.

Also - he was a vacumn delivery and I had bad PND for about his first year ( could not stand to be away from him as I thought something would happen him!!)- I hear that this may be a reason for some kids to develop behavioural problems anyone else heard of this?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

newscot Fri 11-Mar-05 12:10:03

Cosmo,alongside ADHD there is also ADD (Attention Defecit Disorder) which is the same but without the hyperactivity. ADD kids will often be the ones sitting quietly in class not causing any trouble (and not following what is going on) As such they will be missed by some teachers who are just grateful the child isn't causing a disturbance.
I am not saying this is what you DS has but it may be a possibility. How are his fine motor skills, e,g, his handwriting? My DD has a language disorder and her fine motor skills aren't up to scratch. Problems with these skills seems to be common among kids with language disorders, ADHD, Autism spectrum. Again, I am not saying your DS has any of these. In fact, with the gross motor problems he has I think it would be good to have him seen by a paediatrician.

I really don't think your PND has anything to do with his problems- don't feel guilty. I didn't have PND and my DD still has problems. I think its just the luck of the draw.

Cosmo74 Fri 11-Mar-05 12:35:53


Thanks for replying - maybe some people would call DS hyperactive - in class he has problems sitting on this chair when teacher is talking to class - usually falls off chair etc.. teacher is very good as she will give him something to do while she is adressing class but says that he can do his task and also listen to her at the same time ( i agree with that he never misses anything that is said even though you may think he is not listening) he also has trouble keeping quiet - shouting out answers and problems taking turns at school ( i don't find that he has problems sharing or taking turns at home when his cousins come round) he is very moody if he doesn't get his own way - his fine motor skills - handwriting is not the neatest as he tends to rush writing - doesn't like writing/drawing much unless it is something he decides to do....- we have got the Gp to send a referral into get him assessed along with the school getting him assessed - school think they could get him seen in about 6 months - GP says it could take over a year - I enquired about private but the docs who do this work do not do private consultantions as there is too many other professionals that are involved. I live in a small town Northern Ireland so we don't really have a chance of going elsewhere.

Did you get a dx for your DD? If so what was it and what symptons did she display? What age is she - hope you do not mind me asking.

Thanks again

coppertop Fri 11-Mar-05 13:14:15

No experience of ADHD but I have 2 boys with autism (one offficially diagnosed and one with a preliminary diagnosis). There is a lot of debate about whether AS is the same as autism so it can get confusing.

I have one boy who had delayed fine motor skills (he didn't use his hands much because they were too sensitive) and one whose fine motor skills are actually a bit too advanced for his age. Neither really falls over much. In fact the youngest i very good at keeping his balance.

I've had several people commenting that my ds2 (2yrs) is hyperactive but to me he is just an active child. The Paed was able to confirm this for us.

I have to say that I've never heard of a link between keeping a child close and the child having behavioural problems. If your ds does have a problem then I don't think it's something you could blame yourself for.

blueteddy Fri 11-Mar-05 13:27:02

Fine motor problems, difficulty concentrating & poor gross motor skills can be signs of dyspraxia.
I wonder if my ds has a form of this, as he was very late learning to peddal a bike, still walks down the stairs 2 feet at a time (he is 5), has quite an immature run & cannot colour things in without going over the lines or appearing to scribble.
He does not always seem to be concentrating during carpet time at school (faces away from teacher, looks out of window etc), but still seems to take in everything the teacher is saying!!!

blueteddy Fri 11-Mar-05 13:27:59

Dyspraxia is the clumsy disorder, by the way!

Eulalia Fri 11-Mar-05 13:50:02

For a diagnosis of autism a child must have what is called the 'traid of impairments' which is 1. difficulites in social communication (delayed/idiosyncratic or absent speech along with probs understanding body language), 2. difficulites in social interaction (not want to play with other children, may be aggressive) and 3. lacking in imagination (find it difficult to act and play and make up stories). All 3 must be present to make a diagnosis and it certainly doesn't sound like your ds. autistic kids may also have sensory difficulites and obsessions and play with toys in an odd way.

I don't know enough about hte other conditions you mentioned but this may allow you to rule out autism. Good luck.

Cosmo74 Fri 11-Mar-05 14:02:42

Thanks everyone for your responses - I don't think he has autism, I just find that the more info. I get on everything the easier I find to deal with him - before we started all this he was constantly being shouted at for being 'naughty' i.e not sitting still etc.. now I know he cannot help this and we have to give him a bit of leaway(sp?) I think because I have calmed down alot he has too, it is just convincing both sets of grandparents (between the both sets they mind him after school til DH and me come hime from work) that he has some kind of disorder - they think he is just a boistorious(sp) child and some days they really shout at him and I think expect him to be 'too normal' which he is not this only leave him worst and make his behaviour worst. Well I cannot wait to go off on maternity leave in July at least then I will be at home with him all the time ( for 7 months at least) and hopefully get him a bit more settled.

BTW I started to give him fish oils a few weeks ago and think I can see the difference already - he definately is much more affectionate - we use to have to bribe him for a hug but now he will come up and hug me for nothing which is nice.

If only I could afford to give up work or go part-time!!!! well maybe in a few years when we get the bills paid off.

Thanks again

Cosmo74 Fri 11-Mar-05 14:03:37

BTW what is asphers that alot of people talk about on here?

Saker Fri 11-Mar-05 14:53:35

my ds is 3.5y and possibly dyspraxic although he has some autistic traits and we have no diagnosis at the moment. What you describe sounds quite like what I have read about dyspraxia. Have you looked at the Dyscovery Centre website, that has a lot of useful info?
Also Amanda Kirby's book, "Dyspraxia the hidden handicap".

As I understand it children with dyspraxia may fidget a lot but it is because they find it hard balancing on their chair. My ds2 has poor body sense and often lies on the floor or pushes his feet against things - so he can orientate himself. Dyspraxic children can also have problems with social skills.

KarenThirl Fri 11-Mar-05 15:18:57

Cosmo, your situation sounds very similar to mine. My ds (6) has just been dx with AS after a first failed assessment last year. He has very similar behavioural characteristics to your ds and indeed we've always suspected ADHD, as he ticks all but one of the DSM criteria for ADHD but few on AS. I think it seems to depend on the presence of the 'triad' symptoms mentioned earlier in this thread, which J does have.

We too found a significant improvement on fish oils, and things have deteriorated dramatically since we took him off them again for the purposes of the re-assessment. We've started him on them again now that we have a provisional diagnosis. If it works, keep him on them!

BTW, I had ventouse delivery too - J was born with his cord around his neck and took three minutes to start breathing on his own. His head looked like a Mr Whippey ice cream cone. I suspect that was a significant factor, but of course I could be wrong.

mamadadawahwah Fri 11-Mar-05 15:19:43

Hi Cosmo, I am in N. Ireland as well. CAT me and maybe i could let you know where to go for further info/resources.

PrettyCandles Fri 11-Mar-05 15:27:20

Cosmo, something that may help at the grandparents' houses is to suggest that they do their best to avoid saying 'No', and rather than telling him what they don't want him to do, they should tell him what they do want him to do. Eg, instead of 'Don't run!', say 'Please walk steadily.'

newscot Fri 11-Mar-05 16:07:41

Cosmo, my DD is 4.8. We have had her assessed and are now waiting for the meeting when we discuss the results. She has difficulty with semantics and pragmatics which basically means trouble with how she says things (i,e gets he and she mixed up)and how she uses language socially. She is not particularly good at reading a social situation,i.e, working out what is going on from the non verbal cues around her. Since we have known more about exactly what her problems are we have been able to help her to develop her language skills and she has improved a lot already.
I think this is really important-once you know exactly what the difficulties you DS has then you know how to respond to them. I agree with pretty candles, it does no good for your DS grandparents to tell him off if he can't help what he is doing.

Dyspraxia, as many others have mentioned also sounds like a possibility. I just hope you can get some answers soon so that things can start improving for your son.

Cosmo74 Fri 11-Mar-05 16:09:20

Thanks again everyone

Sorry Mamadadawahwah - how do I CAT you? you would never guess I work in I.T?? It is nice to see someone else from here on this site. let me know how to contact you and I will give you a shout.

Everyone else ta very much - all the help is great - I think the hardest thing is too admit that our DS has a problem ( I think this is the problem with his grandparents, well at least with my mum) but since this all started ( he was in school 6 weeks when teacher called us in and put him on IEP) I am quite releived to know that he is not a bold boy - his teacher keeps insisting on that - she says he cannot help how he behaves sometimes, she is great has a real soft spot for him - I wish she could move to the next class with him but that is never going to happen. When he was younger we just thought that he was spoilt!! but now I know he cannot help it - at times he is the sweetest child you could know - maybe a bit bias there, other times he is a nightmare - it is also hard to know when he can't help it and when he is being naughty!!! I am in the process of reading up on everything and printing stuff out for my hubby - how do you hubby's deal with your kids my hubby does not have alot of patience and even though I try to explain to have patience and that when DS asks something to answer right away( he gets very loud and moody if you do not answer him right away) but hubby isn't always consistent about this - he is very good with DS - playing and all but sometimes loses the head with things which can lead to us arguing over things. Is this normal??

Sorry waffling again - blaming that on the hormones I am almost 5 months pregnant now.

tallulah Fri 11-Mar-05 18:54:02

I have a ds with ADHD and dyspraxia, and a ds with dyspraxia who has always been "odd" (used to talk in a monotone, obsessive about stuff, doesn't get body language or other social cues, really boring & hates to be touched-esp his head). Both of these boys were born with the cord round their neck, unlike my older dd & youngest ds, who are both fine. Could be something in that.

Cosmo, FWIW it does sound like your boy has ADD/ADHD, or dyspraxia (or both, since these conditions are all linked). My dyspraxic son has problems with both fine and gross motor coordination, and had big problems with an odd gait until we took him to an osteopath. He was 5 when outsiders noticed he wasn't right. the other one was 7 when we got the ADHD dx.

mamadadawahwah Sat 12-Mar-05 08:02:31

maybe someone can tell cosmo how to CAT me. I dont really know myself! sorry Cosmo I think you have to go to your preferences and accept email. then i just do the same and I send you an email and vice versa.

MeerkatsUnite Sat 12-Mar-05 08:13:31



At the top of the page there is a heading called Useful Stuff. If you look to the right of that heading it says Contact Another Talker. Clicking on that will take you to an e-mail page where you insert the relevant details and send a message.

It took me a while to figure that one out as well!.

Cosmo74 Mon 14-Mar-05 13:33:06

Mamadadawahwah I have gotten round to Cat you - any help/advice would be very much appreciated. Had a really tough weekend - really feel like running away for about a week by myself on a deserted island, started by getting home from work on Friday and DS was with his grandparents ( hubby's MUM) when we went in he was chewing chewing gum (NOT SURGAR FREE!!!!!) then just as we were about to leave she give him an ice-cream wafer that has chocolate/strawberry/vanilla in it - so he went mad all weekend - reallly really hyper. I really tried not to shout at him as it was not his fault but sometimes found myself ready to explode!!!! he was still bouncing this morning when we left him off so no doubt he will have a bad day at school and then we will have to listen to his granny giving off about him when we go home today - and all I want to do is shout at her and say 'Well if you want to fill him full of sweets/colours etc.. what do you expect??'

So sorry this is turning into a rant I am really pee'ed off about it all and nothing is going to change for at least 6 months as we are not going to get an appointment before then..also to top things off it was this time last year (16th March)that I lost my baby (Ectopic pregnancy) which doesn't help - and I don't even think hubby remembers!!!

Oh life is so crap sometimes.

Saker Mon 14-Mar-05 17:55:45


Sorry you are feeling so bad. I don't have any advice but I do hope things pick up for you soon.

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