View Full Version : Can ADHD be misdiagnosed as autism?


DevilKisses
12-22-13, 07:46 AM
I was diagnosed with autism when I was four. I don't think this diagnosis is correct. I think I probably just have ADHD and a lot of psychological issues caused by my diagnosis.

A lot of my issues have been ignored because of my autism diagnosis. They just assume that all my issues are autism related. Autism treatment hasn't been effective for me.

I have extremely low mental energy. I don't know the exact reason. My autism diagnosis doesn't explain it and no autism treatments address this problem. I struggle to get things done. Especially household chores and schoolwork. I only go to school for half a day. I'm still extremely exhausted after school despite hardly ever getting anything done.

I also have problems controlling my impulses. If I don't watch out I often blurt out stupid, immature off topic comments or interrupt people. I use a lot of my mental energy to control this. I'm also extremely hyperactive. I cannot sit still in class. If I can manage to make myself sit still in class I probably won't get much or anything done.

I have a lot of social anxiety because of my autism diagnosis. I'm often afraid that I'm "missing social cues" even though I notice a lot of them. I used to not notice them when I was younger. I think that was related to inattention. Once I made myself pay more attention I naturally picked them up like everyone else.

Dmitri
12-22-13, 10:25 AM
There's a school of thought and a decent amount of research that says that ADHD might be an autism spectrum disorder, or rather, a very mild form of autism. I don't know enough about the subject to say for sure, but there's a valid argument that some forms of ADHD May be forms of autism. Just food for thought

janiew
12-22-13, 11:16 AM
It would be good if you could find a pdoc or psychologist to work with you and try some ADHD treatment.

daveddd
12-22-13, 11:23 AM
categories have ruined mental health treatment

you obviously had issues with development, you were dx with autism at 4

so would this be so hard

developmental delay scale

attention --
impulsiveness--
hyperactivity--
social skills--
obsessiveness--
emotional regulation--
goal setting--
sensory--

grade and treat AS NEEDED

DevilKisses
12-22-13, 02:52 PM
categories have ruined mental health treatment

you obviously had issues with development, you were dx with autism at 4

so would this be so hard

developmental delay scale

attention --
impulsiveness--
hyperactivity--
social skills--
obsessiveness--
emotional regulation--
goal setting--
sensory--

grade and treat AS NEEDED
Emphasis on had. I don't really think people should diagnose disorders that early. I bet a lot of people who are normal as adults had strange behaviors when they were four. I hope I only have ADHD. The outcome for autism sounds so bad.

sarahsweets
12-23-13, 10:46 AM
Adhd can be misdiagnosed as anything.

Flia
12-23-13, 02:54 PM
You could have ADHD together with Autism disorder too.

DevilKisses
12-23-13, 03:13 PM
You could have ADHD together with Autism disorder too.

I know. I'm starting to think that I have ADHD without autism.

fracturedstory
12-24-13, 08:27 AM
You said low on mental energy yet hyperactive? At the same time? Hyperactivity has been the opposite for me and what I've observed in other people with the hyperactive component of ADHD. Or I guess you could be combined.

You haven't really told us why they diagnosed you at age 4. You could just be telling yourself it is more ADHD because those symptoms now affect you the worst, or you are dwelling on them more.

The earlier the diagnosis usually means the more severe the symptoms and the earlier the diagnosis means a better chance of overcoming your symptoms. I knew a boy diagnosed with ADHD at age 2.

Actually anyone with strange behaviours at four would be a red flag for autism or other disorders because at that age certain milestones would already have been reached. I happen to have a four year old nephew who is ticking a lot of boxes for autism. My three year old niece is not. My 6 year old niece is not and my 8 year old nephew is kind of hard to work out. Early diagnosis is pretty important. Some kids do not just because more normal.

I assume there is another reason you don't want to be autistic.

Can people with ADHD make themselves pay more attention? If someone with autism realises they should pay more attention and wants to then they can. Focus is not a problem for them if they want it.

By the way if you were diagnosed with autism and not Asperger's then I think it's much harder to confuse it with ADHD, but you've really not listed your autistic symptoms.

DevilKisses
12-24-13, 04:28 PM
You said low on mental energy yet hyperactive? At the same time? Hyperactivity has been the opposite for me and what I've observed in other people with the hyperactive component of ADHD. Or I guess you could be combined.

Yes. It's like my body is running purely on adrenaline. I can't focus on getting any real tasks done. Especially tasks that I'm not interested in. It's extremely hard/impossible to calm myself down. If I do calm down I might fall asleep or I just won't be able to focus.

You haven't really told us why they diagnosed you at age 4. You could just be telling yourself it is more ADHD because those symptoms now affect you the worst, or you are dwelling on them more.

The earlier the diagnosis usually means the more severe the symptoms and the earlier the diagnosis means a better chance of overcoming your symptoms. I knew a boy diagnosed with ADHD at age 2.
I was diagnosed because I had behavioral issues and my family was low on money. They needed the funding. I acted vaguely autistic, but probably not enough for a real diagnosis. My mom had to go to many people to actually get me diagnosed. She also had to twist the truth a bit.

Actually anyone with strange behaviours at four would be a red flag for autism or other disorders because at that age certain milestones would already have been reached. I happen to have a four year old nephew who is ticking a lot of boxes for autism. My three year old niece is not. My 6 year old niece is not and my 8 year old nephew is kind of hard to work out. Early diagnosis is pretty important. Some kids do not just because more normal.

I never really met the criteria enough. It's just that some of the items on the criteria are quite vague.

I assume there is another reason you don't want to be autistic.
It just disgusts me. I don't really know how to explain this. I feel like I'm not a full person if I were to have autism. I hate when people think everything about me is related to autism. I hate when people treat my like I'm younger than I actually am.

Can people with ADHD make themselves pay more attention?If someone with autism realises they should pay more attention and wants to then they can. Focus is not a problem for them if they want it.
I've read that people with ADHD have the most trouble with focusing on things that are uninteresting to them. I kind of can make myself focus on stuff. It just takes a lot of energy and the focus doesn't last for long. I can ocassionally hyper focus on stuff I'm interested in, but that's ADHD as well.

By the way if you were diagnosed with autism and not Asperger's then I think it's much harder to confuse it with ADHD, but you've really not listed your autistic symptoms.
I don't think Asperger's is really diagnosed in four year olds. My mom wanted the most funding and autism probably gets more funding. I had a few behaviors that seemed autistic when I was kid. I've outgrown most of them. A lot of them seemed more like impulse control problems(ADHD) than autism. It also seems like none of the autism treatments are effective on me.