View Full Version : Dad Has Aspergers, Kids Have ADD?


BethanyBez
12-11-08, 10:06 PM
Hi, Everyone.

First time posting in this forum here.

It seems that my entire family, on my father's side, has ADD, me, my brother, and my sister included. Most of us have now been diagnosed, but some refuse to believe "there is anything wrong with them" (definitely not the way I would describe it!) and are holding out. My dad falls into the latter category.

It was always a private "joke" between my mom and I that although my dad is one of the few family members who refuses to get help for his ADD, he's the one who has the biggest problems with it.

All of us kids are disorganized daydreamers. We lose things constantly, find it difficult to concentrate, and have quite the time trying to "shut off" our minds. My dad is the same. But he also...

Focuses all his attention on seemingly random subjects like audio equipment, Shakespeare's true identity, and canoe building. He'll OBSESS about these topics and talk to you nonstop about them no matter who you are for years at a time before switching to another fixation.

He can't seem to hear what anyone else is saying. I could talk to him for half an hour about my current job search and he would end up talking back at me for five hours about how Shakespeare was really Edward DeVere.

My mom and I are always so embarrassed when people He DOESN'T EVEN KNOW call him up and he starts rambling on about canoes.

I realized the other day that this sounds a lot like Aspergers. Is it common for a parent to have Aspergers and then have his kids inherit ADD?

WarPhalange
12-20-08, 03:51 AM
I would assume so, the same way you can inherit your dad's eye color but not hair color.

Driver
12-20-08, 04:03 AM
No your Dad is simply the overfocussed/obsessive kind of ADD: the kind of people you avoid at parties, lest you get stuck listening to hours upon hours of details about canoes.

Kunga Dorji
12-20-08, 05:53 AM
I'm getting this horrible feeling of Deja Vu. I thought it was only my Mum and her brother and mother and uncle and one of my brothers. He will never believe me.
Are you sure you don't know my Dad?

charonshanti
12-20-08, 07:24 AM
I realized the other day that this sounds a lot like Aspergers. Is it common for a parent to have Aspergers and then have his kids inherit ADD?

The official definition of aspergers, last I checked, says you can't have aspergers and ADHD. Tony Atwood (asperger expert) disagrees and lists ADHD as a high-incidence co-morbid with asperger's. From my own observations they often travel together in families, for whatever reason.

Dizfriz
12-20-08, 09:31 AM
Originally Posted by charonshanti
The official definition of aspergers, last I checked, says you can't have aspergers and ADHD. Tony Atwood (asperger expert) disagrees and lists ADHD as a high-incidence co-morbid with asperger's. From my own observations they often travel together in families, for whatever reason.From the CDC

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/ove...c_criteria.htm

DSM IV-TR Diagnostic Criteria for the Pervasive
Developmental Disorders

Diagnostic Criteria for 299.80 Asperger's Disorder

1. Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
1. marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction
2. failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
3. a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
4. lack of social or emotional reciprocity
2. Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
1. encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity of focus
2. apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
3. stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
4. persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
3. The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
4. There is no clinically significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years).
5. There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other than in social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood.
6. Criteria are not met for another specific Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Schizophrenia.

In my experience, many, perhaps most, Asperger kids will receive an ADHD diagnosis before receiving one of Asperger's. Asperger's is hard to diagnose correctly and does mimic a number of the characteristics of ADHD

<the rest="" are="" some="" of="" my="" own="" thoughts.="" am="" not="" an="" expert="" on="" autistic="" spectrum="" disorders="" and="" have="" worked="" with="" only="" a="" small="" number="" but="" i="" do="" try="" to="" keep="" up.="">(The rest are my own thoughts. I am not an expert in Autistic Spectrum disorders and have worked with only a few so take them as they are...thoughts.)

I have seen some discussion on the question of ADHD as a separate diagnosis or the ADHD symptoms as an integral part of Asperger's. The best I can tell, the jury is still out on that one.

The open question is causation and the answer is, we don't know yet. Do Asperger's and ADHD stem from separate causes or are they different manifestations of the same disorder?

There is also discussion on whether Asperger's should be a separate stand alone diagnosis or instead be part of a more generalized Autistic Spectrum classification.

Fascinating stuff. We probably wait until the DSM V is finalized to see what is decided.

It is my opinion that the separate diagnosis of ADHD will be justified in the fullness of time. There is the school of thought (Barkley) that if you meet the criteria for ADHD then you are ADHD. I would not care to argue with the man but, in my own mind, I am not quite sure of this.

So to the question of the Dad being Asperger's and the kids being ADHD, it is very likely that the kids may be diagnosed as ADHD. The question as to this being correct will have to be addressed when more research is done.

Sorry to be so wordy but I really get interested in this kind of thing so be kind and bear with me.

Anyway, I hope this may be of small use.

Dizfriz</the>

WarPhalange
12-20-08, 08:19 PM
No your Dad is simply the overfocussed/obsessive kind of ADD: the kind of people you avoid at parties, lest you get stuck listening to hours upon hours of details about canoes.

In that case yeah, it's ADD. My dad does exactly that. You ask him a simple question, say "How come there are Phillips screws and flat-head screws?", expecting a simple answer like "Phillips are better for machines, so that they don't slip, and flat-heads are easier to make." or something. But he HAS TO start off with how the first screw driver was made, explain all the other screw types and what they are used for, and garbage like that. By then I get frustrated and tell him to just answer my damn question. He gets irritated and says I need to know the whole story to understand the answer, so I yell "FORGET IT!!" and just storm off. He gets ****ed of course because "Nobody ever listens to me!"

It's annoying as hell. He CANNOT help you with your homework. You ask him a simple question like "Who was X?" and he'll start telling you for half an hour, starting with the country where X was born, when that country was founded, what was happening at the time when X was born, seemingly unable to just get to the damn point. Ugh!

OnlyMe
12-23-08, 03:33 PM
Dizfriz, one of the things my DD's previous teachers harped upon was that they felt she was aspie type rather than ADHD because she didn't do gaze meeting, she talked too much about what she was interested in, and she didn't make friends in her class (a mix of gifted 3. 4, and 5th grades). In your list that's the only criteria she meets, and I wonder if would be because most gifted kids (according to this teacher) are socially and emotionally ahead, while my DD is socially about K/1st grade. So actually it wouldn't be surprising that she didn't make friends of kids who were way ahead of her developmentally, would it? She most definitely has social and emotional reciprocity, which I thought was the most defining bit of Asperger's.

Anyway, just a bit of an Aha! moment for me. Developmentally appropriate can mean so many different things after all. I'd bet she'd really click with another ADHD kid who was gifted like she is; there just aren't that many around.

Dizfriz
12-23-08, 05:50 PM
Dizfriz, one of the things my DD's previous teachers harped upon was that they felt she was aspie type rather than ADHD because she didn't do gaze meeting, she talked too much about what she was interested in, and she didn't make friends in her class (a mix of gifted 3. 4, and 5th grades). In your list that's the only criteria she meets, and I wonder if would be because most gifted kids (according to this teacher) are socially and emotionally ahead, while my DD is socially about K/1st grade. So actually it wouldn't be surprising that she didn't make friends of kids who were way ahead of her developmentally, would it? She most definitely has social and emotional reciprocity, which I thought was the most defining bit of Asperger's.

Anyway, just a bit of an Aha! moment for me. Developmentally appropriate can mean so many different things after all. I'd bet she'd really click with another ADHD kid who was gifted like she is; there just aren't that many around.

Lots of things brought up here.

If your child is ADHD then the 30% rule may apply. You can find in my little corner in the parenting section
.
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60130

Your might check it out to see if it applies. It does to most ADHD kids. Social development is often very much effected by ADHD and if your child is in a setting with much more socially adept children and she is behind on this then she will have some real problems here. The 30% rule helps make sense of this.

One of the most important tools for working with kids with these kinds of disorders are alert, interested, informed parents so keep on asking and checking.

Dizfriz

Driver
12-23-08, 06:04 PM
Dizfriz, one of the things my DD's previous teachers harped upon was that they felt she was aspie type rather than ADHD because she didn't do gaze meeting, she talked too much about what she was interested in, and she didn't make friends in her class (a mix of gifted 3. 4, and 5th grades).

Poor eye contact, talking too much, and a lack of friends is very common amongst ADD'ers (adults included).

In your list that's the only criteria she meets, and I wonder if would be because most gifted kids (according to this teacher) are socially and emotionally ahead, while my DD is socially about K/1st grade.

I went to a high school for the gifted: to say we were all socially and emotionally ahead is a bit of a stretch.

adhdogwalker
01-01-09, 11:40 AM
My father has Asperger's and so does my grandmother and my great grandmother did as well. My mother has ADD (inattentive) and my brother and sister do as well. As for me, I'm ADD (combined) and bipolar I. I also have an ADD friend who has a father with Asperger's so I think it's not uncommon for both disorders to pop up in the same family.

BethanyBez
01-25-09, 11:11 PM
Wow, I was on hiatus for awhile and I came back to find so many great answers to my post! Thanks, everyone!

I'm still not sure whether I should see my dad as having Aspberger's or not. I get that research may show you can't have both Aspberger's and ADD, that ADDers can talk nonstop about certain subjects, etc.

But my dad doesn't just get excited about certain subjects and blab about them.

He gets OBSESSED to the point where all he does ALL DAY LONG is research strange topics like Shakespeare's true identity. He'll do that for about a year and then switch to a new topic.ing

And you don't have to ask him about Shakespeare or anything else to get him going. He'll just go up to you or someone random on the street and start talking about it. Like I think I said, I've heard him do this to telemarketers.

I also feel like he doesn't know how to take people's feelings into account. He has no idea how his actions might make another person feel, and gets very, very confused upon upsetting people.

So much of what he does crosses the line into Aspie territory, I feel.

Alexzander'smom
01-27-09, 01:25 AM
There are alot of people in my family who have ADHD (combined type) including me. My son is the first one to have autism so there might be a link there in family genetics of the two disorders. I never thought they had a link but seeing everyone else who has both in the family does raise some interesting questions.

Lady Lark
01-31-09, 10:44 PM
I'm kinda curious as to what research you've seen that says you can't be an adder and an aspie, and I know that I'd personally have a hard time believing it. Especially since my son is diagnosed with both.

speedo
02-01-09, 12:24 AM
It's not a matter of research, really. The DSM-IV criteria for ADHD does not allow the diagnosis of ADHD if a pervasive developmental disorder such as Aspergers disorder is already diagnosed.

In real terms, about 75% of people who are diagnosed with AS will also meet the criteria for ADHD.

Me :D


I'm kinda curious as to what research you've seen that says you can't be an adder and an aspie, and I know that I'd personally have a hard time believing it. Especially since my son is diagnosed with both.

Lady Lark
02-01-09, 12:31 PM
How odd. So...things aren't exactly what they seem to be, either with my son's diagnosis, or with the DSM-IV.

Crazygirl79
02-03-09, 09:06 PM
As Speedo said in Movingshadows thread there is no such thing as over focussed ADD and he is right! Most people with ADD/ADHD hyperfocus which means to fixate on something strongly but not obsessively meaning their lives aren't totally revolved around what they're hyperfocusing on but someone with Aspergers can be obsessive (in a harmless way usually) with objects, interests and sometimes certain people in their lives and those who go into intricate details about certain things usually have Aspergers along with major difficulties in relating to other people which is the main and core symptom of Aspergers.

If you want more information about this condition then speak to someone who knows what they're talking about, search it on the internet or even call the local Autism/Aspergers Syndrome Association.

SelenaNo your Dad is simply the overfocussed/obsessive kind of ADD: the kind of people you avoid at parties, lest you get stuck listening to hours upon hours of details about canoes.

Crazygirl79
02-03-09, 09:08 PM
It is also a lot more common in those with Autism and Aspergers! adults and kids alike.

The poor social skills and poor eye contact issue are sometimes evident in ADD/ADHD sufferers but it's not a universal or hallmark symptom like it is in Autism/Aspergers Syndrome, with that said there are actually some autisitic people who have really good eye contact due to improvement over age and with therapy and it's really a case of people expressing these types of conditions differently...after all we are all different!

Selena








Poor eye contact, talking too much, and a lack of friends is very common amongst ADD'ers (adults included).



I went to a high school for the gifted: to say we were all socially and emotionally ahead is a bit of a stretch.

Driver
02-03-09, 10:27 PM
The essential differing factor between ADD and Aspergers is Theory of Mind:

Theory of mind is the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires and intentions that are different from one's own.

Autistic people do not have this: they cannot put themselves in the shoes of others.

The simple Sally-Anne test (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sally-Anne_test) demonstrates the difference.

The experimenter uses two dolls, "Sally" and "Anne". Sally has a basket; Anne has a box. Experimenters show their subjects (usually children) a simple skit, in which Sally puts a marble in her basket and then leaves the scene. While Sally is away and cannot watch, Anne takes the marble out of Sally's basket and puts it into her box. Sally then returns and the children are asked where they think she will look for her marble. Children are said to "pass" the test if they understand that Sally will most likely look inside her basket before realizing that her marble isn't there.

As Speedo said in Movingshadows thread there is no such thing as over focussed ADD and he is right!

It wasn't that long ago that ADD without Hyperactivity didn't exist, or that much long ago that ADD was considered Minimal Brain Damage. Just because no official diagnosis exists for it yet (i.e., DSM), doesn't mean it cannot exist.

Crazygirl79
02-04-09, 07:24 PM
Yes I'm aware that ADD without hyperactivity was considered Minimal Brian Dysfunction but regardless of what it was called it did exist except there wasn't a lot of research back then and we have come a long way since the 60's and 70's, as yes Aspergers and ADD/ADHD have similarities but have many major differences in mindset, behaviour, social skill levels etc I personally believe that ADD and ADHD are somewhere on the Autistic Spectrum and there are many people that would agree with this.

Autistic people can put themselves into other people's shoes but they don't do it in the same way as the NT's, people with ASD are express themselves in all ways but due to the difference in brain wiring they do it differently, I know this because I've researched ASD when it was supposedly incorrectly added to my ADHD diagnosis at the age of 13 and I've also read loads and loads of personal stories by those with ASD as well making friends with those with ASD and listening to them tell me their situation and I'll tell you now what you read in the Psychiatrist 'Bible" is not entirely true and I'll give you one example. In 2004 I was severely depressed and everyone knew it but very few bothered to call or see how I was but one other woman (with diagnosed Aspergers) and my mother (possible ADDer) were the only one's who bothered to care enough to call me to see how I was. The friend called once a week and would always ask "How are you"...so much for people with Aspergers not being able to feel empathy or put themselves in someone elses shoes although it is learnt on their part...yes they do have to be shown and taught but once they learn it they usually retain that information in my experience.

The bottom line is people with ASD and some ADD/ADHD people express themselves, their thoughts and their feelings differently to NT's.


Selena:)The essential differing factor between ADD and Aspergers is Theory of Mind:



Autistic people do not have this: they cannot put themselves in the shoes of others.

The simple Sally-Anne test (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sally-Anne_test) demonstrates the difference.




It wasn't that long ago that ADD without Hyperactivity didn't exist, or that much long ago that ADD was considered Minimal Brain Damage. Just because no official diagnosis exists for it yet (i.e., DSM), doesn't mean it cannot exist.

cthulhufhtagn
02-07-09, 12:31 AM
My father has Asperger's and so does my grandmother and my great grandmother did as well. My mother has ADD (inattentive) and my brother and sister do as well. As for me, I'm ADD (combined) and bipolar I. I also have an ADD friend who has a father with Asperger's so I think it's not uncommon for both disorders to pop up in the same family.

Pretty much the same here; my mom has Asperger's, my brother has Asperger's, and I'm Bipolar I and ADHD combined type. My mother has other issues too [affective disorder and substance issues] and my father is a depressive [possibly amended to BPII] so I don't know that I can say that's the direct influence, but it could be.