View Full Version : ADHD and the Autistic umbrella


ADHDKylee
03-13-09, 05:14 PM
I read in a book the other day that a lady thought ADHD should be placed under the Autistic Umbrella Disorders, because it was very similar to Asperger's or HFA (High Functioning Autism) I can't remember the name of the book... But what opinion do you all have of this? Do you agree or disagree?

AbsentMindProf
03-13-09, 05:44 PM
ADHD and autism spectrum disorders do share a number of characteristics, with executive function problems being high on the list. Based on recent genetic studies I've read, it seems that there is some overlap in the contributing genes. About 70% of people with Asperger syndrome independently meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD.

All of that said, I'm not sure that I'm persuaded that ADHD should be thought of as an autism spectrum disorder. While there is some noticable overlap of symptoms, there are differences, too. People with autism, for example, usually have much more obvious difficulties understanding other people's emotions and point of view. I'm actually quite good at reading facial expressions and body language, but that is a classic weakness for people with autism. I also don't think that ADHDers usually have the same type of sensory difficulties. Overall, I don't think ADHDers are generally as obviously "different" from others.

I certainly wouldn't discount the possibility, though. I have a son with Asperger syndrome and, in many ways, he seems more like me than either of us is like other people.

ADHDKylee
03-13-09, 05:54 PM
I personally think it would be an ok idea.. Especially because Asperger's is often misdiagnosed as ADHD, so they're evidently quite similar. I was diagnosed a few months ago with ADHD, but my mother and I are now starting to think it should been an ADHD/Asperger's mix. They're quite similar and I myself think they should be in the same diagnostic category.

speedo
03-13-09, 06:33 PM
ADHD and autism are two completely different things. The only thing they have in common is that many people on the autism spectrum also meet the requirements for a diagnosis of ADHD because a lot of people with autism seem so distracted, etc, etc. This is mostly due to autistic perservation, and NOT adhd, but some people on the spectrum do clearly have ADHD along with their autism.

But the inverse is not true, only few people with ADHD end up diagnosed with a PDD, which is why the definition for ADHD in the DSM-IV stated that the diagnosis for ADHD should not be given to someone who has a pervasive developmental disorder.

So if you have autism, you technically can't be diagnosed with ADHD because autism can look a bit like ADHD but usually for different reasons.

Me :D

ADHDKylee
03-13-09, 06:38 PM
ADHD and autism are two completely different things. The only thing they have in common is that many people on the autism spectrum also meet the requirements for a diagnosis of ADHD because a lot of people with autism seem so distracted, etc, etc. This is mostly due to autistic perservation, and NOT adhd, but some people on the spectrum do clearly have ADHD along with their autism.

But the inverse is not true, only few people with ADHD end up diagnosed with a PDD, which is why the definition for ADHD in the DSM-IV stated that the diagnosis for ADHD should not be given to someone who has a pervasive developmental disorder.

So if you have autism, you technically can't be diagnosed with ADHD because autism can look a bit like ADHD but for different reasons.

Me :DWell I'm not a doctor and wouldn't be able to know, but I do know that I meet all the criteria for ADHD and almost all the criteria for Asperger's except I have almost always kept eye contact. So unless I'm just really weird.. Now I'm confused.

Dizfriz
03-13-09, 06:42 PM
I personally think it would be an ok idea.. Especially because Asperger's is often misdiagnosed as ADHD, so they're evidently quite similar. I was diagnosed a few months ago with ADHD, but my mother and I are now starting to think it should been an ADHD/Asperger's mix. They're quite similar and I myself think they should be in the same diagnostic category.

This is a very interesting idea. One problem I see however is that there is a also a strong one way comorbidity between ADHD and Bipolar in that most kids who will be eventually diagnosed as Bipolar will be first diagnosed as ADHD but not the reverse.

I really at this time do not see a strong case that can be made for Asperger's/ADHD/Bipolar as a connected spectrum disorder. An argument could be made classifying them as disorders that involve the executive functions with perhaps some common causation. While this may someday prove to be of use, right now treating them as separate but comorbid seems to be the most useful for treatment purposes.

I do not know the statistics of cases of Asperger's comorbid with Bipolar. I have never seen one identified as such but that does not mean it cannot exist.

Great subject though.

Dizfriz

speedo
03-13-09, 06:44 PM
It's not unusual for people with AS to meet the criteria for an ADHD diagnosis. I'm just saying that it does not mean that there is a relationship between ADHD and AS, because the opposite is not true.... people with ADHD do not commonly meet the criteria for AS. AS and ADHD are completely different diagnoses by definition and as such it would make no sense to say that adhd and AS are closely related disorders.



Me :D

INaBOX
03-13-09, 06:47 PM
well, it would qualify us for the funding.

funny, i was talking to my son's principal yesterday and we had a very similar conversation .. whether or not J has high functioning Autism. It's not the first time people have wondered .. and I'm sitting on the fence with it. What frustrates me these days is the lack of umbrella we have. Here's my son's list of issues (past or present):

speech/lang delays
social challenges
slow learner
low muscle tone
possible dev coordination disorder
sensory issues (auditory)
emotionally immature
impulsive
behavioural issues
food issues
bed-wetting issues
auditory processing delays

.. im sure i can think up of others. Now tell me, how can he only have "ADHD-like characteristics" as a diagnoses?????

speedo
03-13-09, 06:48 PM
AS and OCD are common among people with AS.


Me :D

speedo
03-13-09, 06:51 PM
Yah funding is everything. It a shame they have to let people struggle just so the bureaucrats can save money.

you would think that they would declare ADHD abd AS to both be disorders in need of appropriate funding. I know for some thigns AS is not considered a disorder, It is almost criminal.

Me :D


well, it would qualify us for the funding.

funny, i was talking to my son's principal yesterday and we had a very similar conversation .. whether or not J has high functioning Autism. It's not the first time people have wondered .. and I'm sitting on the fence with it. What frustrates me these days is the lack of umbrella we have. Here's my son's list of issues (past or present):

speech/lang delays
social challenges
slow learner
low muscle tone
possible dev coordination disorder
sensory issues (auditory)
emotionally immature
impulsive
behavioural issues
food issues
bed-wetting issues
auditory processing delays

.. im sure i can think up of others. Now tell me, how can he only have "ADHD-like characteristics" as a diagnoses?????

speedo
03-13-09, 06:56 PM
Just for the conversation... I personally know someone who has AS and is officially diagnosed with adhd for the purpose of funding.
If this person were diagnosed as having AS they would not be able to get benefits to help with living and medical exp[enses in this state.

Me :D

ADHDKylee
03-14-09, 12:04 PM
So they don't help people with Asperger's as much as they help people with ADHD? I almost find that confusing, because at my school it took me a while to get an IEP for ADHD, and ADHD kids are not allowed to be in special education but children with Asperger's are. I find that dumb as well, but I guess they just don't see ADHD as big enough in some places.. Which is really one of the reasons I think it should be added to the Autistic umbrella of disorders, because then maybe it would be taken more seriously. Just my opinion..

INaBOX
03-14-09, 02:26 PM
Just for the conversation... I personally know someone who has AS and is officially diagnosed with adhd for the purpose of funding.
If this person were diagnosed as having AS they would not be able to get benefits to help with living and medical exp[enses in this state.

Me :D

I'm having a dumb moment .. what's AS? Autism, Aspergers? What funding do we get for ADHD???

Lady Lark
03-14-09, 03:26 PM
So they don't help people with Asperger's as much as they help people with ADHD? I almost find that confusing, because at my school it took me a while to get an IEP for ADHD, and ADHD kids are not allowed to be in special education but children with Asperger's are. I find that dumb as well, but I guess they just don't see ADHD as big enough in some places.. Which is really one of the reasons I think it should be added to the Autistic umbrella of disorders, because then maybe it would be taken more seriously. Just my opinion..

I think it probably depends on the state, city, school district, etc. I am far more likely to get help from Steven's school due to his Asperger's then his ADHD, but I can't get anything from the state for either, because this state doesn't recognize Asperger's as being on the autistic spectrum. Yet, if he was HF Autism, I could get state aid.

In a box, AS can mean Autistic Spectrum, or it can mean Asperger's. It kinda depends on the context.

ADHDKylee
03-14-09, 04:42 PM
I think it probably depends on the state, city, school district, etc. I am far more likely to get help from Steven's school due to his Asperger's then his ADHD, but I can't get anything from the state for either, because this state doesn't recognize Asperger's as being on the autistic spectrum. Yet, if he was HF Autism, I could get state aid.

In a box, AS can mean Autistic Spectrum, or it can mean Asperger's. It kinda depends on the context.I think that it's usually easier to get help for Aspergers or Autism than ADHD, but I guess it just depends upon how you look at it. I also think it's very possible to have both together.. It just gives people a better idea of what you need help with and what's really wrong.

AbsentMindProf
03-16-09, 08:10 AM
In most areas, it's easier to get services with a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome. The state of NY, for example, mandates that anyone with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum must get speech instruction five times a week for at least 30 minutes each time. Since my son doesn't have a language delay, he gets 2 1/2 hours a week of instruction on conversation skills. That's extremely valuable.

BTW: Kylee -- There are people with Aspergers that make good eye contact. Eye contact is tough for most, but people with AS are individuals and can differ widely from each other. Poor eye contact is not absolutely necessary for the diagnosis.

Lady Lark
03-16-09, 10:54 AM
That really depends on if the state agrees that Aspergers is a form of AS, which Arizona currently doesn't. So if Steven had AS, I could get services, but since he's an Aspie, I can't.

Kylee, you need to remember that Asperger's has a spectrum, just like Autism. My son doesn't have the obsession with one topic like so many aspies do, but that doesn't mean he's not Aspergers.