View Full Version : Aspergers vs. ADHD - Help?


ADHDKylee
06-09-09, 03:28 PM
I may have done something like this before, I can't remember, but it has gotten to the point where I'm thinking I might need to do something about it now.

I have been diagnosed with ADHD combined type by two different doctors for about eight months now. I do very well on medication, but some things are still a huge problem for me, which makes me question my diagnosis. I can fit all the symptoms and criteria for ADHD combined type except for a few of the hyperactivity ones, but I could fit those when I was younger. I hate touch, sounds, bright lights, and uncomfortable clothing and fabrics. They all cause me to get upset and for the clothing I will literally pull on it until it is completely stretched and not tight anymore. I get very upset and have no idea how to calm myself down, and when I do get upset I rock back and forth, flap my arms, hit objects (I used to lightly swat at my parents when I was younger) and even hit or hurt myself. I can never understand social cues and situations. I have never been popular or had a lot of friends.. I have hardly any at school. I get upset over small things like if a friend is late or not where they said they would be or if they decide to ditch me for someone else. But I can't understand when they get upset with me, and I can never understand their side no matter how much they explain it, but I expect them to see mine when I get upset with them, which is very often. Small social cues and facial expressions I often miss, I almost never say Hi or Bye to people, I can make eye contact but I don't really like to, I always forget to ask someone how they're doing after they've asked me, I find it hard to return smiles and accept compliments, I don't get it when people say I am being dramatic, people often storm off all mad at me yelling "AUGHHH YOU JUST DONT GET IT" when it comes to any social situation or disagreement/arguement I get into with the limited friends I do have, I do get humor and sarcasm somewhat but sometimes it takes me a little longer to figure out.. I have a bad short term memory, I can't remember to take my medicine or where I put my homework or shoes, but I can remember word for word a conversation I have had on an instant messaging system or phone a year ago. I think in pictures and have a bad sense of direction unless I have been somewhere before, because I have problems with verbal instructions sometimes. I have special interests as well that I obsess over, and I can't always tell when people are getting bored with me. I can sometimes, but I don't always understand why.

I have always liked to do things in my own way, and if people don't like that then oh well, but now that I am getting older I am noticing my lack of friends and it is slowly starting to bother me. I was only diagnosed with ADHD because my teacher pointed out that I was impulsive, very hyperactive, and extremely innattentive. I never saw anything different about me until I read into ADHD and realized that it was me. My parents refused to help and don't believe in it, so it looked as if I had taken on symptoms from books the way they had described it to doctors. Of course they also don't think I could ever have Aspergers either, because according to them a teenager with grades like mine, 80's and 90's (which I was failing before I started medication for ADHD), is too smart to be anything near Autistic. I have also heard that people with Aspergers don't realize they have it or are different, and that you can't have Aspergers and ADHD together. I know ADHD explains a lot of the problems I have, and fits me well, but there are still a lot of issues left unexplained by it. I know no one on here can tell me what is what, but I am really wondering whether it would be worth it to bring up the possibility of Aspergers to my doctor, like if it sounds like Aspergers could be a possibility for me at all. I have some people that say I don't look like I have it at all, but others that know me better say I do. I just don't want to have to go through all the annoyance and frustration if it doesn't sound anything like me... lol Sorry for rambling, this has just been driving me nutts, especially after one of my best friends yelled at me today and told me I never understand her at all :eek: :confused:

terryandcarol1
01-02-11, 11:36 PM
It is quite possible to have co-morbid dx's. My son is dx with aspergers as well as ADHD. You are correct that medication only helps certain symptoms and not others. That said, my daughter only has an ADHD dx, but she is much less capable of handling change than my son. The fact that you notice your "issues" would lead me to think you are less AS and more ADHD. That would be one of the biggest differences between my children. My daughter notices social slights (every time) and my son is oblivious 90% of the time.

"I hate touch, sounds, bright lights, and uncomfortable clothing and fabrics." These are symptoms of Sensory Integration Disorder vice indicators of AS. http://www.incrediblehorizons.com/sensory-integration.htm Both my children have SI as co-morbid dx. You could consult a pediatric Occupational Therapist about these issues.

I hope you find answers!

roseblood
01-03-11, 03:02 PM
I have also heard that people with Aspergers don't realize they have it or are different, and that you can't have Aspergers and ADHD together.
This is technically (and stupidly) true because of the way the DSM-IV defines AD/HD. This is criterion E for AD/HD:

E. The symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (http://www.behavenet.com/capsules/disorders/pdd.htm), Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder and are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Dissociative Disorders, or a Personality Disorder).

This means that if you have a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (of which Asperger's and PDD-NOS are two), you cannot be diagnosed with AD/HD as well without breaching these guidelines. HOWEVER, it's important that you know that it's well established and known by child psychiatrists that people with autism spectrum disorders have a VERY inflated chance of meeting the other criteria for AD/HD. That's actually the reason why they decided to make the labels mutually exclusive, because AD/HD symptoms are so common in autism that it was decided not worth giving people both diagnoses. The same is true of Developmental Coordination Disorder and PDDs. This doesn't mean that people with autism aren't treated for their AD/HD symptoms with medication and other therapies. What would probably happen if you were diagnosed with a PDD, is that your AD/HD diagnosis would be removed and in any official medical report about it the practitioner would mention that you have AD/HD symptoms associated with autism, or they would ignore criterion E and diagnose you with both. Either way, it wouldn't mean that you couldn't be treated for both conditions or have a practitioner explain in writing for relevant persons all of the difficulties that they identify in you. :)

Edit: I see this situations has resolved itself for you now anyway, but I'll leave this post up for anyone with similar questions. :)

Fortune
01-03-11, 03:25 PM
Edit: Oops! holy misread date. :D I didn't notice the OP was that old.

Spikey 723
02-28-11, 10:17 AM
This is technically (and stupidly) true because of the way the DSM-IV defines AD/HD. This is criterion E for AD/HD:

E. The symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (http://www.behavenet.com/capsules/disorders/pdd.htm), Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder and are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Dissociative Disorders, or a Personality Disorder).

This means that if you have a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (of which Asperger's and PDD-NOS are two), you cannot be diagnosed with AD/HD as well without breaching these guidelines.

I'm interested in this. According to an aspergers support group where I live, our primary care trust does not accept people with aspergers having any dual diagnosis.

However, I have a diagnosis of ADD, and was referred to another city for an aspergers assessment. That resulted in confirmation of adhd, and a diagnosis of atypical aspergers.

The paperwork hasn't come back yet - so I'm very interested what my primary care trust will make of it.

Fortune
02-28-11, 12:16 PM
I thought I answered this on another post of yours? I think many clinicians these days simply ignore that because it is demonstrably not true and 50-75% of autistic people fit the criteria for ADHD as well.

I have heard there are places where dual diagnoses aren't accepted, and doctors have to work around that to get necessary treatment.

Nitz
02-28-11, 02:44 PM
You sound pretty much like me. I hate unexpected touch, sounds, light and synthetic clothing, but learned to deal with it. The same way I learned not to be "spoiled" because I have an extra-sensitive sense of touch. At age 5 I was diagnosed with an unnamed disability to understand social cues, and it affects my life in every possible area(I have no friends at school, my fiqance'e is an Aspie, I have a verbal instead of written test because I don't undestand the hiddem meaning of the question and due to my whole thinking being random, visual-verbal-acoustic mix, and writing being extremely painful to my hands due to writing with all fingers. using all of the finger's muscles). My neurologist, the one who diagnosed me with ADHD, suspects I have NVLD(which I can't have, due to a nearly only visual memory) or Asperger's.

My mom still denies I have a real disability, and thinks my communication issues just "needs some practice".... I spent my afternoon screaming about her and about Jewish religious zealots aned brainless, patronizing house maids leading to a fight. I ant to move out of the house as soon as possible. :(

Spikey 723
03-01-11, 05:24 AM
I thought I answered this on another post of yours? I think many clinicians these days simply ignore that because it is demonstrably not true and 50-75% of autistic people fit the criteria for ADHD as well.

I have heard there are places where dual diagnoses aren't accepted, and doctors have to work around that to get necessary treatment.

Yeah, thanks.

This thread just reminded me that I live in a city where I don't think our NHS accepts dual diagnoses. I hadn't considered that before.

Fortune
03-01-11, 06:09 AM
Ah, right.

it makes no sense to not accept dual diagnoses. How can one build an accurate picture of someone's impairments if you're only allowed one diagnosis?

dsvlil1
03-01-11, 08:25 AM
I'm grateful to have found a clinic where they do understand the comorbidities of asd and adhd.
My daughter has a diagnosis of Aspergers and adhd, I have a tentative dx of pdd nos and am still being evaluated for adhd.
It's frustrating to think that people want a one size fits all dx as if people can be so labeled and easily dealt with, but in reality having an asd is going to increase the likelihood of adhd symptoms anyway.
The medical community loves to hack away at people with an occam's razor approach with little awareness that multiple diagnoses would be more apt.

fracturedstory
03-01-11, 08:53 PM
OP sounds AS to me. That whole not being aware thing doesn't fit everyone with AS, especially if girls are affected differently. Girls can be much more aware than boys. And that whole being too smart...yeah, to be diagnosed you need an IQ of 100 to +150. It's a stereotype for those with AS to have high IQ's.

I think it's far easier seeing the differences in someone with AS and ADHD rather than severe autism and ADHD. I mean if I was just diagnosed with autism and not ADHD I wouldn't be on meds and my life would just be a mess.

Fortune
03-01-11, 10:20 PM
OP sounds AS to me. That whole not being aware thing doesn't fit everyone with AS, especially if girls are affected differently. Girls can be much more aware than boys. And that whole being too smart...yeah, to be diagnosed you need an IQ of 100 to +150. It's a stereotype for those with AS to have high IQ's.

I am consistently surprised lately by how much I wasn't aware. The last few months have been pretty enlightening.

I mean, my awareness of "potentially autistic" goes back over ten years, but aside from a few flashes here and there, I mostly considered myself neurotypical until the past nine months. I did have a realization three years ago, but I buried it for some reason.