View Full Version : Is ADHD with Autism the same ADHD?


mrsmith
10-13-10, 03:00 AM
Are phrases like "also having ADHD" meaningful?

Is the response to Ritalin and other stimulant medication the same?

Is it the same proportion of really hyperactive children, (impulsitivity)?

Is it a distinct group from mainstream Autism (and related)?

Usually genetic (relatives being non-autistic ADHD)?

Trooper Keith
10-13-10, 11:21 AM
"Are phrases like "also having ADHD" meaningful?"

Inasmuch as it will provide insight into the symptom cluster, yes. I'm not a fan of this particular dual diagnosis but it seems to be fairly common so there you go.

"Is the response to Ritalin and other stimulant medication the same?"

As I understand it, yes.

"Is it the same proportion of really hyperactive children, (impulsitivity)?"

Autism can cause hyperactivity in and of itself, so I think the number of impulsive people with autism is going to be higher than the general population with or without ADHD.

"Is it a distinct group from mainstream Autism (and related)?"

It falls into the "dual diagnosis" category, so it's somewhat distinct.

"Usually genetic (relatives being non-autistic ADHD)?"

As far as I know, yes.

TygerSan
10-13-10, 01:17 PM
If I recall correctly, the DSM-IV makes it very difficult to diagnose someone as being both Autistic and ADHD, because the attention deficits and hyperactivity *could* be part of the autism. The clinical view on this seems to be changing, however.

A year or two ago, I was at a conference where people were looking at treating kids with both ASD and ADHD symptoms with Straterra and getting good results. I'm not saying that the stimulants don't work, just that there may be different sensitivities to drugs in people with ASD (some report much greater sensitivity).

mrsmith
10-13-10, 01:39 PM
If I recall correctly, the DSM-IV makes it very difficult to diagnose someone as being both Autistic and ADHD, because the attention deficits and hyperactivity *could* be part of the autism. The clinical view on this seems to be changing, however.

Cant remember reading anything like that?
Thought it was just problems above a certain level, regardless of reason?

StoicNate
10-13-10, 02:42 PM
I have ADHD along with Asperger's and Mathematics Disability. All professionally diagnosed by my Psychologist.

I am really sensitive to any medication/substance, even Caffeine.
I can only take very small doses. Standard doses are too much for me.

mrsmith
12-02-10, 06:57 AM
But autism is generally left-brain, while ADHD is right-brain(?).

So how can you be typical ADHD and and Autistic at the same time?

Trooper Keith
12-02-10, 11:45 AM
But autism is generally left-brain, while ADHD is right-brain(?).

So how can you be typical ADHD and and Autistic at the same time?

Right brain / left brain stuff is typically pop psych bunk. What exactly are you talking about?

dsvlil1
12-02-10, 04:38 PM
Ah the nice clean clean left versus right brain functioning.

When they removed a small portion of my right brain I developed a deficit that "should" only have occurred had the equivalent part of my left brain been removed- everybody is wired differently.

Autism and adhd are not contradictory conditions......if that's what you're getting at.

My daughter can be blind to the context and inferences regarding social interactions and this is a manifestation of her Asperger's, but her oblivious nature which distracts her from attending to the conversation at hand is her adhd.

She has days where she is just so innatentive that she doesn't even pick up opportunities to rear her pragmatic bent, but she'll still run around flapping her arms until she gets distracted by a fly.

bumpey
12-02-10, 08:46 PM
Theres so many profesionals with contradictory veiws. I don't recall the brain being sussed ie treatments for alziemmers etc, its still ongoing with research but those profesionals that don't experience it but hold concrete veiws on it are there en mass. Its also down to budgets as well. If you say it can't happen, then you don't have to fund it.

Probably better doing your own research, theres books on having both, both in ADHD and Asperger books. The brain is a complex aray of neural pathways (millions of spider webs if you like), and instead of saying its posible, or even each persons agenda, making concrete judjements off theorys to suit.

Its all about finding out what the problems are, so people can learn there own coping mechanisms, regardless of what others think.

fracturedstory
12-03-10, 12:17 AM
Personally, I think ADHD and autism/AS on their own are different from having the two together.

I'm going to be very rigid in my explanation so just bare with me.

Autistics need sameness, have attention to detail, have far more sensory issues and lack of emotional control. Not to mention the severe lack of social skills.

People with ADHD seem to have worse memory problems; both short term and long term verses someone with autism. My long term memory isn't as good as other people with autism/AS. People with ADHD tend to not see details. I can be one or the other.

People with ADHD seem more empathic. There are some with autism/AS that are just so black and white and although some have empathy I relate it more to ADHD.

Autism is first noticed at 16-18 months. AS is seen a few years later or when the child has to deal with more stress which shows more symptoms.

People with autism/AS can only focus on one thing and be far more obsessional about it than people with ADHD.

People with ADHD have many interests and get distracted a lot; autistics not so much.

Physical symptoms of disability are noticeable more in autism. Many of us look far younger and have a 'blank eye' stare.

ADHD fidgeting is because of under/over stimulation; autism stimming is to deal with stress.

People with just autism have no problem reading a large wall of text. I have to make my mosts ADHD friendly in here and on my blogs opposed to the autistic forum.

Inattentive ADHD is very noticeable in someone with autism, particularly the HFA type.

Stimulants don't seem to work on people that are just autistic.


OK now me. I didn't speak until I was two and then not much until I was 4-5. My skills were severely lacking even up into my late teens. I hate change. I can feel unsettled or have a meltdown over it. My visual ability is poor. I can't see whole objects, just what makes them up. I function well with routine and order but can find myself falling into ADHD traps of procrastination, hyper focus, and being distracted.
If I didn't go on medication I would be lying on a couch watching TV. Normally, I don't have the energy or focus to spend time on any of my interests which are physics, astronomy and neuroscience. I also tend to become sleepy from reading. If I was just autistic I wouldn't have these problems. I also find myself only able to talk about my interests.
For my first 14 years of life the only thing that mattered to me was drawing.
I can't read people. I misunderstand things all the time. Sarcasm hurts my brain. I'm share information that is far too personal and inappropriate. I feel close to no one except my cats. Under stress I flap my hands and become non-verbal, non-responsive to my environment. I have strange sensitivities/allergies to food, drink, medications. I get attached to people like they are a parental figure.
I've also regressed and am far more literal, rigid in routines, impulsive, quick to meltdowns/shutdowns, unable to comprehend verbally as well as before, have worse motor skills, and have become more withdrawn from people. It makes my inattentive symptoms worse.


I suppose I could just easily say I find both my ADHD symptoms and autistic symptoms impairing. I can't live without medication but I fit every criteria for autistic disorder (not AS).
I talk about myself a lot too. I don't tend to notice that in people with just ADHD.
Every criticism build towards a meltdown too.

mrsmith
12-10-10, 06:53 PM
Ah the nice clean clean left versus right brain functioning.

There is a IQ criteria for NVLD where the verbal intelligence is quite high.
Not in relation to "right" intelligence though, but I guess it is common.
(And also it is not the same as left dominant).

I have also heard neuro-psychiatrists say that ADHD people are "right brained".

fracturedstory
12-10-10, 08:35 PM
I did both a survey on people with AS and ADHD.
Many of both had a lot of right brained traits, but a few had a balance on both sides.
I have a balance on both sides but growing up I was more right brained.

The more higher functioning autism will have people being more logical and academic (left) and the more severe would be creative (right). In AS verbal IQ is high and in classic autism it is low. That's how it's diagnosed.
But everyone is different. And doctor's will throw any old diagnostic label on you to get you out of the room.

INaBOX
12-11-10, 04:21 AM
A year or two ago, I was at a conference where people were looking at treating kids with both ASD and ADHD symptoms with Straterra and getting good results. I'm not saying that the stimulants don't work, just that there may be different sensitivities to drugs in people with ASD (some report much greater sensitivity).

It didn't help my son very much.. a little, maybe, and only at a low dose. anything more, it turned him into an aggressive person.

Justtess
12-18-10, 10:17 PM
Is ADHD with Autism the same ADHD?

No.


We started looking into asperger type symptoms to explain why medication didn't just work. My son's doc was a bit troubled by some of the inconsistent behaviors we were still seeing because.... he mentioned if you take the right med + dosage many behaviors subside over time.

My now almost adult son has always seemed to be very inconsistent with academic achievement. One one hand, he could stare at a paragraph where the letters represented another letter and decode it within 10 minutes then summarize it. Later, he could fail a reading test that was painfully boring but should have been simple for him.

When I read the American Pediatric Association's list of behaviors present during infancy for children dx with asperger, I found many of the hypersensitive traits were obviously there when my son was an infant.

He takes stimulants and he says it quiets the number of input he's trying to process but he doesn't necessarily want to take meds all the time.

He has learned to cope and I think it is largely due to his positive school environment where there are a few other students like him learning to communicate and work together.

fracturedstory
12-18-10, 11:16 PM
It didn't help my son very much.. a little, maybe, and only at a low dose. anything more, it turned him into an aggressive person.
I had to go on a much lower dose too. I'm quite sensitive to medication.
I got 8 severe side effects, including seizures.
Now I'm back to my obsessed with a certain topic, executive dysfunctioned, extremely mood self.

mimi'sdreaming
12-20-10, 10:28 PM
Cant remember reading anything like that?
Thought it was just problems above a certain level, regardless of reason?

From everything I've read, a diagnosis of Autism trumps ADHD.:confused:

I agree with bumpy though; All that really matters is treating the symptoms and finding what works best in the given situation.

It's all very confusing!

Fortune
12-20-10, 10:35 PM
From everything I've read, a diagnosis of Autism trumps ADHD.:confused:

It's all very confusing!

There are several on this forum who have been diagnosed with ADHD and AS or autism, probably many more who have both and haven't been diagnosed.

I think that ADHD is a common comorbidity with AS, another most ADHDers don't have AS, if that makes sense?

mctavish23
12-20-10, 10:45 PM
No, it's ADHD with comorbid ASD (seriously).

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

Imnapl
12-20-10, 10:56 PM
From everything I've read, a diagnosis of Autism trumps ADHD.:confused:

I agree with bumpy though; All that really matters is treating the symptoms and finding what works best in the given situation.

It's all very confusing!It does matter for school funding. In my province, ADHD by itself is not a funded category. Autism is a very highly funded category. Funding criteria tends to stick with the disorder that will bring in the most support for the individual student.

Fortune
12-20-10, 10:56 PM
No, it's ADHD with comorbid ASD (seriously).

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

Oh? That seems strangely backward.

mctavish23
12-20-10, 11:05 PM
No. Not really.

It depends of course on the severity,however, the way the question was posed, with

ADHD listed first, then that's the right order.

Bottom line, it depends on which causes the more serious impairments.

Having diagnosed this combination many times, it still depends on the situation,however,

the order has usually gone that way.

One of the biggest reasons is because a diagnosis of straight AUTISM, implies MR.

While ADHD can run the gamut of IQ ranges from Mild MR to Genius, the way this

usually pairs up is to call it PDD NOS.

That will translate into ASD at some point.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

Fortune
12-20-10, 11:08 PM
Ah.

See, I see autism as encompassing autism itself, PDD-NOS, and AS.

Also, I thought I had read somewhere that it generally worked out that way.

It seems in general that ASD are more severe than ADHD, although that can vary widely from person to person.

INaBOX
01-09-11, 08:46 PM
I had to go on a much lower dose too. I'm quite sensitive to medication.
I got 8 severe side effects, including seizures.
Now I'm back to my obsessed with a certain topic, executive dysfunctioned, extremely mood self.

What are you like without meds? Is there much of a difference between what you've just described on a low dose to being med free?

My son has been off meds for nearly 2 months now. Wow, time flies. I don't find him to be nearly as aggressive but he still has his moments. I have found a Behaviour Consultant who is also a doctor and counsellor. I have yet to meet her personally but have had a long phone consultation so far. I'm feeling optimistic!

fracturedstory
01-09-11, 08:55 PM
What are you like without meds? Is there much of a difference between what you've just described on a low dose to being med free?

My son has been off meds for nearly 2 months now. Wow, time flies. I don't find him to be nearly as aggressive but he still has his moments. I have found a Behaviour Consultant who is also a doctor and counsellor. I have yet to meet her personally but have had a long phone consultation so far. I'm feeling optimistic!
I've been more forgetful, procrastinative, distracted, frustrated but then I only went all those symptoms free on Ritalin for the first 6 months.
I've been trying to keep myself in order with to-do lists but my routines have come back so has my aversion for change.
I've been having cognitive problems at times but that could be the undiagnosed seizures.



One of the biggest reasons is because a diagnosis of straight AUTISM, implies MR.

Not high functioning autism and that is not always AS. I know people with HFA that have higher IQ's than me.

The more severe type which is even different from HFA are usually in the MR range.

Fortune
01-09-11, 09:05 PM
And many of those diagnosed with severe autism are incorrectly considered to be MR because they are nonverbal and do not otherwise communicate in expected ways.

INaBOX
01-09-11, 09:24 PM
dumb moment .. what's MR?

Fortune
01-09-11, 09:25 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_retardation

Icecream
01-09-11, 11:00 PM
Interesting topic, good question. In school the criteria for autism is an IQ of below 50 or 60. ADHD people usually have normal intelligence, so maybe a learning disability would make up for something.

Fortune
01-09-11, 11:10 PM
Interesting topic, good question. In school the criteria for autism is an IQ of below 50 or 60. ADHD people usually have normal intelligence, so maybe a learning disability would make up for something.

Is that in the criteria for autism?

I have looked at the criteria and I have never seen such a thing. The criteria for Asperger's Syndrome and Autism seem to differ rather slightly, in fact.

Kanner's patients did not themselves fit that criteria, or many of the other criteria people assume are necessary for "classic autism."

If anything, MR excludes a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome, but a normal or higher IQ does not necessarily preclude a diagnosis of autistic disorder.

fracturedstory
01-10-11, 02:50 AM
Is that in the criteria for autism?

I have looked at the criteria and I have never seen such a thing. The criteria for Asperger's Syndrome and Autism seem to differ rather slightly, in fact.

Kanner's patients did not themselves fit that criteria, or many of the other criteria people assume are necessary for "classic autism."

If anything, MR excludes a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome, but a normal or higher IQ does not necessarily preclude a diagnosis of autistic disorder.
It's a classification of low functioning autism.

Oh and I don't agree with the classification of MR for LFA. People are only told they have MR because of their performance IQ. When really they are intelligent in other ways.

To people in this thread: autism doesn't mean you have an IQ of less than 60. That's the oldschool definition.
In the DSM V autistic disorder will have no IQ classification. It will just be mild/moderate/severe.

Fortune
01-13-11, 06:53 PM
One of the biggest reasons is because a diagnosis of straight AUTISM, implies MR.

This was bothering me, so I have found some science (http://foa.sagepub.com/content/21/2/66.abstract) about this:


Abstract

There are frequent claims in the literature that a majority of children With autism are mentally retarded (MR). The present study examined the evidence used as the basis for these claims, revieWing 215 articles published betWeen 1937 and 2003. Results indicated 74% of the claims came from nonempirical sources, 53% of Which never traced back to empirical data. Most empirical evidence for the claims Was published 25 to 45 years ago and Was often obtained utilizing developmental or adaptive scales rather than measures of intelligence. Furthermore, significantly higher prevalence rates of MR Were reported When these measures Were used. Overall, the findings indicate that more empirical evidence is needed before conclusions can be made about the percentages of children With autism Who are mentally retarded.


And cherry picking half of the first paragraph:


To be diagnosed with autism in the United States, a
child must meet criteria as defined in the Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
The child’s cognitive ability has never been part of the diag-
nostic criteria for autism in any of the versions of the DSM in
which autism has appeared (American Psychiatric Association
[APA], 1980, 1987, 1994, 2000).


It goes on to say it is listed as an associated condition.



The PDF is free, btw.