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  #1  
Old 03-09-11, 12:46 PM
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ADHD vs Aspergers

What are the differences between those two? As far as I can tell, there are only two:

(1)
Aspergers: people with Aspergers tend to focus on one task for a long time and don't stop.
ADD / ADHD: people with ADD rarely do that.

(2)
Aspergers tend to be socially awkward, for lack of a more politically correct word.

ADD / ADHD: not necessarily
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Old 03-09-11, 01:08 PM
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Re: ADHD vs Aspergers

Why would you compare the two? And I think that a certain group of people with ADD innatentive are also socially awkward, like me.
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Old 03-09-11, 01:15 PM
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Re: ADHD vs Aspergers

People with Asperger syndrome are much more likely to have unusual sensory experiences, such as extreme sensitivities to things that would not bother most people.

People with Asperger syndrome also usually have more trouble understanding other people than those with ADHD do. For example, most people with AS have trouble reading facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, etc. Many folks with ADHD have no trouble with these. With ADHD, there may be social difficulties, but they aren't quite the same. More generally, people with Asperger syndrome are more likely to find various aspects of social interaction to be confusing.

The obsessive interests associated with Asperger syndrome are more likely to involve unusual things -- the 9 year old that knows every single one of Frank Sinatra's songs, for example.

Asperger syndrome is also much more likely to involve difficulties in the social use of language (although this can be impaired in ADHD also).

Undeniably, though, people with ADHD and Asperger syndrome have a lot of the same traits.
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Old 03-09-11, 03:37 PM
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Re: ADHD vs Aspergers

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Originally Posted by Djo77 View Post
Why would you compare the two? And I think that a certain group of people with ADD innatentive are also socially awkward, like me.
add inattentive isnt related to socially awkward

combineds have it just as bad

people with social anxiety are also socially awkward



but not for the same reasons
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Old 03-09-11, 06:38 PM
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Re: ADHD vs Aspergers

For starter's an Asperger's interest is a bit more than a long interest in one thing. It's seen as an obsession to non-autistics. To the autistic it is their very oxygen. If they are disrupted from it or not allowed to partake in it then you will have a very angry child/sibling/parent/significant other.
For example: yesterday I watched Stargate from 3pm to 11pm and didn't stop thinking about it until 10am today. I had to really restrain myself from buying any of the merch off Ebay too. And I keep getting get distressed about thew cancellation of SGA and SGU and become doubtful and then opitistic about the movies.

But I'm autistic and I've heard that some with AS have many interests and may only be able to focus on one at one time over a number of months and then get back into another interest when they, not really become bored with them, but get interested in a previous interest or a new one and put more focus on it.
I suppose I'm like that. I keep thinking about when I'll get another interest beside SG. I've been thinking about getting into astronomy or physics again but I'm not done with SG just yet.

The social awkwardness is about a lack of understanding social rules. And when they do understand them or become aware of them they don't know why people even bother with following them. Many don't know how to have a normal conversation and would take every opportunity to talk about their special interest.
Some are either oversenstivie or have a thick skin. I have to stop myself getting into arguments with them because some things they say can be really offensive without them realising. I pretty much watch all the words I say unless I mean to stir people up. Some really don't consider others feelings. Not all are like that. Some could be the exact opposite.

Also, there's the obvious thing like more classic autistic behaviour such as stimming, echolalia, lining things up/stacking, meltdowns, aversion to change and having poor motor skills. Actually I think those with AS have worse motor skills than classically autistic. Or so I've heard.

I also find that ADHD forums have much more sarcasm. On an AS forum the friendliest jibe can turn into a flame war.

Sure there are similarities between AS and ADHD but I think if you have more impairment in one of those disorders you are more likely to have that one. I'm lucky because I'm both impaired in inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, and autistic symptoms. Lucky because I can tell the difference.
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Old 03-09-11, 07:03 PM
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Re: ADHD vs Aspergers

I'm diagnosed with both, so I have all of the traits of ADHD and Asperger's.
It feels like a lot of things to overcome, but it's next to impossible.
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Old 03-09-11, 07:08 PM
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Re: ADHD vs Aspergers

Well... they can both have social difficulties, but for different reasons.

AS people have trouble reading body language, so may respond inappropriately. People with ADHD-only can read body language, but they can miss it due to being distracted easily, leading to inappropriate responses.

People with AS can sometimes monologue about their special interest, because they are obsessed and can't read boredom very well. People with ADHD can be really talkative due to hyperactivity/reduced inhibition.

You can have both, which I suspect I have. I.e. the executive function issues with AS can overlap so much with ADHD that you basically fit the criteria for both conditions.. I think.
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Old 03-09-11, 11:58 PM
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Re: ADHD vs Aspergers

That's my problem. I definitely have ADHD. I am not missing a single thing. But I also seem to have many things that are typical of AS. I guess a therapist is more likely to figure out if I have the latter or not.
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Old 03-10-11, 12:03 AM
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Re: ADHD vs Aspergers

I think executive functioning is more impaired in ADHD. When I really set myself to do something I can do it...with medication.
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Old 03-10-11, 05:59 AM
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Re: ADHD vs Aspergers

Quote:
Originally Posted by fracturedstory View Post
For starter's an Asperger's interest is a bit more than a long interest in one thing. It's seen as an obsession to non-autistics. To the autistic it is their very oxygen. If they are disrupted from it or not allowed to partake in it then you will have a very angry child/sibling/parent/significant other.
For example: yesterday I watched Stargate from 3pm to 11pm and didn't stop thinking about it until 10am today. I had to really restrain myself from buying any of the merch off Ebay too. And I keep getting get distressed about thew cancellation of SGA and SGU and become doubtful and then opitistic about the movies.

But I'm autistic and I've heard that some with AS have many interests and may only be able to focus on one at one time over a number of months and then get back into another interest when they, not really become bored with them, but get interested in a previous interest or a new one and put more focus on it.
I suppose I'm like that. I keep thinking about when I'll get another interest beside SG. I've been thinking about getting into astronomy or physics again but I'm not done with SG just yet.

The social awkwardness is about a lack of understanding social rules. And when they do understand them or become aware of them they don't know why people even bother with following them. Many don't know how to have a normal conversation and would take every opportunity to talk about their special interest.
This should be 'ADD forum post of the year'. Thanks for describing what this is like so we can understand.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fracturedstory View Post
I pretty much watch all the words I say unless I mean to stir people up.
Do you have to really think about it before you say something to stir someone up or does it just come naturally like it does with ADHD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fracturedstory View Post
Some really don't consider others feelings. Not all are like that. Some could be the exact opposite.
How does this work? Do all autistics lack theory of mind? Do you have some that can put themselves in others shoes (not literally) or would they be over sensitive to others feelings for another reason?

I always ruled out AS for myself because of the theory of mind thing and for me I think the ADHD overrides everything else coz I'm such a smartar$e. Just can't help myself. I also don't experience the obsession thing as I am too easily distracted.

On the other hand I have meltdowns. I remember numbers (number plates from my parents cars going back 20 years. Phone numbers etc). I can also recall entire conversations, how someone moved their hands in the conversations and what music was playing at the time. I can retreat into my own shell quite easily and disengage from the world. It took until I was about 7 before I really registered that there was a world going on around me with others in it. Before that I would just 'be'.

Sometimes I wonder if I started out being more AS and then morphed over time to being more ADHD.
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Old 03-10-11, 06:22 AM
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Re: ADHD vs Aspergers

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Originally Posted by tudorose View Post
How does this work? Do all autistics lack theory of mind? Do you have some that can put themselves in others shoes (not literally) or would they be over sensitive to others feelings for another reason?

I always ruled out AS for myself because of the theory of mind thing and for me I think the ADHD overrides everything else coz I'm such a smartar$e. Just can't help myself. I also don't experience the obsession thing as I am too easily distracted.
Could you describe what you mean by theory of mind?

I have seen definitions ranging from the totally ignorant statement that "autists don't realize people are people" to definitions based on tests that use complex language with children who tend to have language usage/communication impairments, which makes it difficult to properly gauge whether or not theory of mind is at work at all, or the child simply doesn't properly understand the question because it is confusing - and also, children with other disabilities (I forget which one) also score badly on the same theory of mind tests, which further makes it difficult to take this at face value. I can find research that backs this up, but not at 3:20 am.

I mean, I'm not saying that there aren't any theory of mind impairments among autistic people. There probably are (and many describe such things, and I've had issues when I was younger), but the term itself needs to be carefully defined.

Quote:
On the other hand I have meltdowns. I remember numbers (number plates from my parents cars going back 20 years. Phone numbers etc). I can also recall entire conversations, how someone moved their hands in the conversations and what music was playing at the time. I can retreat into my own shell quite easily and disengage from the world. It took until I was about 7 before I really registered that there was a world going on around me with others in it. Before that I would just 'be'.

Sometimes I wonder if I started out being more AS and then morphed over time to being more ADHD.
I've read similar from at least a few other autistic people. Depending on your definitions, that might actually be a theory of mind thing.

Some people seem to cope better/become "less autistic" over time. Temple Grandin suggests this is the norm, but I think that it's actually all over the map (become less autistic, more autistic, stay about the same, etc).
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Old 03-10-11, 07:19 AM
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Re: ADHD vs Aspergers

I don't think it's quite correct to say that people with Aserpger syndrome have "no" theory of mind. It's not as if they have absolutely no ability to understand someone else's feelings. It's more accurate, I think, to say that they must make a conscious effort to understand others, whereas this is a largely automatic process for most people.

Most of us can make judgements about other people's feelings and thoughts without devoting much conscious thought to it. Our brains just kind of automatically "read" other people, with varying degrees of accuracy. With people with Asperger syndrome, it requires much more conscious, intellectual reasoning. Many report that they find social events exhausting because of the sustained mental effort required to meet social expectations.

I have a son with Asperger syndrome and I explained it to him by saying it's kind of like most people have a "social judgements program" that starts when their mental computer is booted up and that runs in the background. For people with Asperger syndrome, it's more like social judgements require running 20 or 30 commands, one by one, in DOS.
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Old 03-10-11, 12:02 PM
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Re: ADHD vs Aspergers

Yeah, it's necessary for many to analyze social situations to come to conclusions about what other people may be thinking and feeling, which can sometimes be awkward because the conclusions can be wrong, and also it can take long enough to analyze the situation that everyone else has moved on to a different topic. This usually means I just remain quiet in a group unless something stands out and gets my attention.

I have read reports by multiple autistic people who have described finding it easier to socialize with other at least some (generally not all) other autistic people (reading body language, emotional states, etc), whereas it seems to me that a lot of non-autistic people have as much, if not more difficulty reading autistic people than vice versa, probably due to the fact that it can become a matter of social survival for autistics, but non-autistics are rarely in situations where the need to understand autistic people is all that pressing. But this implies to me that there's more going on here than needing a conscious effort to understand others.

Personally, I know my understanding of social situations is often flawed. Not because I do not realize other people have thoughts, emotions, etc of their own but because I don't interpret them easily. I also find that other people's interpretations of my thoughts and emotions can run pretty fair afield and sometimes make no sense to me at all.
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Old 03-10-11, 02:26 PM
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Re: ADHD vs Aspergers

My friend has Aspergers and he has no motor problems at all and is in fact quite normal until you realize that he is obsessive in his interests (mainly music). I almost wonder though if he isn't just ADHD-PH instead ha.
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Old 03-10-11, 05:59 PM
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Re: ADHD vs Aspergers

My understanding of theory of mind is whether you can translate how your actions are going to affect another person. My HFA son does care if his actions affect other people but this thought does not occur to him at the time of the event or decision. He does care about others feelings. This make social stuff hard for him.
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