Autism vs adhd Everything you should know
Today, an estimated one in every 110 children in the United States is diagnosed with autism. That’s a 78% increase since 2002.
There are no known single or simple cause for needing autism treatment , but there are factors that seem to increase the risk of having autism spectrum disorder (ASD), among them advanced parental age at time of conception, having twins or other multiples, and maternal illness during pregnancy.
However, autism is not considered a “rare” disorder by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) despite the sharp increase in autism rates to about 1% of children in recent years.
Despite its commonness, many people don’t even know what autism is.
Some think that autism is a form of mental retardation, but actually it’s the opposite; autistic people tend to have normal or even high intelligence while having difficulty understanding and relating to other people.
Instead, autism treatment focuses on helping an autistic child understand his emotions and communicate with others in socially acceptable ways.
Autism vs adhd.
The two are distinct diseases, despite having many of the same symptoms.
autism is a neurological disorder that hinders social interaction and communication skills in young children. It is usually recognized by the age of three. Autism’s root cause has yet to be determined, but researchers suspect an abnormality in the brain’s frontal lobe`s connection. This can be shown through a multitude of symptoms, such as lack of social cues and delayed speech development.
On the other hand, adhd is a developmental disorder that hinders a person’s ability to concentrate or control impulses at a young age. Despite being closely related to autism, adhd can be detected at a much earlier age. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, hyperactivity and impulsivity become evident as early as toddler-hood. The key difference between the two is that children with adhd may not necessarily lack social skills.
They often have trouble living normal lives in society because of their condition.
Although both diseases carry the same symptoms, they are not interchangeable. The two must be treated independently and vary in severity from one individual to another. Exact statistics on how many people have either disease is nonexistent because of their newness and how they can go undiagnosed for years at a time. However, research is advancing exponentially.
Is adhd a form of autism?
ADHD is not a form of Autism. They are two completely different disorders.
Autism is a developmental disability that impairs the social and communicative skills of an individual.
ADHD mainly affects the person’s ability to focus or pay attention, it doesn’t have any effect on their social or communicative abilities.
Hyperactivity is associated with attention deficit in many children with autism.
In people with autism, hyperactivity is a common behavior that is difficult to control. Hyperactivity in children may be caused by genetic abnormalities. People with autism are unable to control the impulses in their brain, so they act out. This can be extremely disruptive to family life, causing problems for teachers at school and friendships are also affected.
Core features of autism include impairments in social interaction, communication difficulties, and restricted or repetitive behavior.
autism and adhd in adults.
Both autism and adhd usually continue to affect people as they grow older, but in different ways.
How do they manifest?
Autistic adults may become aware that their social behaviour is not like that of most other people by the time they are teenagers, or may not realise it fully until adulthood. This can cause anxiety and depression which can lead to behavioural problems, or they may start to develop obsessive compulsive symptoms.
Adhd adults often become aware of their adhd when they are teenagers, so might find it difficult at school. They may also have developed coping strategies for dealing with the symptoms by this time, but these can be gradually undermined if they move into an adult world where they are not needed or rewarded. Without these coping strategies, adhd symptoms can become more apparent. Many people with adhd find that hyperfocus becomes less effective as an adult and they may need to use different coping strategies at this point (see separate article on hyperfocus).
Some autistic adults focus on special interests and develop into socially isolated ‘serial specialists’. They may be able to recall a substantial amount of accurate information about their special interest, but not be able to generalise this knowledge outside that area.
Some adhd adults become aware in adulthood that they have a problem which is different from the one they were diagnosed with as children; for example, some people who were diagnosed with adhd at school may discover that they have inattentive adhd when they are adults, and struggle to focus on organising their lives.
Can autism be mistaken for ADHD?
Yes, most of the times autism can cause inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity leading to diagnoses of ADHD.
However an important fact is that adhd is not present in all cases with autism spectrum disorder (asd) and autism is not present in all cases with ADHD.
There’s not a clear answer why ADHD and autism co-occur so high, but there might be certain common neural and genetic factors for the conditions to share some symptoms together.
The age at which adhd is diagnosed can also influence if autism is mistaken for adhd: when autistic children are diagnosed later, they may have already been diagnosed with adhd.
Is ADHD a form of retardation?
No. ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and not attention deficit retardation.
Some people with adhd may have a hard time doing planning, can be a bit slow with some things, may require extensive directions and might need to repeat instructions.
But that does not mean they are retarded or have a lower intelligence.
Actually in the early 20th century it was believed that children who had adhd were intellectually inferior to their peers. This has been shown wrong when researchers found that children with adhd scored equal or even better than the average child in IQ tests.
Conclusion: No one knows for sure what causes autism, but doctors have some ideas. Many of the risk factors are related to a mother’s health during pregnancy and her age at time of conception. If you’re considering starting a family or if your child is already affected by ASD, it’s important to know that there are treatments available. Contact our team of experts today to learn more about how we can help!