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Is Adhd An Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Overlap Of Adhd And Asd

Autism vs ADHD (The Difference between ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder)

Although their core diagnostic criteria do not explicitly overlap, lately, an increasing number of studies provide evidence for an elevated degree of corbidity between ADHD and ASD, with different levels of symptom severity. In DSM-5, the diagnoses of AD and ADHD will not be mutually exclusive any longer. This provides the basis for more differentiated studies on overlap and distinction between both disorders. .

ADHD and ASD are more frequent in boys than in girls, and both emerge, at least to a certain degree, at preschool age. Research on the co-occurrence of ASD and ADHD has focused on older children despite the fact that characteristic ADHD and autistic behaviors appear already in early childhood. Clinicians have been able to recognize behavioral characteristics, such as social deficits, in children with ADHD hyperactivity among children with ASD for a long time. However, it is only in recent years that research investigating their comorbidity has burgeoned .

Associated Clinical Comorbidities Adhd/asd

The diagnosis of both ADHD and ASD is based on behavioral symptoms. Both conditions frequently encompass deficiencies in communication with peers, attention, various degrees of restlessness or hyperactivity, and impulsivity. The significance of the presence of clinical overlap regarding the underlying neurobiology and phenotype is not well known. Both syndromes are known to present genetic susceptibility, showing comorbidity across family members as well as within the same individual, and both conditions bring about significant academic, behavioral, adaptive, and emotional impairment at home, at school, and in other places .

ADHD behaviors and autistic-like features have been reported to present a positive significant correlation in a sample of community two-year-old children. The correlation between ADHD behaviors and autistic-like features was found lower in older children when compared with young adults , indicating that the covariance of ADHD/ASD increases with age . This can possibly be attributed to the fact that not all the characteristic behavioral types for ADHD and ASD have appeared yet in children, which makes less reliable the measurement of these behaviors when compared to adults.

Signs And Symptoms Of Asd

People with ASD have difficulty with social communication and interaction, restricted interests, and repetitive behaviors. The list below gives some examples of the types of behaviors that are seen in people diagnosed with ASD. Not all people with ASD will show all behaviors, but most will show several.

Read Also: Life Expectancy For Autism

What Are Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities affect the ability of children to speak or understand written language, perform mathematical calculations, coordinate movements, and concentrate on a particular task.

Learning disabilities occur in young children but usually arent apparent until they have to deal with the challenges of school.

As many as 10 percent of American children under the age of 18 are estimated to have some type of learning disability.

Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders And Adhd

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) & Attention Deficit ...

How it works

Autism spectrum disorder is a complex lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication and behavior, generally diagnosed within the early stages of life. No two individuals living with Autism experience the same symptoms, as the type and severity varies with each case . Autism has been around for hundreds of years, but the definition has evolved immensely. In 1943, scientists Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger conducted research on individuals with social and emotional deficits to better refine the definition of autism. They observed the cognitive behavioral changes which initially lead to the discovery of Aspergers, separate from Autism . Aspergers and Autism have similar symptoms, but in order to have Autism, the patient must have social and or emotional interaction deficits, severe problems in regards to maintaining relationships, and nonverbal communication problems .


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Restrictive / Repetitive Behaviors May Include:

  • Repeating certain behaviors or having unusual behaviors. For example, repeating words or phrases, a behavior called echolalia
  • Having a lasting intense interest in certain topics, such as numbers, details, or facts
  • Having overly focused interests, such as with moving objects or parts of objects
  • Getting upset by slight changes in a routine
  • Being more or less sensitive than other people to sensory input, such as light, noise, clothing, or temperature

People with ASD may also experience sleep problems and irritability. Although people with ASD experience many challenges, they may also have many strengths, including:

  • Being able to learn things in detail and remember information for long periods of time
  • Being strong visual and auditory learners
  • Excelling in math, science, music, or art

Adhd And Autism Spectrum Disorder

Can a person be diagnosed with ADHD and ASD?

More than half of all individuals who have been diagnosed with ASD also have signs of ADHD. In fact, ADHD is the most common coexisting condition in children with ASD. On the flip side, up to a quarter of children with ADHD have low-level signs of ASD, which might include having difficulty with social skills or being very sensitive to clothing textures, for example.

Why do ADHD and ASD coexist so often and what are the similarities between them?

Both ADHD and ASD are neurodevelopmental disorders . That means both conditions/disorders affect the central nervous system, which is responsible for movement, language, memory, and social and focusing skills.

A number of scientific studies have shown that the two conditions often coexist, but researchers have not yet figured out why they do.

Read Also: Gestational Diabetes And Autism

What Are The Differences Between Adhd And Asd

The key differences between the two conditions are that ADHD involves hyperactivity, inattention and impulsive symptoms in various combinations. With ASD, the deficits are primarily in social communication, social interaction, restricted communication and repetitive patterns of behavior.

However, there are some symptoms which overlap with both conditions which are not listed in the DSM5*. For example, executive function skills can be impaired skills associated with working memory and the ability to plan and organize.

*Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition

How Are They Different

Is it ADHD, Autistic Spectrum Disorder or both?

Keep an eye on how your child pays attention. Those with autism struggle to focus on things that they don’t like, such as reading a book or doing a puzzle. And they may fixate on things that they do like, such as playing with a particular toy. Kids with ADHD often dislike and avoid things they’ll have to concentrate on.

You should also study how your child is learning to communicate. Although kids with either condition may struggle to interact with others, those with autism can have less social awareness of others around them. They often have a hard time putting words to their thoughts and feelings, and they may not be able to point to an object to give meaning to their speech. They find it hard to make eye contact.

A child with ADHD, on the other hand, may talk nonstop. They’re more likely to interrupt when someone else is speaking or butt in and try to monopolize a conversation. Also, consider the subject. Some kids with autism can talk for hours about a topic that they’re interested in.

An autistic child usually loves order and repetition, but one with ADHD may not, even if it helps them. A child with autism might want the same type of food at a favorite restaurant, for instance, or become overly attached to one toy or shirt. They can become upset when routines change. A child with ADHD doesn’t like doing the same thing again or for long times.

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When They Occur Together

There may be a reason why symptoms of ADHD and ASD can be difficult to distinguish from one another. Both can occur at the same time.

Not every child can be clearly diagnosed. A doctor may decide only one of the disorders is responsible for your childs symptoms. In other cases, children may have both conditions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 14 percent of children with ADHD also have ASD. In one study from 2013, children with both conditions had more debilitating symptoms than children who didnt exhibit ASD traits.

In other words, children with ADHD and ASD symptoms were more likely to have learning difficulties and impaired social skills than children who only had one of the conditions.

Snps Selection Genotyping And Quality Control

Tag SNP strategy was used to select the SNPs in SHANK2 and SHANK3 for genotyping. A cluster-based algorithm which clustered SNPs by r2 was used . The algorithm determined the pairwise r2 between all SNPs and clustered correlated SNPs with r2 over 0.8 into bins. Each tagSNP selected represented all the SNPs in the same bin. Fifteen tagSNPs for SHANK2 and eight tagSNPs for SHANK3 were, respectively, selected by a R2 algorithm among SNPs with minor allele frequency of at least 10% in Asians . Genotyping was performed using MassARRAY iPLEX platform . SNPs with MAF less than 5%, missing rates higher than 10%, Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium p-values smaller than 0.1% or above 5% Mendel error rates were excluded. Altogether, three SNPs were excluded with one SNP in SHANK2 deviating from HWE distribution , one SNP in SHANK3 having a high missing rate , and one SNP in SHANK2 having a >5% Mendel error rate.

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Neurotherapy For Autism Spectrum Disorder

Amongst the most common behaviours of children with Autism, is their lack of focus,;concentration;and;compliance and the resulting learning difficulties. Neurotherapy has been extensively researched since 1970 and found to be very effective for ADHD children who have similar issues, and more recently it has been shown to be effective in improving attention and;behaviours in children with ASD;as well .;

Overview of QEEG-guided Neurotherapy

In the Biomedical abnormalities in Autism Spectrum Disorder;page on this website we outline;a few of the many neurological abnormalities that have been found in children with ASD. Remember that every child has a unique subset of these abnormalities. Neurological abnormalities;are reflected;as abnormalities in the “brain’s electrical activity”, which in turn drive;the behaviours observed in children with Autism. QEEG;is a non-invasive tool to statistically compare the brainwaves of an individual to those brainwaves stored in a database;of typically developing/functioning people of the same age .

The statistical differences;are then represented in;coloured;maps, often called Brainmaps. Note that this process is very different to the conventional EEG examination performed by a Neurologist, who visually examines the electrical brainwaves for “epileptiform”, a pattern of infividual waves suggestive of epilepsy.;;

QEEG;and Neurotherapy for ASD;Research:

Here are links to a few of the many studies studies regarding QEEG; in Autism Spectrum disorder:

Adhd And Autism Overlap Significantly

Pin on Adult ADHD/Autism Spectrum

Of course, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder are two separate disorders. We all know that ADHD involves impaired functioning in the areas of attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, according to one study in Frontiers in Neuroscience, while autism spectrum disorder is characterized by social dysfunction and restrictive-repetitive behaviors. However, these same researchers estimate that 30-50% of those with ASD show ADHD symptoms , and a full two-thirds of those with ADHD exhibit symptoms of ASD. In other words, ADHD and autism symptoms overlap significantly.

The same study shows that ADHD and autism, moreover, both usually include problems with attention, communication with peers, impulsivity, and restlessness or hyperactivity. Many people with ADHD also show the same obsessive tendencies that those with autism exhibit; they also have the same difficulties reading emotion and participating in social situations.

The diagnoses occur together so often, and exhibit so many of the same symptoms, in fact, that one team from the Netherlands proposed they were different varieties of the same disorder. Are we looking at one condition thats on a continuum, or two distinct conditions? I think we dont know the answer to that question, ;Geraldine Dawson, director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development told Scientific American.

Also Check: What Is The Life Expectancy Of People With Autism

Adhd Vs Autism: What Are They And How Are They Different

ADHD vs. Autism: What Are They And How Are they Different

Difficulty paying attention and inability to sit still or pick up on specific social cues are similar behaviors seen in children diagnosed with ADHD or Autism. These overlapping symptoms have similarities, but the actual diagnoses are very different, so its essential for parents to know how they differ and what symptoms are condition-specific.;

At Simple Spectrum, we know how important it is to understand your childs needs, so that is why we wanted to discuss the differences and similarities of ADHD and Autism.;

ADHD and Autism: What are They?

So before we dive into the similarities and differences between ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder , lets take a look at each of these conditions separately to define what each is and how symptoms can look on their own. It wasnt until the 2013 update that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders recognized that children could be diagnosed with both ADHD and ASD. Before 2013, it was thought that children could not be diagnosed with both, despite the overlapping similarities.

ADHD vs. ASD: Similarities and Differences;

If you want to know more about the signs of ADHD and ASD and whether or not your child may be exhibiting symptoms, its important to talk with your family physician as soon as you start noticing early signs of either of the disorders.;

Is Adhd On The Autism Spectrum

Characteristics of autism spectrum disorders and ADHD sometimes overlap. More than half of children on the autism spectrum have symptoms of ADD, according to CHADD difficulty settling down, social awkwardness, the ability to focus only on things that interest them, and impulsivity. ADHD itself, however, is not part of the autism spectrum.

A mother I previously met summed up her confusion and eventual enlightenment: John is smart and quick to learn something new if he is interested, she says. But he has a terrible time focusing on things he doesnt find interesting. When this happens, he starts rocking or pacing around the room. For years, we thought it was ADHD, but, at his last evaluation, his teachers suggested that he might have a form of autism. After seeing a pediatrician, he received a diagnosis of Aspergers. Knowing he has it and working to manage the symptoms is a relief.

Also Check: Life Expectancy With Autism

Common Risk Factors Susceptibility In Adhd/asds

The etiopathogenesis of NDDs appears to be the result of the combined actions of both environmental and genetic risk factors on the developmental process. NDDs display highly complex pathophysiological processes as well as considerable genetic heterogeneity. However, NDDs present some phenotypic overlapping in their traits, show a substantial comorbidity and share a number of environmental and genetic risk factors. The current heritability estimates of ASD and ADHD also imply the relevance of common environmental and disorder-specific risk factors for one or both disorders .

4.2.1. Genetic risk factors

In recent years, numerous scientific and technical advances have been developed on the human genome. This has allowed an exponential progress in understanding the molecular pathways of genetic expression, which has revealed the pathogenesis of many diseases. In NDD such as ASD and ADHD, these genetic and epigenetic risk factors are very wide, which makes it difficult to give simple answers at the present time. Up to now, genome-wide association studies association studies and genome-wide copy number variants studies), assessments of chromosomal variations, as well as candidate-gene and linkage analyses have revealed an ample spectrum of genes presenting polymorphisms and susceptibility mutations related to ADHD and ASD.

  • Genetic ASD

  • ADHD and its candidate genes.

Diagnosis In Young Children

Autism Spectrum Disorder with ADHD

Diagnosis in young children is often a two-stage process.

Stage 1: General Developmental Screening During Well-Child Checkups

Every child should receive well-child check-ups with a pediatrician or an early childhood health care provider. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for developmental delays at their 9-, 18-, and 24- or 30-month well-child visits and specifically for autism at their 18- and 24-month well-child visits. Additional screening might be needed if a child is at high risk for ASD or developmental problems. Those at high risk include children who have a family member with ASD, have some ASD behaviors, have older parents, have certain genetic conditions, or who were born at a very low birth weight.

Parents experiences and concerns are very important in the screening process for young children. Sometimes the doctor will ask parents questions about the childs behaviors and combine those answers with information from ASD screening tools, and with his or her observations of the child. Read more about screening instruments on the;Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Children who show developmental problems during this screening process will be referred for a second stage of evaluation.

Stage 2: Additional Evaluation

This second evaluation is with a team of doctors and other health professionals who are experienced in diagnosing ASD.

This team may include:

The evaluation may assess:

  • Blood tests

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Adhd In Children With Asd

A significant percentage of children with ASD seeking services at clinical centers present with comorbid symptoms of ADHD, with rates ranging between 37% and 85% across studies conducted in the United States and Europe . ADHD was the third most common disorder identified in a community sample of 517years old children , with 31% of the sample meeting full ADHD criteria and another 24% with subsyndromal ADHD symptoms. This is lower than reported rates of ASD and ADHD in clinic samples . Very few studies have looked at the epidemiology of co-existing disorders in pre-school age children diagnosed with ASD. Two year-old twins from the Boston University Twin project were studied by Ronald et al. for autistic-like traits and ADHD behaviors using Child Behavior Checklist answered by their parents. Controlling for cognitive abilities and socioeconomic status, autistic like traits correlated positively with ADHD behaviors , a lower correlation than described for older children. In a recent survey by Carlsson et al. , 198 pre-school Swedish children with ASD who treated in a habilitation center, were assessed for such disorders. They found language problems in 78%, intellectual disability in 49%, below average motor function in 37%, and severe hyperactivity in 33%.

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