When Your Child Has Both Adhd And Autism
Dr. William Dodson is a psychiatrist who spent his career specializing in both ADHD and autism. When a patient has both, Dodson takes a direct and honest approach: The concept I try to get across to patients and their parents is that ADHD and autism are two separate and distinct conditions that happen to be found together much more frequently than would be expected by chance alone. The patients have two life-long conditions that will affect every moment of their lives.
For people with co-existing ADHD and ASD, treating the ADHD is a means to an end, says Dodson. The world is a classroom for people with ASD, and they have to be ready to observe and practice what theyve learned.
Toward that end, medication to treat ADHD is a must, Dodson says. Few people with both ADHD and ASD succeed without medication to remove the additional obstacle of ADHD from their path.
Supplementary Figure 1 Variant Groups For Constrained Rare Ptv Rate Comparison
a) Mean rare PTVs/person in constrained genes only . b) Mean rare PTVs/person in unconstrained genes only . c) Mean rare synonymous variants/person in constrained genes only . Rare as described in the main text. *** denotes p < 0.001; all p values by logistic regression . For exact p values, see Supplementary Table . Sample numbers are as follows: ASD, no ID: 3,091; ASD+ADHD, no ID: 684; ADHD, no ID: 3,206; ASD, ID: 871; ASD+ADHD, ID: 217; ADHD, ID: 271; Control: 5,002. ID = intellectual disability. Error bars are Poisson standard error.
What Are The Similarities
Certain aspects of both autism and ADHD overlap and may appear to be one or the other. Unfortunately many kids with autism end up misdiagnosed as having ADHD, but not many kids with ADHD experience the same. Both conditions can have limited social understanding of their behaviors and the effect on others. People with either condition may appear to have trouble with paying attention to certain things, although people with ADHD have a very different experience with their attention. Overall, they have symptoms that appear to be similar, but can be drastically different in certain aspects.
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Depend On A Support Network To Manage Symptoms Of Adhd And Autism
The system we have currently for diagnosing and treating both ADHD and autism isnt perfect. Currently, researchers are still conducting studies and learning more about both these conditions on a regular basis. While we know a lot already, we dont yet know everything. While this might be concerning, especially for parents concerned about a proper diagnosis for their kids, it doesnt mean you should have no hope.
After all, as a parent, you have plenty of resources to turn to. We here at FastBraiin want to be one of those resources. Ultimately, you need to build around you a quality support network of friends, family, doctors, and specialists, who can help you on your journey for managing either ADHD or autism. ADHD and autism make life challenging and sometimes make things unclear. This doesnt mean you have to give up, though.
We hope this article has helped to shed some light on the similarities between ADHD and autism. We encourage you to find out more and become your own ADHD expert. Learn as much as you can and then team up with others around you to help manage life well with either ADHD or autism.
Autism And Adhd Share Genes
- Aarhus University
- Researchers have found that autism and ADHD share changes in the same genes. The new knowledge relates directly to the biological causes of the two child psychiatric disorders.
Researchers from the national psychiatric project iPSYCH have found that autism and ADHD share changes in the same genes. The new knowledge relates directly to the biological causes of the two child psychiatric disorders.
In Denmark, approximately one per cent of schoolchildren have autism and two to three per cent are diagnosed with ADHD. Autism and ADHD are different developmental disorders, but they can have certain common symptoms. For example, children with autism can demonstrate violent or aggressive behaviour, be impulsive, and have problems in school and with social relations — and these same symptoms can be shared by children with ADHD.
Researchers from iPSYCH, Denmark’s largest research project in the field of psychiatry, have now discovered that the similarities between the two diagnoses can be linked to changes in the same genes. The new study is the largest study to date of rare mutations in the genome of people with ADHD and autism.
First time a gene is linked to ADHD and autism
The results have just been published in the international journal Nature Neuroscience.
The findings point directly towards which biological causal mechanisms are shared by ADHD and autism.
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Bipolar Vs Adhd In Children
Bipolar disorder does exist in children, though its commonly misdiagnosed as ADHD. Parents of children with ADHD describe their babies as colicky, always crying, difficult sleepers, or always moving around. Children are born with ADHD symptoms; bipolar is a condition that develops and even grows in intensity. A teen with bipolar disorder can rage for hours in a destructive, disturbing way that is described as volcanic emotion or limbic rage. The limbic system is the most primitive, emotional part of the brain. With tantrums caused by ADHD, a child may be upset, but will stop if distracted by something else or when he becomes exhausted. The rage goes on much longer in children with bipolar disorder.
Children who develop bipolar disorder are often precocious, gifted, and have night terrors characterized by gore and mutilation. They have an extreme fear of annihilation, and talk about death, murder, and suicide in an obsessive, matter-of-fact way. Some children with bipolar disorder will harm animals, or experience hallucinations and psychotic symptoms of paranoia from a young age. Children diagnosed with conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder are at a higher risk of having bipolar disorder.
Most parents seek diagnosis for bipolar disorder when they feel something is taking over their child, who doesnt seem in his or her right mind.
How Are They Different
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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Is It Adhd Or Autism
It can be challenging to determine whether your child is showing characteristics of either ADHD or autism, especially because the symptoms of both conditions sometimes overlap.
Recently, a study of children with autism or ADHD found that both groups had high levels of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. These similarities may be one of the reasons it is often difficult to distinguish between the two conditions.
For some families, adding to their concern is that additional stress from dealing with the pandemic can increase a childs hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors. Parents may notice behaviors they didnt see before. This is not unusual, says Adiaha Spinks-Franklin, MD, and not necessarily a cause for worry.
All that bounces is not ADHD; all that flaps is not autism, Dr. Spinks-Franklin, a developmental behavioral pediatrician at Texas Childrens Hospital, reassures parents.
If you are wondering whether your child has ADHD or ASD, she recommends that you look at the behaviors your child exhibited before the pandemic. Talk with your childs doctor if you have concerns.
Autism and ADHD compared
If your childs inattention and distractibility does raise to a level of concern, an evaluation may be necessary to better understand what they are experiencing.
This may mean that if your child has communication difficulties and restrictive, repetitive behaviors, its more likely the child has ASD rather than ADHD.
Receiving a proper diagnosis
Supplementary Figure 5 Rates Of Constrained Rare Synonymous Variants Considering Asd Cases And Adhd Cases With Only A Single Diagnosis
a) Rates in all constrained genes; b) rates in the 212 constrained genes with a published rare de novo PTV in ASD . Single diagnosis refers to ASD and ADHD cases without comorbid ASD+ADHD or intellectual disability, and without diagnoses of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, affective disorder, or anorexia. Error bars are Poisson standard error. In the accompanying box, OR and p values are for comparison to controls by logistic regression. OR = odds ratio. Range = OR +/- standard error. Rare as described in the main text.
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The Difference Between Adhd And Autism
The Centers for Disease Control defines ADHD as one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders during childhood. ADHD is usually first diagnosed in childhood. The disorder can also last into the persons adulthood.
The symptom that is most commonly associated with ADHD is trouble with paying attention. People with ADHD may act without thinking about the results and consequences, meaning they have trouble controlling impulsive behaviors. Another characteristic of ADHD in individuals is that they can be overly active, hence the term hyperactivity in the name.
It is alright for children to have trouble in terms of focus and behavior throughout their childhood in one way or another. But children can outgrow these traits when they grow up and learn to cope or focus better. However, children with ADHD dont simply get rid of these behaviors as they grow up.
There are some characteristics that can be observed in a child with ADHD. A child with ADHD might be inclined to daydream a lot or talk too much. They may act without thinking about the consequences, take unnecessary risks, or make careless mistakes.
Another trait that children with ADHD might have is finding it troubling to take turns in mutual communication. They may want to fidget or squirm often, and they often lose things. Since ADHD majorly affects the childs social abilities, they may have trouble getting along with other people.
Dual Diagnosis Of Autism And Adhd
Clinical reports and case studies show many children display both symptoms of ADHD and ASD. For this reason, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders now allows for a dual diagnosis of ADHD and autism provided that diagnostic criteria are met, which was previously prohibited . This updated feature means children can be evaluated for both autism spectrum disorder and ADHD at once. According to the DSM-V, ADHD is characterized by pervasive and impairing symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Meanwhile, the criteria for ASD are difficulties in social communication and social interaction, restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior.
According to Gnanavel, et al. , between 60-100% of children with ADHD have some form of comorbidity that accompanies the condition, one of which is autism. Studies from the United States claim that in children diagnosed with autism disorder, about 42% have ADHD comorbidity.
However, to determine whether ADHD is a form of autism, we need to zone into the key traits of ADHD in comparison to autism and highlight the significance behind their commonality.
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How Does Treatment For Adhd And Autism Differ
Treatments for both ADHD and autism can vary depending on the severity of the condition and how much the symptoms affect everyday life.
Behaviour therapy and medication can help with both these conditions. With autism, however, extra therapy may be recommended such as counselling, education support, speech therapy and occupational therapy.
With both, an early diagnosis can help children and their families to manage the condition. If you are at all concerned that your child has either ADHD or autism, its a good idea to speak to your doctor or paediatrician as soon as possible.
Whats The Difference Between Adhd And Autism
The most notable symptoms of ADHD include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It is primarily a disorder of self-regulation and executive function skills that act as the brain manager in everyday life, says Mark Bertin, M.D., a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and the author of The Family ADHD Solution.
Autism typically includes problems with social interactions, communication, and repetitive or ritualistic behaviors.
Children with autism do not intuitively understand some aspects of the social world, Bertin says. They have specific behaviors, such as limited imaginative play or lack of gesture language. They often find it challenging to manage social interactions and emotions.
While the primary components of ADHD and ASD are different, some overlap exists be- tween the two. The trick to differentiating between them is to determine the reason behind the behavior. For example, both can cause social challenges. For children with ADHD, the root causes may include inattention and inability to organize their thoughts, or impulsivity.
For autistic children, the reasons are often different such as not understanding nonverbal communication or delays in language skills.
Kids with ADHD may not be able to stick to turn-taking play, but they understand it. They may not respond when called because of attention problems, but they are socially engaged and recognize their name and what it means, Bertin says.
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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.
How Are Adhd And Autism Diagnosed
To obtain an accurate, complete diagnosis, Bertin suggests working with a profession- al who is familiar with both conditions. A thorough evaluation aims to define a childs strengths and weaknesses, he says. Various test measures try to document ADHD symptoms, executive function, social and communication delays, anxiety, mood disorders, and a host of other symptoms.
But tests alone are not enough. Evaluating both ADHD and autism remains a clinical skill based on getting to know a child and seeking a comprehensive picture of their life in the real world, a global sense of a childs social and conversational abilities, as well as their play and daily living skills.
Diagnosis can be a fluid, ongoing process. It was for Clark, now 17, according to his mother, Pamela Fagan Hutchins, the author of the book The Clark Kent Chronicles: A Mothers Tale Of Life With Her ADHD And Aspergers Son. Although Hutchins earliest concerns about Clark were about autism-like symptoms, ADHD, not ASD, was Clarks first diagnosis.
We first noticed autism-like symptoms when Clark was two, like running to the left in circles while waggling his left hand, Hutchins says. It was when he started school that we noticed ADHD symptoms. He had a lot of trouble staying on task. Clark received anADHD diagnosis in fourth grade, and Aspergers syndrome about a year and a half later.
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What Is Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that is characterized by extreme mood swings, abrupt changes in energy levels, and distorted decision making. In most cases, it develops in the late teens or early adulthood though more and more experts now accept the existence of pediatric bipolar disorder and it is estimated to affect about 5.7 million Americans. Bipolar disorder affects men and women at virtually equal rates, and the disorder is found among patients of all races, social classes, and ethnic groups.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by high, euphoric, or irritable periods called mania and low periods of depression. The mania stage is sometimes mistaken for hyperactivity and the low states manifest themselves as inattention and lack of motivation, which are common in individuals with ADHD.
Exploring Shared Traits: Is Adhd Different From Autism
Autism spectrum disorder is similar to ADHD based on the shared symptomatology.
A common challenge linked to both conditions is social difficulties. For ADHD in particular, children diagnosed with this condition experience social deficits and difficulty forming relationships due to traits such as impulsivity, and intrusive behavior during conversation or play. Whereas for ASD, social difficulties are usually due to communication issues, inability to understand abstract thoughts or behavior, difficulty understanding body language, and difficulty making eye contact, etc.
According to Karla Pretorius, a Research Psychologist and Co-founder of AIMS Global, a person diagnosed with ADHD struggles to focus on tasks for long periods of time: They are distracted by a thought, which can lead to a shift of their focus immediately from one task to another within minutes. Karla highlights the difficulty that many individuals experience in an effort to sustain focus. To get back to the task at hand it requires someone diagnosed with ADHD to consciously be aware of their shift of attention and reasons for this, she adds.
So, while a person with ADHD might jump from one activity to the next, a person on the autism spectrum is likely to prefer routine and display repetitive behavior. Both of these traits can easily result in similar challenges.
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