When a child above the age of 6 cannot focus on a task, parents may immadiately diagnose the child with ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Difficulties with sitting and doing homework may be easily confused with ADHD. Both disorders share many common symptoms. In other words, Autism spectrum disorder and ADHD are related in several ways. Children with ADHD which is common childhood behavioral disorder may have other deficits like repetative behavior, social problems and language delay. In this case, it is important distinguishing symptoms of ADHD and Autism distinctively. Sometimes, these overlaping symptoms can cause a kid to be incorrectly diagnosed with one condition rather than the other.
Diagnosis of ADHD or Autism or both is not easy, specially at the earliest ages.
The brains of high functioning autistic individuals is fundamentaly different with those of others. Todays, brain imaging technology has helped neurologists analyze brain structure of autistic children and compare them to those of ADHDs.
Behavioral symptoms of ADHD
There are three groups of symptoms; inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.
- always being “on the go”
- feeling bored quickly with tasks
- neglectimg others in conversations
- talking nonstop
- blurting out
- interrupting others
- Having trouble playing quietly
- being distracted easily
- Having a dard time paying attention to a task
- being forgetful
- being disorganized
- lack of focus
- being impatient
- having hard time with waiting to react
Symptoms of Autism spectrum disorder:
- language delay
- impaired social interaction
- lack of eye contact
- repetative behavior
- flapping hands
- strange interests and habits
- lack of flexibility
- being unaware of danger
- lack of emotional reactions
- flipping objects around
- having trouble with switching from one activity to another
- unresponsive to his name
- lack of sympathy
Studies show that two-thirds of kids with ADHD have at least one co-existing condition, and Autism spectrum disorder is the most common disorder in this case. Latest investigations have indicated that up two half of kids with ADHD also have Autism.
However, the important thing is that occuring both ADHD and Autism together worsen quality of life for children. This is the task of parents to cope with these tough situations patiently. You know it is so scary the word “Autism”, and diagnosis of the disorder can be terrible, and deeply devastate parents.
In spite of a lot of problems with AS, Aspies are excellent in some ways. Here, there are aspects of Asperger Syndrome that can be considered great advantages.
The ability to focus on one goal over long periods of time without becoming distracted allows them to accomplish challenging tasks.
Independent thinkers strengthen a team they work in, because they understand that different backgrounds and perspectives bring different ideas and solutions. They are willing to share ideas that differ from those of the rest of others. Aspies’ willingness to think of unusual possibilities creates new options and opportunities and paves the way for others.
Intrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by internal rewards. In other words, the motivation to engage in a behavior arises from within the individual because it is intrinsically rewarding. Aspies’ independent thinking and loneliness equips them with internal motivation.
Great memory for detail
Their ability to memorize details without getting lost gives them a significant advantage in solving complex problems.
3-D thinking refers to the ability to think outside the box. Einstein was a multi-dimensional thinker. He could see and feel the elements of science in a unique perspective. This brilliant man was kicked out of German schools because of his unusual learning style, but later made the greatest advancements in science. At this point, Aspies’ ability in 3-dimentional thinking helps them create solutions.
Logical decision making
Aspies’ ability to make logical and rational decisions and stick to their course of action without being distracted by impulse or emotional reactions allows them to navigate successfully through difficult situations.
I am a mother of an Autistic child (Asperger syndrome). I didn’t know anything about Autism. At first years, I had lots of problems with my son… everything was frustrating, until I distinguished symptoms of the disorder…and started studying about Autism specially Asperger syndrome. I consulted a neurologist and decided to change my behavior.
I had a child with a special characteristics (I didn’t consider him as a disabled child, but different). Now, I know he has extra abilities like independent thinking, great memory for detail, internal motivation, 3-dimentional thinking and focus which can lead him to a bright future.
Zohre Esmaeeli, Aug 2, 2016
Your child may have problems with:
1. speaking by 2 years old
2. joining with other children in playing games
3. enjoying sports
4. fitting in peer groups
5. interacting with other children
6. making eye contact
7. keeping a two-way conversation
8. reading at school
9. taking jokes
10. being polite in social situations
11. understanding rules for games
12. dressing him/herself
13. turn taking in conversations
14. engaging in imagination and role-play in games
Children with Autism may have unusual movements and repetitive behaviors. They repeat words and phrases over and over (echolalia) or do things again in the same way all the time.
Sometimes, children with ASD have unusual memory for detail. They are able to restore lots of things in memory. You may see an autistic child who has memorized a long list of capitals easily!
It is impossible diagnosing the disorder before 2 years old, but language delay can be the first symptom.
The Childhood Autism Spectrum Test or CAST designed by Simon Baron-Cohen