Diane Kennedy book tour
A mother of child with Asperger’s Syndrome, Diane Kennedy, uncovers information that may provide answers to ADHD.
Diane Kennedy, author of The ADHD-Autism Connection (WaterBrook Press, 2002), candidly addresses this question in an upcoming national book tour and series of one-day seminars sponsored by The ADHD-Autism Foundation. At the heart of Kennedy’s message is a vital, yet overlooked connection between ADHD and Autism: a connection not considered in current ADHD diagnosis or treatment but which has recently been suggested by several studies published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.
The seminars will feature an exclusive video presentation by bestselling author and speaker Temple Grandin, PhD, (Thinking in Pictures, Emergence: Labeled Autistic, and Developing Talents). Parents and professionals will gain new perspectives on ADHD and Autism and learn about practical approaches to intervention. The seminars will be offered in 33 cities coast-to-coast between September 15-December 3, 2004.
Kennedy, a mother of three children diagnosed with ADHD, knew in her heart that a piece was missing from the diagnostic puzzle when her youngest son failed to respond favorably to traditional ADHD treatment. As more diagnostic labels were given to explain her son’s behaviors, Kennedy embarked upon what turned out to be a seven-year journey researching ADHD. She eventually ended up in Autism when her son received a diagnosis of Asperger’s .
In the process, she uncovered an overwhelming number of similarities between ADHD and Autism-similarities which have rarely been addressed and which often lead to misdiagnosis. In fact, the DSM IV TR (2000), the manual used to diagnose these disorders, states that ” … many individuals with this condition receive a diagnosis of ADHD prior to the diagnosis of Asperger’s disorder” (p.81).
With an estimated 1 in 10 school age children being diagnosed with ADHD (The Pediatric ADHD Puzzle, 2003) and an estimated 1 in 150 being diagnosed with Autism (Autism Society of America), this raises the question whether Autism is often being misdiagnosed as ADHD.
In both the book and seminar, Kennedy explores the symptoms of ADHD, Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and the related conditions they share, especially in terms of social, communication, and behavioral difficulties common to these disorders.
Kennedy, who describes herself as a “Mother on a Mission,” is using the tour to promote collaboration at the community level by facilitating partnerships between local ADHD and Autism support groups. At the national level, by sponsoring the book tour and seminars, the ADHD-Autism Foundation hopes to establish a new line of research targeting the connections between ADHD and Autism while offering support and training for parents and professionals. Diane Kennedy