Attention problems and AS (not ADHD?)

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kapo
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31 Oct 2013, 6:33 pm

I haven't been diagnosed with ADHD, but I feel that my attention problems are really quite severe.

I mean, obviously I can't /really/ know what it's like for other people, but I do seem to struggle more than my NT peers...

Does anyone else have this problem? I'm asking people have not been diagnosed with ADHD, nor do they think that they should be.

Also, does anyone know how difficult it is to get prescribed Ritalin in the UK? Is it really hard to come by?



jamieevren1210
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31 Oct 2013, 7:03 pm

Same here. When I went to the psychiatrist and asked about it she told me that I didn't seem to possess a lot of ADHD traits. It was AS that caused the attention problems. With some effort I am able to focus on non special interests fairly well.


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kapo
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31 Oct 2013, 7:09 pm

jamieevren1210 wrote:
Same here. When I went to the psychiatrist and asked about it she told me that I didn't seem to possess a lot of ADHD traits. It was AS that caused the attention problems. With some effort I am able to focus on non special interests fairly well.


Exactly! I was actually tested for ADHD/ADD before finally being diagnosed with AS, and that was mostly due to the fact that I felt that attention problems were what affected my day-to-day life the most (so naturally I told them about those things first, I personally wasn't bothered about my lack of social life lol)

Have you ever thought about getting something for it? A drug of some kind? Or perhaps a non-pharmaceutical supplement (I take Brainsharp - omega-3 fish oils, however I haven't noticed a difference in behavior).

Or do you perhaps use practical methods? Or nothing at all?

Sorry for all the questions...



jamieevren1210
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31 Oct 2013, 7:30 pm

kapo wrote:
jamieevren1210 wrote:
Same here. When I went to the psychiatrist and asked about it she told me that I didn't seem to possess a lot of ADHD traits. It was AS that caused the attention problems. With some effort I am able to focus on non special interests fairly well.


Exactly! I was actually tested for ADHD/ADD before finally being diagnosed with AS, and that was mostly due to the fact that I felt that attention problems were what affected my day-to-day life the most (so naturally I told them about those things first, I personally wasn't bothered about my lack of social life lol)

Have you ever thought about getting something for it? A drug of some kind? Or perhaps a non-pharmaceutical supplement (I take Brainsharp - omega-3 fish oils, however I haven't noticed a difference in behavior).

Or do you perhaps use practical methods? Or nothing at all?

Sorry for all the questions...


I make schedule tables and live my life according to what's on them. :lol:
Hard core routine works for me. I did think of taking stuff but I generally don't like taking drugs. Supplements are fine with me. I take, uh, GNC multivitamins.


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pensieve
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31 Oct 2013, 7:37 pm

Ritalin can only be prescribed to those with ADHD, narcolepsy and very rarely (and questionably) depression.

I'm not sure how AS can cause attention problems unless it's hard to focus on non-special interests.


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kapo
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31 Oct 2013, 7:54 pm

jamieevren1210 wrote:
I make schedule tables and live my life according to what's on them. :lol:
Hard core routine works for me. I did think of taking stuff but I generally don't like taking drugs. Supplements are fine with me. I take, uh, GNC multivitamins.

Ah, in that case you're luckier than me... I do try setting up routine and I take measures such as blocking myself from the internet (a major source and enabler of distraction lol) for weeks at a time, but a few days into it, it breaks down and I'm hacking into my computer to google some random fact :/

Glad your methods are working for you though!

pensieve wrote:
Ritalin can only be prescribed to those with ADHD, narcolepsy and very rarely (and questionably) depression.

I'm not sure how AS can cause attention problems unless it's hard to focus on non-special interests.

Yeah I understand that. I was more asking out of desperation than anything.

Well I think you just described it, didn't you? My special interests have nothing to do with what's going to get me ahead in life (good education and career, mostly they're just a distraction, and I can't focus on anything else, and even when I'm focused on a special interest, it's hardly structured, my mind flitting between distracting sub-topics)
I mean honestly isn't that similar to the way that those with ADHD can't focus on anything until they hyper focus on something they love? Not the same, obviously.



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31 Oct 2013, 8:08 pm

Yeah, but the hyperfocus takes time and usually it's not something you can just will yourself into. And it's not usually on something that requires immediate attention, particularly if you tried to live a scheduled life.

A special interest can become a career. I don't think I could ever have a job/career on something I don't find interesting but that's just me.

My mind flitting through sub-topics is how I live my life.


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31 Oct 2013, 8:33 pm

I can also see autism having issues that are called attention problems because of difficulty task switching. If you're not able to task switch, it can look like you're not paying attention, but its because you're not being able to get from thing A to thing B fast enough.

I don't have attention problems, but I do have executive functioning problems (and task switching problems that can be very severe if not given any guidance).



pete1061
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01 Nov 2013, 3:17 am

I've found that a lot of my attention problems stem from excess stimuli. I can get a lot more done in environments where background noise and other distractions are strictly limited. Unfortunately, that can be difficult to find.


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01 Nov 2013, 6:35 am

Sensory issues can cause attention problems and OCD.

I had attention problems growing up. I still zone out when there is too much talking. If it's something I am into, it's easier to focus but it also gets frustrating too because they are going too fast. That is why I tend to rewind commentaries to hear it again.


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alexi
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01 Nov 2013, 4:41 pm

I have not been diagnosed with ADHD but I have terrible attention problems. The psychiatrist said that I did not fit the criteria for ADHD though she agreed that I clearly had debilitating problems in this area. So it was put down to being part of my autism.

I have the urge to have special interests, but I can not achieve the focus that others talk about, no matter how interested I am in the subject. But my biggest issue with it is extremely hard for me to sit down and read or write. When I read it is like I am under stimulated and I can't keep my mind on the task to remember what I have read from the start of a sentence to the end. And with writing I can not organise any information in my head because it feels like sand slipping through my fingers- just as I grab it it is gone.

I seem to have two main issues that I suppose ASD could explain- problems with sensory over or under stimulation that leads to attention problems; and problems with my working memory that leads to attention problems.



moonman_tacco
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01 Nov 2013, 5:48 pm

kapo wrote:
I haven't been diagnosed with ADHD, but I feel that my attention problems are really quite severe.

I mean, obviously I can't /really/ know what it's like for other people, but I do seem to struggle more than my NT peers...



It seems autism (not aspie) with ADD/ ADHD is a very unfortunate combination. What is NT btw :?:


kapo wrote:

Does anyone else have this problem? I'm asking people have not been diagnosed with ADHD, nor do they think that they should be.

Also, does anyone know how difficult it is to get prescribed Ritalin in the UK? Is it really hard to come by?


There are many people, me for one, who have both these conditions and are not diagnosed as we are adults and the NHS won't fund.

As far as I know, you have to have a severe case of ADHD (1% of the population) to be prescribed Ritalin, I think it might be easier for under 18s to be prescribed it to help them pass their exams and keep them in school. Note: this is for the UK, in America, everyone who says they have attention problems to their doctors is prescribed it apparently.



JDartistic
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01 Nov 2013, 11:00 pm

I can speak as someone who is high-functioning autistic and who has ADHD and OCD...not the best combination, but Ritalin does help. On the other hand, I often get tired of taking Ritalin (sleep problems & such), so I find routine and establishing rituals also to be helpful.

One of my biggest issues with attention/distraction, though, is Maladaptive Daydreaming. This is something I've always had and find it to be the most distracting for me. It sounds like this is NOT your issue...everything you are describing, at least to me, fits into the ADHD category....

The good news is that you can utilize your ability to hyper-focus on something that interests you. That hyper-focus will keep you less susceptable to distraction. What also helps is when you do distract (like I like to play poker on-line), I tell myself that it's okay, but only for a minimal amount of time...for example, 1 hour. After that (& I use a kitchen timer!), I have to get back to my "real work" -- that is, what's important.

Another thing that's helpful = when you're distracting, remind yourself that being a Jack of All Trades will ensure you never really reach your true potential to be excellent at what you were meant to do/be. My mistake has always been doing too many things, and as a result, I'm constantly frustrated with how much time I've wasted on things that are NOT important...so that knowledge will also help you the next time you decide to research, say, poker theory, when what you really should be doing is writing your masterpiece (or whatever).



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01 Nov 2013, 11:35 pm

I still say it's mild ADHD that doctors are refusing to diagnose.

The poor ability to focus so hardly being able to spend time on special interests = I do that.

Jumping between task to task so it's hardly worth having a special interest = I do that too.

Doctors don't always get it right and some of them really don't won't to diagnose ADHD, unless it's really serious. But it seems some people here are still having difficulties with it.

Poor ability to focus has nothing to do with finding it hard to transition between tasks. That's what we call hyperfocus. Poor ability to focus means focus hardly gets started and it's a real struggle to stay focused because of poor motivation or easy boredom.

I think many people with AS that don't have obvious hyperactivity-impulse issues but have trouble staying focused could have Inattentive ADHD.

I day dream like it's no ones business. I keeps me in bed longer than I should be.

I don't think I have severe ADHD but I got on Ritalin before I was even properly diagnosed. It worked wonders for awhile until the side effects became too much for me.

I actually need a bit of sensory input to focus on things. I have to eat/ drink when I watch TV, otherwise I'll be so restless I can barely sit down or keep my legs still. I need music on to read and write and even get dressed. I can be easily overstimulated too. I tried doing a word puzzle while watching TV and people were chatting over dinner. I thought my brain would explode.

Did I say I take fish oil to focus? Well, I do. The Pharmacist recommended I take 2000mg if I was using it as a replacement for Ritalin. It makes me hyper when I'm done focusing on tasks. I also eat dark chocolate to read for one hour. Probably not the best form of self-medication, but at least it's not alcohol or coffee.


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02 Nov 2013, 11:32 am

jamieevren1210 wrote:
kapo wrote:
jamieevren1210 wrote:
Same here. When I went to the psychiatrist and asked about it she told me that I didn't seem to possess a lot of ADHD traits. It was AS that caused the attention problems. With some effort I am able to focus on non special interests fairly well.


Exactly! I was actually tested for ADHD/ADD before finally being diagnosed with AS, and that was mostly due to the fact that I felt that attention problems were what affected my day-to-day life the most (so naturally I told them about those things first, I personally wasn't bothered about my lack of social life lol)

Have you ever thought about getting something for it? A drug of some kind? Or perhaps a non-pharmaceutical supplement (I take Brainsharp - omega-3 fish oils, however I haven't noticed a difference in behavior).

Or do you perhaps use practical methods? Or nothing at all?

Sorry for all the questions...


I make schedule tables and live my life according to what's on them. :lol:
Hard core routine works for me. I did think of taking stuff but I generally don't like taking drugs. Supplements are fine with me. I take, uh, GNC multivitamins.


Starting to reconsider if I have ADD at all... :?