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kindofbluenote
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16 May 2007, 2:45 pm

I'm curious about the connection between AS and ADHD. Apparantly they occur frequently together (comorbid is the word, I believe) which strikes me as kind of contradictory. Characteristics of AS include obsessively focusing on one subject to the exclusion of all others, while ADHD is often characterized by not being able to focus on anything. This just seems odd to me, and I wonder how they can be individually diagnosed since they would seem to cancel each other out.

For the record, I was diagnosed as ADHD as a child (hyperactive they called it then) and AS recently (a span of about 25 years between). Does anybody else have any insight on this? I'm sure there's others with both, what are your impressions?


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poopylungstuffing
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16 May 2007, 3:25 pm

I am confused too! I have had difficulties ever since I was a child...too many to bother listing...I was never diagnosed with anything because my parents are skeptical of the medical industry...though I did have several visits with various school councillors to discuss my developmental and maturity problems..extreme tendancy to zone out in class...etc..I was even placed back into 3rd grade in the middle of the semester my first time in 4th grade because of it...
When I was about 18, I discovered ADD and all of a sudden I had found all these people who were going through the same stuff I had gone through my whole life. I quickly became a regular on ADHD message boards, but still never received a diagnosis because..noone willing to help me out in that regard.

Anywhoo I finally got my dignosis at the age of 30..but the attitude of the doctor was pretty aloof...sorta like...yeah sure..you got ADD..here are your amphetamines...this was after jumping through flaming hoops to just find somebody who would even address Adult ADD...let alone somebody who accepted my insurance.

Anywhoo....sorry to stray wildly from the subject and go babbling on about myself again...um....
At some point before I got my ADD diagnosis, I discovered what Aspergers was, and had a brief obsession with the possibility that perhaps that was what I really had...before making an Ass of myself on another Apie board..in an eposode so humiliating that I was able to dismiss the notion for almost a year before becoming full on obsessed with it again.....with help from WP

Anywhoo....here is where my confusion lies...
um...
could it be that my ADD symptoms are actually Aspie symptoms??

It is not necc. true that people with attention deficit disorder cannot focus on anything...they can be very prone to hyperfocusing on certain particular things....but unable to focus on things that they are supposed to be doing..
They can become extremely fixated upon certain particular things...to the point where it can become detremental to um...their lives..or their ability to do what needs to be done...
For example..right now I am focusing on WP while I should be focusing on work...
I can be watching a really good movie...but be unable to pay decent attention to the movie because i cannot keep my mind off my object of obsession....or someone will be talking to me and I will not be registering what they are saying because I am hyperfixated on something else...Currently, unfortunately for me it is WP...but it has been lots of other stuff in the past...changing from time to time...

I have met lots of other ADDers who have this problem...and I am confused as to whether this is acutally an AS problem.

sorry for the long-windedness..and such



cecilfienkelstien
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16 May 2007, 4:09 pm

I've read that around 75% of people with asperger's also have ADD or ADHD 25% of adults with AS also have OCD and that if you have AS and tourettes chances are 90% that you will also have ADHD.
All quoted from The Complete Guide To Asperger's Syndrome By Tony Atwood.


I know what you mean though that all this diagnosis stuff is so confusing. I just was looking in that book and read these stats and thought they might be helpful :)



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16 May 2007, 4:29 pm

Yes it is is a contradiction one that drives me absolutely nuts :cry:



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17 May 2007, 1:08 am

kindofbluenote wrote:
while ADHD is often characterized by not being able to focus on anything.


Well thats not entirely true. A person with ADHD can hyper focus on things they enjoy.
I think part of the difference with ASD is a person with ADHD is more likely to have a much larger array of obsessions and they might change often. A person with purely ADHD will tend to be obsessed with things that NT people often enjoy to. A person with ASD only often developed very odd obsessions that very few NT would enjoy. A person with both ADHD and ASD might have a large array of constantly changing odd and normal obsessions.



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17 May 2007, 1:40 am

I'm so confused by this too, as yeah, they seem almost contradictory, yet apparently are seen together a huge percentage of the time.

I just read the criteria, and while some seem to fit in really well with AS, others don't. (And I don't even understand the difference between those two types.)

I'll run through some of them for the heck of it:

Quote:
Inattention
* 1. Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.


Aren't people with AS LESS likely to make careless mistakes like that? Or maybe not, I don't know. I tend to try to get things very exacting.

Quote:
* 2. Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities.
* 8. Is often easily distracted.


I tend to focus in on what I'm doing, and cut out the rest of the world...kind of the reverse of this. The exception is something like if I'm trying to read, I can't concentrate on it if there's noise going on, especially talking either in real life or on TV>

Quote:
* 4. Often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).


Nope. As long as I understand what to do.

Quote:
* 5. Often has trouble organizing activities.
* 9. Is often forgetful in daily activities.


Yeah. I think this one is supposed to be common for AS. I compensate by tracking everything I need to do on my Palm (and prior to that, on paper). That's supposed to be common as a compensatory thing for people with AS.

Quote:
* 6. Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).


Yes, *if* it's not one of my interests. But isn't that true for everyone, NT, AS, or ADD?

Quote:
* 7. Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).


Kind of. I misplace things a decent amount of the time.

Quote:
Hyperactivity
* 1. Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.


Sort of, but isn't this kind of a stimming thing?

Quote:
* 2. Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected.
* 3. Often runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel very restless).
* 4. Often has trouble playing or enjoying leisure activities quietly.
* 5. Is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor".


No, not at all.

Quote:
* 6. Often talks excessively.


No, except that sometimes when I start talking about something that interests me, I just keep talking...but that's an AS thing.

Quote:
Impulsivity
* 1. Often blurts out answers before questions have been finished.
* 2. Often has trouble waiting one's turn.
* 3. Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).


Yes on these, though I try to be polite.

I don't know. Looking through all of those, I'm still confused by how it would relate to AS.



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17 May 2007, 2:12 am

Quote:
Inattention
* 1. Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.


i do that quiet alot

Quote:
* 2. Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities.
* 8. Is often easily distracted.


all the time thats one of the reasons why i was orignly sent to the psychtrist and dignosed with aspergers

Quote:
* 4. Often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).


all the time

Quote:
* 5. Often has trouble organizing activities.
* 9. Is often forgetful in daily activities.


im like that alot i always used always get into tuble for missing homework

Quote:
* 6. Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).


yes all the time

Quote:
* 7. Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).


i do that alot

Quote:
Hyperactivity
* 1. Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.


yes

Quote:
* 2. Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected.
* 3. Often runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel very restless).
* 4. Often has trouble playing or enjoying leisure activities quietly.
* 5. Is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor".


ocasionly

Quote:
* 6. Often talks excessively.


sometimes i start feeling realy hyper and start talking at 20000000 mph

Quote:
Impulsivity
* 1. Often blurts out answers before questions have been finished.
* 2. Often has trouble waiting one's turn.
* 3. Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).


sometimes

do i have adhd



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17 May 2007, 2:21 am

aspie17 wrote:


do i have adhd


Maybe. I have inattentive type ADHD and that manifest itself usually as I tend to prefer to daydream than anything else. And when I'm not daydreaming I tend to be extremely bored.



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17 May 2007, 2:24 am

TheMachine1 wrote:
aspie17 wrote:


do i have adhd


Maybe. I have inattentive type ADHD and that manifest itself usually as I tend to prefer to daydream than anything else. And when I'm not daydreaming I tend to be extremely bored.


im like that when im not hyper i also space out alot and feel depressed



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17 May 2007, 2:38 am

Quote:
Inattention

* 1. Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
* 2. Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities.
* 3. Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
* 4. Often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).
* 5. Often has trouble organizing activities.
* 6. Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
* 7. Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).
* 8. Is often easily distracted.
* 9. Is often forgetful in daily activities.

Sadly I conform to all of the above symptoms.

Quote:
Hyperactivity

* 1. Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.
* 2. Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected.
* 3. Often runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel very restless).

Mildly

Quote:
Impulsivity
* 3. Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).

Sometimes

poopylungstuffing wrote:
Anywhoo....here is where my confusion lies...
um...
could it be that my ADD symptoms are actually Aspie symptoms??

It is not necc. true that people with attention deficit disorder cannot focus on anything...they can be very prone to hyperfocusing on certain particular things....but unable to focus on things that they are supposed to be doing..

I am also confused about the AS and ADD relation, it seems like both have the same symptoms, I wonder if ADD is a condition very similar to AS in which they both can get confused in a diagnosis.

I also read the term AS with ADD/ADHD, is that means that not always is the case? can someone with Asperger's not have any symptoms of ADD? I am getting more confused already :(



kindofbluenote
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17 May 2007, 5:54 am

TheMachine1 wrote:
kindofbluenote wrote:
while ADHD is often characterized by not being able to focus on anything.


Well thats not entirely true. A person with ADHD can hyper focus on things they enjoy.
I think part of the difference with ASD is a person with ADHD is more likely to have a much larger array of obsessions and they might change often. A person with purely ADHD will tend to be obsessed with things that NT people often enjoy to. A person with ASD only often developed very odd obsessions that very few NT would enjoy. A person with both ADHD and ASD might have a large array of constantly changing odd and normal obsessions.


Interesting assessment. I've never heard that theory before, but it makes a lot of sense. I'm often wondering about the contradictions in my personality as they relate to "typical" AS. I don't have the "one" specialized interest, but there's about five or six things that I focus on. Of those, two or three have remained constant over the course of my life, but the rest come and go. Thanks for the post, very thought provoking...


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17 May 2007, 6:42 am

Well, actually it can be pretty confusing, but as I am diagnosed with AS and find myself very likely to be ADD of some kind too, this is how I think I understand it:

First of all, keep in mind that not everybody has every single diagnostic criteria. For instance, I have AS but I don't have any kind of stimming what so ever.

I HAVE noticed that I am a terribly chronic procrastinator, especially with things I don't want to do or aren't sure how. But often even when I WANT to concentrate on something, I can find it hard to concentrate, and I might get easily distracted, no matter if I want to do it or not. It is MUCH HARDER to focus on anything I hate, and in general its just hard to focus on anything not specifically related exactly to my obsessive interest. I have just the one obsessive interest, but with that, I actually have very many different activities or areas of focus related to this same obsession. So where ADD comes into play with this is, I try to focus on one activity related to the interest, but might end up getting distracted into another activity related to the same interest. If they ALL are based on my favourite interest, how do I pick ONE to stay focused on? What is especially difficult is when I was in college and trying to do the assignments. And I KNEW what is responsible and I KNEW what I was SUPPOSED to be doing, but I just couldn't bring myself to do the work until the time was almost up!

What really confuses me is how come I often can not even stay focused on something related to my obsessive interest? but it depends how difficult the activity is, whether I have a clear mind in that particular moment, whether I know what I'm doing, or feel like doing it, how much thinking it required. For instance, if I am embarking on a project (related to the obsession, ofcourse) starting it, getting it off the ground is the hardest part of all, and in that time, I am easily distracted. But once I get going on it and understand what I'm doing, I can quite easily focus on it for hours and hours and really become devoted to it. That's great. But what sucks is that any break from this routine what so EVER can make it hard if not impossible to get back into it again. I seem to be an "all or nothing" individual when it comes to focusing.

It is essentially like my Asperger triats and ADD traits are constantly playing tug o' war on my brain, and I end up being the victim to it all, usually end up exhausted and just do whatever is relaxing and the easiest thing to readily do at any moment. Whats comfortable and easy always wins, even when I desire to do bigger and better and more important things....

Luckily I think I am learning how to get on top of it in recent months. Healthier diet, the right supplements, and practicing Law of Attraction has all really been a blessing to me and is helping alot. But I still feel like I'm not THERE yet. I feel like I wish I could find a therapist or something, some real one on one help, because its really hard and not fair to be expected to come out of this completely on my own.

What I forgot to mention also is that, as far as giving something attention to detail, well, that also directly depends on if its something I care about or not! I lack details in something I don't care for much. Something I hate, and just wanna get out of the way quick. But when its something I'm obsessed about? You better believe I'm gonna be as much a perfectionist as possible.

So I think when I really look at myself I can see both AS and ADD traits, but that doesn't mean I have all of either of em.



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17 May 2007, 7:14 am

Often ADD'ers can become hyper focused/obsessed with things too, an saying that they cannot focus on anything is a lot of rubbish, i can focus on things like my faverate games and hobbies, but its extremly diccicult to focus on things like reading and writing for example. :)

Excuse the bad grammer. :lol:



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17 May 2007, 10:12 am

greenblue wrote:
Quote:
Inattention

I am also confused about the AS and ADD relation, it seems like both have the same symptoms, I wonder if ADD is a condition very similar to AS in which they both can get confused in a diagnosis.

I also read the term AS with ADD/ADHD, is that means that not always is the case? can someone with Asperger's not have any symptoms of ADD? I am getting more confused already :(


Yes, people with AS don't have to have ADD/ADHD. And what's confusing to me many of the symptoms seem contradictory between the two...yet supposedly there's a high rate of comorbidity (I'm not sure if that's the word :D ).

Here's just one example of the seeming contradiction. People with AS tend to have trouble switching tasks, and switching back. Takes longer to get switched. Yet ADD people apparently flit from one thing to another...which seems like the exact opposite thing.

I just don't understand how they fit together.

Fraz_2006 wrote:
Often ADD'ers can become hyper focused/obsessed with things too, an saying that they cannot focus on anything is a lot of rubbish, i can focus on things like my faverate games and hobbies, but its extremly diccicult to focus on things like reading and writing for example. :)

Excuse the bad grammer. :lol:


So then...is it like someone with both AS and ADD would be able to hyper concentrate on something they're interested in, like someone with just AS, but then for other things can't pay attention because of ADD?

And I wonder how much of this can just be normal? Like I assume EVERYONE has an easier time concentrating on their interests than things that bore them. Maybe it's just a matter of degree?



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17 May 2007, 10:57 am

It's not necessarily that people with AS often have ADD, it's just that some ADD and ADHD symptoms are common on the autistic spectrum.



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17 May 2007, 6:33 pm

I do know that one of the characteristics of ADHD/ADD is hyperfocusing on one subject. HTH.

:)


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