How common is it be be diagnosed with AS and ADHD?

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JimFoster
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18 Nov 2014, 12:06 pm

I'm was diagnosed with ADHD in 1997 and put on Amphetamines. Much later in 2005 I was diagnosed with Aspergers, but it only now that I'm feeling that I can control it. Are there many folks on WP that have this dual diagnoses.



LokiofSassgard
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18 Nov 2014, 12:39 pm

I was diagnosed with ADHD in second grade. I didn't get my autistic diagnosis until age twelve. I think it's common because both conditions are very much alike. I don't have AS, but I do have autism and ADHD.


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MadHatterMatador
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18 Nov 2014, 4:14 pm

I read that 12% of people have been diagnosed with ADHD, and that 1 in 68 are estimated to have some type of ASD, although that is just an estimation, and 47% of those are PDD-NOS.

Edit: NVM, I just got what you meant.


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dianthus
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18 Nov 2014, 4:21 pm

It's common to have both, but I don't know if anyone out there has an accurate estimate on how common it really is. I've seen a wide range of estimates of comorbidity, from 10% all the way up to 80%.

I do know that statistically, it's more common for people with AS to also have ADHD, than it is for people with ADHD to also have AS.

And from what I've read on ADHD forums, I think it may be common for the symptoms of AS to "hide" under ADHD in childhood and emerge more as the person gets older. ADHD is a developmental delay so the symptoms can be more prominent in younger years and then recede or lessen later on.



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18 Nov 2014, 7:03 pm

I don't think it is uncommon. I was diagnosed with ADD-inattentive several years ago through a psychologist, went to some support meetings, kept seeing a therapist, eventually started taking medication for it and frequented an ADHD forum. But it never seemed to explain everything, in fact it seemed to leave a lot unexplained. I was then diagnosed with HFA with inattentive ADD through a full assessment. I now feel like this explains things which have baffled me for so long.



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18 Nov 2014, 7:40 pm

When I went in to talk to the psychologist about the results of my assessment, he said that often times they do add ADHD to the HFA diagnosis. I actually thought that I had it and I was expecting that it would be added to mine. But he told me that most of the time, and in my case, the patient actually does not have ADHD but there are things about Autism, having to do with processing speeds, that can make you look like you have ADHD. He also said that some therapists don't know how to tell the difference so they will often times diagnose ADHD as a co-morbid. And that can be dangerous if they prescribe pills for it.


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18 Nov 2014, 8:33 pm

Comorbidity of mental conditions/disorders is incredibly common, not only for ADHD and autism.


Frequently mentioned diagnoses:

. Autism - 'Lower' end of the spectrum favours comorbidity with various disabilities, and AS/HFA favours anxiety/affective disorders. ADHD and OCD are quite common in both.

- People with autism are extensively more likely to suffer from comorbid disorders relative to the general population. I'm unsatisfied with my research in this area as I am unable to summarize my findings, and so won't postulate anything other than what I describe through the other disorders below.

. ADHD & OCD - ADHD is the most common neurological disorder, and it is no surprise that it often co-occurs with autism and many other disorders. A study by Russell (et al.) found that 30% of autistic children meet the diagnostic criteria for OCD.

- From what I've read, these are the two 'big' (referring to neurology as prevalent over experience) diagnoses that commonly co-occur with autism. Individuals with ADHD and OCD also display more autistic traits than the general population. It is very problematic for an individual to have both ADHD and OCD as the medications/strategies can exacerbate the symptoms of the other (particularly Ritalin's effect on OCD). These tend to run in families, and are all very connected. There are even theories out that stipulate a direct connection between them, such as: Link

. Schizophrenia - Genetics have been related to genes that cause autism and OCD, and tend to run in families.

- Schizophrenia can co-occur with all other disorders in similar fashion to autism, though it is a relatively rare occurrence. Families with OCD in particular have a much greater chance than the general population to develop schizophrenia. Schizophrenia does not occur with ADHD as commonly as autism or OCD.

. Anxiety disorders - Diagnoses such as SAD, GAD, panic disorder, PTSD.

- Common occurrence with all other disorders, though apparently less common with more severe autism as the diagnosis of autism tends to cover their anxiety. This is expected, as they all result from experience, especially negative social experience, such as rejection to the more extreme events of brutality. Genetics can predisposition individuals to anxiety disorders, however the fact remains that they are still developed.

. Mood disorders - Diagnoses such as MDD, bipolar disorder.

- Depressive or addiction/abuse disorders are similar to anxiety disorders, in that they are developed primarily as a result of experience. Bipolar disorder stands out as it typically results from genetics. I do not know how commonly it co-occurs with other disorders.

. Tic disorders - Diagnoses such as Tourette disorder (DSM 5), provisional tic disorder.

- Individuals with autism are more likely than the general population to have a comorbid tic disorder. Tic disorders also often co-occur with ADHD at a rate that exceeds that of their presence in the general population. It is those with OCD that experience the highest comorbidity rate, however.

-------------------------------------------


In my own case, my family has a history of OCD. My dad has what I refer to as undiagnosed regulation problems (may be ADHD), and I have OCD and an undiagnosed tic disorder. I have been confused by others as being on the autism spectrum (I have once thought of the possibility myself, obviously) and have been told that if I were to have children, they would likely not be 'typical'.

I apologize for a lack of sources, this is almost entirely from memory. Not sure if it is what you wanted but I hope it helps.


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