do you think that the autistic spectrum should include ADHD

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ster
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17 Apr 2009, 11:30 pm

After receiving the 2nd eval results for my daughter- which state that she functions too well to be AS, even though she is socially around the age of 5 ( 5 years below her chronological age)- I've begun to wonder if anyone feels that ADHD *might* belong on the spectrum along with AS....when you look at ADHD symptoms the docs listed, the list could very well be a list of AS symptoms: impulsivity, fidgety, restrictive patterns of conversation, poor fine and gross motor skills, difficulty with non-literal language, high verbal, low non-verbal ..........
i just wonder if they'll ever change the DSM listing to include ADHD as being on the spectrum.



17 Apr 2009, 11:53 pm

No or else ADHD people would be considered autistic



Mixtli
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17 Apr 2009, 11:56 pm

I thought there was a relationship between AS and ADHD. Couldn't say what it is, but there do seem to be a lot of overlaps. My parents might have described me as ADHD when I was very little.



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17 Apr 2009, 11:57 pm

I believe that I have read that some people believe and are searching for more links between the 2 and it would be considered a very mild form of Autism. I think it's been a couple months since I read that though, and don't know all the details.

Right now, they have my child down with it as a co-morbid. (And my only diagnosis since I was like... 16 or 17?)



sinsboldly
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18 Apr 2009, 12:35 am

my goodness, but I love WP! I just got finished reading research info after research info on ADHD, something I had never know about. What I read about brain chemistry was interesting, but no research even hinted at autism.

Merle


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irishwhistle
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18 Apr 2009, 12:49 am

I'd say no in the absence of further research, and because the term "autism" receives the most dark looks. It's the stigma, I mean, that has grown up around it. I wouldn't inflict further stigma upon people with ADHD.

That said, my son has a co-morbid diagnosis and I most assuredly exhibit traits of both. Both are liberally spread throughout my family as well as traits of OCD. Really, it is a whole family, and my whole family shows it. It's the words themselves that give me pause and their connotations in society. These days, mentioning autism seems to bring the conversation immediately to the topic of blame.


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18 Apr 2009, 2:44 am

ADHD/ADD do not share enough in common with autism spectrum disorders to be classified as autism. AS, PDD-NOS, Rett's, Kanner's Autism, et al all share marked social impairment and impaired understanding of nonverbal behavior; NLD also shares the aforementioned traits, but the etiology is different (or at least understood).



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18 Apr 2009, 6:25 am

I will talk about myself in order to give you an idea of why i think the 2 should be considered to be in the spectrum.

1. I have never been able to pay attention to the class for more than 5 minutes. My mind is always wandering, lost in space. By the time i land in the classroom again, the professor has given more information than i can handle. To overcome this, i always read the books. People always look at me and ask me what i am thinking, cause i look distant and detached from where i am.

2. On the other hand, i can say i have about 80% of the traits to be described in the DSM and also by Gillberg. There are some things i have corrected over the years, like making weird noises and stimming in public when i realized people would make fun of me for that. But still i feel anxious when talking to more than 2 people, especially when there is a large group.

My point is that as far as i know either both ADD and AS should be included in the list of autism spectrum disorders, or i am the unluckiest guy i the world.


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poopylungstuffing
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18 Apr 2009, 6:45 am

I think they are definitely related. There are strong traits of both (and OCD...which I think is also spectrum-related)..in my family...I think that a lot of A-Spectrum behaviors manifest as ADD symptoms...My dad (who's dad and uncle(more extreme) were argueably AS--and(uncle)HFA.....is very socially adept (a high end salesman)....but has a lot of impulse issues that are commonly associated with ADD (according to books I read years ago)

Anyway...um...I guess I refer to "real" ADD...not ADD as in...this kid is a little squirmy from all the sugar and plastic we pump into her...so lets put her on amphetamines till she has a heart attack...ADD

I thought I was an ADDer for years before I knew anything about AS...anyone who has spent any time on an ADD message board would know that many of them deal with many many of the same issues...hyperfocus on obsessions....etc...and many of the ADDers on those boards are probably, like me, more likely to be on the autistic spectrum..than not...



ster
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18 Apr 2009, 7:16 am

perhaps the issue really is that they need to re-classify ADD symptoms ....I can see where people who have milder ADD symptoms would not want to be classified as being on the spectrum- i myself am a little ADD, and so are many of my friends...I believe, however, that people with more marked symptoms & more social difficulties should be classified as something other than just ADD...if not on the spectrum, then does anyone have any thoughts about where all this belongs ?



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18 Apr 2009, 8:41 am

It's a fuzzy area...

I do know what you mean though (i think)

I have known quite a few somewhat more neurotypical ADDers...even if "neurotypical" mainly applies to how social they are....(though I know at least one or two Aspies IRL who are quite social)

I also know that some ASers have ADD symptoms and some don't...just as some ADDers are ASish...or is it visa -versa....

gray area...confusing...

There don't seem to be "formal" lables that account for this that I am aware of.

I was told by the person who assessed me as having AS that if one is diagnosed as AS, then that overrules an ADD diagnosis...though info to the contrary has been reiterated to me time and time again since I was told this.

Before this, I thought I was basically an ADDer with AS traits....which I still could be...


I agree that the symptoms ought to be reclassified.

It has been years since I was reading (or attempting to read) tons of ADD books. According to those books etc...I am a classic case ADDer and could easily qualify for multiple types of ADD.....(i have an ADD diagnosis, but it is just about as formal as my AS diagnosis...which is to say....not very...)
The books that I read about ADD were written in the age before AS was common and they blanketed a lot of traits that are now more commonly regarded as AS traits...or are common to folk with AS.

(kinda jumble headed this morning...sorry if my writing is confusing



jenny8675309
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18 Apr 2009, 9:07 am

I don't know if making ADD an ASD is the answer, but I am also frustrated with the overlaps. My son is a little ADHD, a little NVLD, a little PDD-NOS... so what should I call it? He doesn't fit in a category, but he is definitely socially and emotionally affected. I call it PDD-NOS for simplicity.



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18 Apr 2009, 12:17 pm

I think my sister is a good example of why autism can be different from ADD in very fundamental ways. I have no doubt that she has some form of ADD, and my mother believes it also. But my sister has also spent her life as a social master. She reads people very well. She has always been popular. She talked her way into a lifeguard job when she wasn't old enough and hadn't yet completed the training. She won the most coveted awards in Middle School and high school. She makes a huge amount of money in her career, which is public relations.

Yes, her mind has trouble staying on task and she constantly seems frazzled. But her social gifts have always won her a pass on it.

And you couldn't find someone who presents more opposite from classic autism if you tried.

I do see the similarities with my AS son, and as with so many things there is some sort of relationship, but it's the social thing that distinguishes. While those on the spectrum may be social, they are never socially TALENTED, and it is that fundamental barrier that marks their lives. But someone who is ADD CAN be socially talented.

Why would it matter? Because the labels create the protocol. The protocols that help my son are not the protocols that would help my sister, and vice a versa. If she had been labeled ASD, her entire life would have been derailed for all the wrong reasons.

I have an AS child that pretty clearly does NOT have ADD. Certainly, he can space out. But the CAUSE is different than with ADD. If he has trouble staying on task, it's could be because he is overstimulated, or tired, or bored, or stressed, or just in need of a break. Most of the time he focuses brilliantly.


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sinsboldly
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18 Apr 2009, 12:34 pm

Hey! look what I found when I went researching the topic!

http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt96837.html

Report of the DSM-V Neurodevelopmental Disorders Work Group

The Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ND) work group’s discussions have focused on three areas:

1) Possible modification of ADHD criteria to allow for co-morbidity of autism and ADHD (currently excluded). The ADHD & Disruptive Behavior Disorders Work Group has agreed to consider this possibility.

2) Discussion of the validity of Rett’s disorder as a separate disorder and inclusion of a new modifier within the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), which might include genetic and medical disorders and other biologically-definable conditions.

3) How to address Pervasive Developmental Disorders – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). The individuals currently diagnosed with PDD-NOS may still be described in DSM-V, but the work group will discuss whether they can redefine ASD in such a way that the PDD-NOS diagnosis isn’t necessary, as this diagnosis currently captures a very heterogeneous group of individuals.


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natesmom
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18 Apr 2009, 7:02 pm

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18 Apr 2009, 7:28 pm

I was diagnosed as ADHD, but AS fits better. 30% of people diagnosed ADHD are Autistic! Knowing what I know now, a lot of ADHD symptoms ARE autistic!