In children who have both illnesses, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may disguise autism. According to a new study, many of these youngsters are diagnosed with autism four years later than those who only have autism. The researchers said this suggests that doctors should look for ADHD in kids who seem unusually quiet or inactive.
Children and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often have problems with social interaction and repetitive behaviors such as lining up toys alphabetically or counting down from a number specified by the person. They may also have trouble paying attention or learning from experience. Some research has shown that adults with ASD may use ritualistic behaviors as a way of coping with the challenges of daily life. This may include wearing certain clothes or keeping their homes clean and orderly. But other research has suggested that individuals with ASD may avoid others or stay in their room most of the time because they don't want to bother anyone.
People with ADHD can be hard to interact with because they may talk too much or not say what they mean. They may also change their mind about things frequently. These are all symptoms of ADHD and do not mean that someone is trying to be unkind.
Those who know you well say that you seem more focused than usual. You come across as being very aware of everything going on around you.
According to CHADD, more than half of children on the autism spectrum display ADD symptoms such as trouble calming down, social awkwardness, the ability to focus primarily on things that interest them, and impulsivity. ADHD, on the other hand, is not on the autistic spectrum. However, because many people with ASD also have ADHD, it's important for families to understand the relationship between these two conditions.
Most children with characteristics historically linked with Asperger's Syndrome, an autism spectrum illness, are diagnosed with ADHD — or are misdiagnosed — before a clinician establishes that it is AS. The symptoms of autism spectrum diseases and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) coincide. However not all individuals with ASD display significant problems with inattention or hyperactivity-impulsivity. Many people with ASD have an average to above-average IQ and perform well in academic settings, while others have low IQ scores and require assistance from others when studying or working at computers.
Symptoms of ADHD include difficulty focusing on one task for extended periods of time, paying close attention to something for a short period of time then moving on to another activity or person (called "sustained attention"), being easily distracted by noises or images around you (called "cognitive noise") and acting without thinking about the consequences of your actions ("impulse control"). People who score high on measures of impulsivity and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) traits may do better than others on tasks requiring rapid responses under pressure, such as gaming events or military training exercises. Individuals with ADHD may also find it easier to concentrate when music is playing in the background or other external stimuli are present.
People with autism spectrum disorders often have difficulties interpreting nonverbal cues such as facial expressions or body language.
In children and adolescents, the global prevalence of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or hyperkinetic disorder (HKD) has been estimated to be 2.2 percent (range, 0.1-8.1 percent). There is some evidence that this figure may be higher than previously thought.
Research on adult populations shows a similar level of impairment: around 3 percent of adults have ADHD or HKD. However, because adults with ADHD are less likely to seek treatment than children, these figures probably underestimate the number of adults who actually have the condition.
There is no clear explanation for why rates are so high in children but not in adults. Some researchers believe it may be due to more sensitive measures used in studies with adults, while others point to differences in genetics or environment between children and adults that increase their risk for ADHD.
Whatever the cause, this difference in rates between children and adults with ADHD makes sense when you consider that most cases of ADHD first appear by age 12 years. The symptoms of ADHD usually go away around age 16 but about one in five people continue to experience problems with concentration, behavior, or both after adulthood.
So, overall, the worldwide prevalence of ADHD is about 2-3% of children and adolescents and 3-6% of adults.
According to a 2016 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research, roughly 6.1 million children (9.4 percent) between the ages of 2 and 17 in the United States have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD).
This means that one in 10 children is diagnosed with ADHD. That's more than any other childhood disease except for pneumonia.
People with ADHD may have problems paying attention for short periods of time, doing several things at once, and controlling their impulses. They also tend to dislike school and have trouble completing tasks they start.
Those findings were based on surveys conducted by health professionals who asked parents or caregivers about how often they had seen certain behaviors in their children. The questions were then used to diagnose ADHD.
There are different types of exams used to diagnose ADHD. A complete medical history will be taken, along with a physical examination. Tests such as brain scans and blood tests may be done if the doctor feels it would help identify the cause of the problem.
Children can receive multiple diagnoses. For example, some children may be diagnosed with ADHD and another condition called oppositional-defiant disorder (ODD). Those with ODD act out physically toward others or refuse to do what they're told regularly. They feel intense anger and resentment toward those around them.
One common misunderstanding is that all children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are inherently brighter and have a higher IQ than children who do not have ADHD. There is, however, no link between this illness and IQ. The only connection appears to be that people who have ADHD are more likely than others to go into the fields in which brains like to wander... Silicon Valley is full of smart people who deal with ADHD by becoming engineers or scientists.
People with ADHD tend to score higher on measures of intelligence than average people without the condition. However, because so many people with ADHD fail to achieve their potential due to problems with attention and self-control, they often appear to be "brains in a box" who are extremely successful in certain areas of life but unable to handle other challenges.
In fact, there is some evidence that individuals with ADHD may make better politicians or business leaders because of their inability to focus on one thing for long periods of time. A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that adults who had been diagnosed with ADHD as children were less likely than others to be hospitalized for mental health reasons. The study's authors concluded that "these results suggest that adult patients with ADHD experience fewer psychiatric symptoms and use mental health services less frequently than those with other psychiatric disorders."