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What key factors differentiate Asperger's Syndrome from ADHD?

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2009-06-14 14:28:16
2009-06-14 14:28:16

People with Asperger's Syndrome typically are very interested in specific subjects and like to learn lots of details about them. They can become obsessed with in obscure subjects and enjoy talking in great detail about them, taking them very seriously. People with ADHD are likely to have lots of interests and to be less obsessive about following through on them. Both can have issues with social situations, with the people with Asperger's syndrome being unaware that people find them boring and struggling to understand why others aren't fascinated by their subject, while the people with ADHD may not notice what's going on around them and may be socially inappropriate, but they understand it when it is pointed out to them. Asperger's Syndrome can be misdiagnosed as ADHD because of similar symptoms. In addition, ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome can occur together. Some Comparisons: ADHD - has difficulty focusing on one thing

AS - can focus very intently on one thing if it is a special interest but could have difficulty if it is not a special interest ADHD - has difficulty completing tasks

AS - does not have difficulty completing tasks if it is a special interest

ADHD - might not seem to be listening when someone is speaking to him or her

AS - might not seem to be listening when intently focused or when overwhelmed ADHD - talks nonstop

AS - talks nonstop about a special interest but often very little on other topics ADHD - makes inappropriate comments due to being impulsive but realizes afterward it was inappropriate

AS - makes inappropriate comments due to not knowing better and not understanding social conventions ADHD - shows emotions without restraint

AS - shows emotions when overwhelmed and stressed, but might seem unemotional at other times ADHD - interrupts due to being impulsive

AS - could interrupt due to lack of understanding of social conventions but might not talk at all

ADHD - fidgets, squirms, moves constantly due to hyperactivity

AS - fidgets and squirms in some situations that can be resolved with a "fidget" that helps him or her focus or being put in a low-distraction low-stress environment ADHD - has difficulty performing silent tasks

AS - usually does not have difficulty performing silent tasks if in low-distraction low-stress environment; can play quietly alone in a room ADHD - has difficulty paying attention

AS - might have difficulty paying attention if subject is not a special interest or if person uses slang and idiomatic expressions that are not understood or if not in a low-distraction low-stress environment ADHD - daydreams frequently

AS - daydreaming is not typically a symptom noticed in younger children, but it might be more common in girls and older children or teens ADHD - forgets details of daily routines

AS - follows daily routines rigidly ADHD - might have accidents and injuries due to being impulsive

AS - might have accidents and injuries due to lack of motor control

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There are simelarities between ADHD and Asperger Syndrome. But ADHD is more to do with having difficulty focusing on school work, sitting still in class, etc. As Asperger Syndrome is more to with having trouble with Social Skills, and Comunication Skills. It is like autism; in fact it is on the 'high functioning end' of the autistic spectrum. But yes many people with aspergers also have, or have symptoms of 'ADHD'.


It is common for those with an Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis to also carry an ADHD diagnosis. There is speculation that the two syndromes may be related because of their presentation, and often, co-diagnosis. Both syndromes share a core deficit: executive dysfunction.


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ADHD or attention-deficit hyperactivity-disorder (sometimes referred to as ADD) is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder. ADHD is not contagious; individuals with ADHD have had it since birth. Pre-mature birth, hereditary factors (parents who have ADHD), and exposure to toxic chemicals can contribute to the likelihood of acquiring ADHD. ADHD can also be influenced by environmental factors, including amount of time spent watching television, and possibly video games. Scientific studies prove conclusively that screen time is associated with attention problems.ISU study finds TV viewing, video game play contribute to kids' attention problems - http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2010/jul/TVVGattention


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