Is It Autism or ADHD?

Suspect that your attention deficit child may also be autistic? Here's what you need to know about diagnosing and treating autism in ADHD children.

The Similarities Between ADHD and Autism

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The overlap of ADHD symptoms and autism symptoms have confused many families. When a child can’t sit still for homework or a meal, or stay put in class, when he fidgets or talks too much and too insistently, most parents and educators, tutors, and coaches think, “This kid must have ADD!”

The first explanation most doctors arrive at is also attention deficit disorder. The condition is familiar, it’s been around for a long time, and there are effective strategies to manage it. It is important to remember, however, that almost any psychological or developmental disorder of childhood can look like ADHD, with or without the hyperactivity. Kids under stress, due to learning disabilities, anxiety, depression, or sensory integration problems, may exhibit the same symptoms. It takes a skillful evaluation to tease out explanations for the behaviors.

Next: Diagnosing Autism

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