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.

Diagnosing Autism


Diagnosing ASD requires an evaluation by a developmental pediatrician, child psychiatrist, or pediatric neurologist. Most insurance companies, and virtually all public schools, require a written evaluation by a specialist before they provide, or pay for, the services autistic children need.

Because autism cannot be diagnosed by medical testing, screening and diagnosis involve interviews, observation, and evaluations. Even when a professional ventures an opinion, he will often hedge by saying, “Well, he is quirky and has some typical behaviors, and they are somewhat consistent with a diagnosis of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder.” This kind of talk is frustrating to the parents and the child, but it’s sometimes unavoidable. Another evaluation in a year often clarifies things, and sometimes a child doesn’t need a diagnosis, as long as he is getting the help he needs.

Next: Managing Autism Symptoms


How ADHD Affects Executive Function
Dr. Barkley explains how to identify and treat executive function disorder in ADHDers. Listen to the audio now!

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TAGS: Comorbid Conditions with ADD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder


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