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.

ADHD and Autism in the Classroom © istockphoto/ktaylorg

What Is Autism?

Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that affects boys four times as often as girls. Autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) are usually called Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) by physicians. PDD is a group of three conditions -- autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, and Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. The conditions are characterized by problems communicating and relating to others, and a need to follow rigid routines and to engage in repetitive behaviors or language.

Some pediatricians are knowledgeable enough to diagnose PDD, but the majority need the support of a specialist, especially if a child has already received an ADHD diagnosis.

Next: The Similarities Between ADHD and Autism


This article comes from the Winter 2009 issue of ADDitude.

To read this issue of ADDitude in full, buy the back issue.


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TAGS: Comorbid Conditions with ADD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder

 

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