ADHD With "autistic tendencies"

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Parents Symptoms, Diagnosis & Beyond ADHD With "autistic tendencies"

Viewing 5 reply threads
  • Author
    • #83236

      My 6 year old daughter was diagnosed with ADHD a few month ago, by a psychologist that specializes in ADHD. For treatment, we were referred to a pediatric MD.

      We have met with him and on the second medication prescribed. (Adderall was a fail with poor side effects.)

      At our last visit (a week ago) he mentioned my daughter having “autistic tendencies” and nothing ‘more’ in regards to this. When it was mentioned, I was somewhat in shock as it was the first I heard of it and didn’t really know what to think or say.

      So now I am overcome with a book full of thoughts, concerns, and questions.

      Why didn’t the psychologist that evaluated her fro ADHD mention these ‘autistic tendencies” when we got the results? Is this something entirely different that needs to be evaluated separately from an ADHD evaluation?

      Is my child being medicated without a full diagnosis? Is it possible to have ADHD and autism?

      I have done some slight research on autism (I really don’t know much about it, nor did I know much about ADHD before her diagnosis) and now have began to wonder if she may have aspergers.

      We live in a small, rural area in which we have only resided for two years. We are not overly familiar with what is available in out area or what to do at this point.

      My daughter was removed (my choice) from public school kindergarten about two months ago due to lack of support and bullying at her school (from the teacher and principal) and we currently attend an online public school. I have reached out to the current school and awaiting to hear from the special ed teacher about their advice on how to proceed.

      I am at a loss as my head spins, trying to figure out what is really going on with my child. Could she have been misdiagnosed? Is it possible to have ADHD and autism/autistic tendencies? If she does in fact have autism, and/or ADHD also, is ADHD medication the right way to go?

    • #83239

      I think you should definitely check with the pediatrician. It definitely wasn’t okay for him to leave you empty handed with no information when saying your child has autistic tendencies. I think you are as concerned as any parent should be. As for your question, I have read that the two definitely relate to each other. I would have the adhd specialist hear your input about this and then come to a decision. Either one of these conditions are life-long but are treated pretty differently with one more relying on therapy and behavior modification. I hope that you can get this figured out for your little one.

      • #83247

        Thank you for your reply. My concern is, this dr’s office gave us no other options besides medication. I even asked the pediatrician if there are any therapists in the office that could work with my daughter as she’s developed an abnormal sense of fear. He said “I think there’s someone here, but I don’t know if he treats them that young. Check at the front desk”

        I don’t particularly care for this doctor, but I don’t think we have many other options. He’s not nearly as thorough as we’d like, and after asking around we were told “he’s the best” for ADHH care.

        I’ve thought about just giving him a call and asking for some clarification as to the ‘autistic tendencies” but I fear it will no be as productive as I’d like.

        I just want what’s best for my daughter, to give her the best start at life. And it’s become a complete mess.

    • #83323
      Penny Williams

      Yes, you can have ADHD and autism (my son does). Often, ADHD masks the symptoms of “high-functioning” autism until later. My son was diagnosed with ADHD at age 6, I began suspecting additional autism at age 10, but he wasn’t given the additional diagnosis of autism until age 12.

      It’s also possible that she has ADHD with some traits of autism, but not enough to meet the criteria for an autism diagnosis.

      There isn’t medication specifically for autism, so treatment may not change much. There are some additional therapies for autism. For us, it was the extra layer of understanding that we were missing. We didn’t change treatment.

      Autism vs. ADHD: A Parent’s Guide to Tricky Diagnoses

      ADHD and the Autism Spectrum

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #84121

      Hi i hope I can give you some hope. I have been diagnosed firstly with adhd last year and now with autistic spectrum this year after 2 separate evaluations. I am an adult in middle age.
      Yes it is possible to have both I now know! I have impulsivity hyperactivjty and scatteredness of adhd, but I also like certain routines, find change difficult, and struggle socially.
      I wish someone had diagnosed me age 6 because I could have received the support i needed and have much better self esteem than I do now in my 40s!
      It is good news for the future for your daughter and I hope you both get the help that you need so that she can flourish as an adult.

    • #85002

      My little guy is 5 and has been diagnosed with ADHD, combined type. However, our evaluation also included that he tested just short to confirm he had ASD. So, we have many traits of ASD but, not enough to “count”, at that time. I feel that he has “crossed the line” and would be diagnosed if we had him tested again. We can’t have him tested again until next year. So now, he’s receiving meds for his ADHD, which is a journey to find the right one as nothing has improved his ADHD symptoms as of yet. AND, we have these ASD traits that are going untreated because we don’t have an “official” diagnosis. He’d benefit from the social skills and behavioral therapies/training that is available but, an ADHD diagnosis isn’t “enough” or coverages by insurance for these things. These services are expensive. While we are fortunate to be employed and have health insurance, we cannot afford them on the consistent basis that would be most beneficial to him and doing them irregularly/sporadically would/ oils exacerbate his symptoms as we all know routine and consistency is key for treatment for ADHD. I’m doing what I can at home but, I’m not a trained professional in these areas and I really don’t think I’m impacting/improving our situation overall. I feel your frustration. I hope you live in, or near, an area with more provider and treatment options available. I’ve never been one for confrontation but, I’ll be damned if anyone doesn’t help me, or gets in my way, in getting what my son needs. You and I are our children’s advocates. We must be the “Mama Bears” that will not take “no” for an answer, we will not accept or allow the lack of understanding/compassion/empathy of others, whoever they may be (family, friends, doctors, therapists, meddling strangers) and however well-meaning, deter us to fight for the information and resources that will help our little ones to have happy, successful lives.
      I don’t know if it gets better, honestly. I can only say that “I” can do my damnedest to make it as better as “I” can. Good luck to you.

    • #85103

      I have ADD and ASD, both diagnosed as a young adult, looking back on my childhood my Asperger’s symptoms masked the ADD. I find that medication does help as then I mainly only have to deal with my ASD instead of fighting with the ADD issues too if that makes sense. It might help to see a general phychiatrist first and once they have given their diagnoses then go to the relevant specialist/s.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by Crazycatlady.
Viewing 5 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.