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Autism or ADHD?

By Rachel Evans

Today I want to about ADHD and Autism. They are classed as two different disorders yet some children can have both.

It can be hard to distinguish between the two as many of the symptoms are similar.
Some of the most common signs of ADHD include:

- inattentiveness
- destructiveness
- impulsive behavior
- restlessness
- hyperactivity
- distractibility
- forgetfulness
- hyperactivity
- mood swings

The two disorders get confused because the symptoms are similar. The difference is the cause of the symptoms.

With autistic children they may be fidgety, distracted and restless due to sensory irritants such as bright lights, loud noises, uncomfortable clothes etc. The challenge is to recognize these external irritants or an autistic child maybe diagnosed with ADHD. If you can control these outside factors an autistic child will usually calm down.

Children with ADHD have more problems in controlling their behaviour.

Children with ADHD don’t usually have any problems with language abilities, in fact their IQ’s are normally above average. They struggle in school not because they aren’t bright, but because they have a hard time sitting still and concentrating on lessons.

These difficulties in concentration can be managed and overcome through various means and children with ADHD can learn to control their behaviour.

As a rule of thumb, children develop a minimum attention span of 3 minutes for every year of their life. So a three year old should be able to concentrate for at least 9 minutes and a 4 year old for at least 12 minutes and so on.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t include being able to watch tv for prolonged periods as it doesn’t involve the same level of concentration as focused problem solving.

About the author - Rachel Evans.

The Essential Guide to Autism