What is the difference between autism and ADHD in children?

What is autism? How to differentiate between autism and ADHD in children? Autism and ADHD are both neurodevelopmental disorders that share some common symptoms, and a child with autism may also be diagnosed with ADHD. However, the independent diagnosis shows that in addition to highly overlapping symptoms, the two are also fundamentally different. Parents should pay attention to the distinction and provide targeted help to their children in a timely manner.

Autism is a congenital pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder. It is essentially a developmental deviation, that is, an abnormal state that deviates from the development trajectory of ordinary children, including behavioral defective deviations and expressive deviations.

The two core symptoms of autism are social impairment and narrow interests, as well as repetitive and stereotyped behaviors. Different children have different specific manifestations. Most children with autism may have problems such as inattention, hyperactivity, behavioral or emotional impulsivity, etc. These characteristics are highly overlapped with ADHD in children. When these symptoms meet the diagnostic criteria, the autistic child may receive a combined diagnosis of ADHD.

The full name of ADHD in children is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD ), which can be divided into three types:

( 1 ) Attention deficit type, that is, distracted and inattentive;

( 2 ) Impulsive and hyperactive type, that is, difficulty in controlling behavior or emotions, excessive activity, such as always having trouble standing still, moving non-stop, and being overly impulsive;

( 3 ) A combination of the above two types.

The above three classifications also show that no two children with ADHD are exactly the same, and children with ADHD are not necessarily hyperactive. Some children are mainly attention-deficient, some are mainly hyperactive and impulsive, and more It is the coexistence of the three. Specific symptoms of ADHD in children include, but are not limited to:

( 1 ) Forgetful and easily distracted, inattentive, difficult to stay focused, and difficult to learn;

( 2 ) Inability to listen and follow instructions, insufficient organizational skills, and difficulty completing tasks;

( 3 ) Showing depression or lack of impulse control, easily irritable, and often losing temper;

( 4 ) Hyperactive and not adaptable to quiet activities, such as difficulty sitting still;

( 5 ) Impulsive and willful, often blurting out inappropriate words, talking back, colliding, and interrupting others during communication,

( 6 ) Difficulty responding to non-verbal cues and personal space impulses

( 7 ) Behaving childishly, acting without purpose, or being susceptible to negative influences and temptations due to poor self-control, showing playfulness and truancy;

( 8 ) Difficulty understanding the consequences of behavior, etc.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has many causes and is a common symptom in children and adolescents, and may continue into adulthood. ADHD symptoms may improve as children get older, and attention and impulse control may improve. For the healthy growth of their children, parents are required to detect and treat their children’s ADHD early, and promptly improve their children’s ADHD through behavioral intervention and drug-assisted treatment.

The most obvious symptoms of ADHD include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It is primarily a disorder of self-regulation and executive functioning, skills that play a central role in daily life, and autism often includes problems with social interaction, communication, and repetitive and stereotyped behaviors.

ADHD and autism overlap in some ways, but there are some notable differences:

( 1 ) Although both involve attention problems, children with ADHD mainly have difficulty focusing on a single task, rejecting things they don’t like, and are easily bored with things they like; You can stay highly focused on topics or activities of your own special interest;

( 2 ) In terms of social communication, children with ADHD basically have no language communication barriers. They can talk endlessly, keep talking, and even disturb others. However, children with autism have extremely difficult self-expression and emotional sharing, and they usually do not initiate or respond to social interactions, and are unable to engage in non-verbal communication such as glances, gestures, expressions, etc.;

( 3 ) Most children with ADHD have basically normal intelligence and do not have social problems. The difficulty in making friends is often due to their own attention deficit and hyperactivity, not a lack of social skills.

( 4 ) For ADHD, symptoms can be alleviated through corresponding drug treatment; autism cannot be treated with drugs and can only rely on behavioral intervention.

The specific manifestations of childhood autism and ADHD overlap, but they are essentially independent diseases with different symptoms. If parents or teachers find obvious abnormalities in their children’s learning, behavior, emotions, etc., they should seek medical treatment in time.

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