Saturday, October 3, 2015

Does an ADHD Diagnosis Camouflage Autism?

A mother describes the years of frustration when her son’s diagnosis of ADHD delayed the detection of autism.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism are two different conditions and two different diagnoses.

Yet, there are many symptoms that overlap and occur in both disorders. They include poor social skills, sensory dysfunction, and the inability to stay focused.

This can make accurate diagnosis more difficult. The difference is seen in the way these symptoms present and their severity, which can signal which condition is relevant.

The recently updated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V permits both ADHD and autism diagnoses in one individual, allowing a growing number of individuals to be diagnosed with both ADHD and autism spectrum disorder.

However, it isn’t always that simple. Since so many symptoms overlap, a clinician can attribute symptoms to the existing ADHD diagnosis, not seeing the signs of possibly coexisting autism.

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics found that children who are diagnosed with ADHD first are more likely to get their autism diagnosis at a later age than those with no ADHD diagnosis.

The autism diagnosis comes three years later, on average, for kids with an existing diagnosis of ADHD.

I found this on Healthline


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