Aspergers Syndrome is often associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Syndrome (ADHD) as both are behavioral disorders that affect behavior of the child, his social skills and reactions, and his communication ability. Often, doctors primarily find kids below the age of 6 suffering from ADHD. However, once the kids attend schools, their cognitive and sensory impairments become noticeable. The doctors and caregivers then observe the child and finally the medicos diagnose the disorder as one falling under Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
There are many types of disorders under ASD, such as autism, Aspergers Syndrome, and many more. However, symptoms of ADHD and Aspergers Syndrome are quite similar and are often confused one for the other. In fact, the two behavioral disorders seem to appear simultaneously in a child. However, psychiatrists have pointed out that there is a remarkable difference between the two disorders.
Aspie kids cannot comprehend the social gestures or feelings of the other person they are interacting. This lack of understanding or social reciprocity makes them disengaged when conversing with the other person. The doctors also term the social understanding of thoughts, desires, or emotions of the other person as “Theory of Mind”. In Aspergers Syndrome children, this understanding is missing. No wonder, Aspie kids would not…
- Respond to social cues, taunts, or puns.
- Follow social etiquettes or skills.
- Make eye contact.
- React to stimuli where tasks are expected to done by them.
…On the contrary however, ADHD kids respond to behavioral stimuli. They can understand the feelings or wants of the other person they are interacting with and take up social cues easily. They even know what is expected of them but often forget to accomplish them though.
Even though there are dissimilar traits, ADHD and Aspergers Syndromes are confused for one being the other. This is mainly because there are some traits which are common for both, such as:
- Throwing tantrums
- Talking non-stop gibberish
- Lacking behavior intonation
- Missing sociable skills to make friends
The Almost Similar Traits and the Subtle Difference
Here are some features which are common to both, but there is a subtle difference between the Aspie and the person with ADHD disorder. For instance:
- Both are talkative –
- An Aspie would not understand if he is actually boring a person with his long talk.
- An ADHD kid would not realize that he is actually dictating the conversation and not allowing the other person to express himself.
- Haphazard Job Work –
- An Aspie would be disorganized in his work as he does not understand the hidden meaning, puns intended, or cues. But, he would remain focused in a particular job-work.
- An ADHD child would understand social expectations but could be easily distracted and therefore produce a sloppy work. He would not remain focused for long.
- Fantasizing and Day-dreaming –
- Although this feature is common for both, an aspie would fantasize their own ideas that are limited to their own world. Perhaps, they would read a book continuously or just play music for hours together. Obsessive-compulsive aspies have similar traits.
- ADHD kids realize the rules involving their job work. However, they don’t have a self-controlling spirit to follow them. As such, they are not focused or detail oriented. They gradually digress into their fantasy as they are not so disciplined.
On the other hand however, there are some traits which seem like a combination of ADHD and Aspergers Syndrome. It is hard for many doctors to actually analyze the disorder which the child is suffering from. A case-by-case analysis would help in diagnosing the right disorder. It may take years however to get the ideal treatment. In most cases, the psychiatrists find out the treatment by trial and error.
The quicker a child is diagnosed the better it is for him as he would then get the proper teaching methodologies; learn the appropriate behavioral techniques, and educational strategies to help him cope with the disorder. The faster he gets the treatment, the quicker he would be able to compete with kids of his own age.