Asperger syndrome can involve impairments to executive function.
ADHD does involve impairments to executive function.
However, Asperger syndrome also includes problems in socializing, repetitive behavior and limited and focused interests, and issues with sensory processing, such as hypersensitivity.
What about ADHD?
People with ADHD often have these problems to varying degrees, not unlike the way we manifest our symptoms. We most assuredly have problems socializing. We say and do inappropriate things. We know this about ourselves even before we know that we have ADHD.
We most certainly make excuses for these occurrences, they’re one off situations, they could have happened to anybody, they weren’t as bad as they seem to have been. Maybe they aren’t as extreme as the issues people with Asperger’s experience, but we know they are there.
And that’s just socializing.
We often experience problems that easily remind us of the issues experienced by people with OCD, though these problems again aren’t as extreme as that perplexing issue.
But in our case they do seem to fit into the description of “repetitive behavior and limited and focused interest.” That’s almost like it was written about us, for us. It is us.
And say …
“Limited and focused interest?” That’s just spooky. I mean, we call it hyper-focus, but that’s exactly what hyper-focus, or the more accurate “perseverance” is. Again, us, it’s us.
Now the last one is another hit and miss thing, some of us have sensory processing problems, and hypersensitivity is definitely among them for many of us. I personally have to remove the labels from every shirt I wear because I’ll claw my neck to shreds if the label is at all irritating, and almost all of them are.
Now wait just a minute …
I’m not saying Asperger syndrome and ADHD are the same thing. And while I did get a lot of disagreement when I suggested that ADHD might well have a place on the Autism spectrum, I’m not saying that here right now either. (I still believe that there is a possibility that it may land itself on the low end of that spectrum yet, but if it doesn’t I won’t be upset.)
What I am saying is that diagnosis of mental health issues is a difficult task at best.
The purpose of a definitive diagnosis is to aid in treatment. But the treatment should be considered an ongoing part of diagnosis.
In fact, the most important part of both diagnosis and treatment is an open mind for both the diagnosed and the mental health care professionals responsible for the diagnosis and the treatment.
And the conundrum? It’s real.
And it is the reason that an open mind is needed.
There are so many different mental health disorders and conditions that mimic each other’s symptoms that we must never take anything for granted.
But we must never stop searching for information.