33 thoughts on “Asperger’s, ADHD, Autism & Violence: Is There A Connection?

  • December 17, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    You’re an idiot. Get an education and speak of something you truly know about.

    Reply
    • December 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      Thanks, Mariehoag, I’ll bear that in mind. And you are entitled to your opinion.

      But since you don’t know me and since you have just manifested the very behaviour I was speaking of, I’ll let your comment stand as proof that I do, in fact “know about” what I speak of. Thanks for being an example of the type of behaviour that causes stigma.

      And thanks for reading my blog and for commenting, You’re always welcome to comment here,
      Kelly

      Reply
  • December 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I stopped reading immediately after you stated that ADHD is an autistic spectrum disorder. That’s just not true. Do your research before writing about this kind of subjects.

    Reply
    • December 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      I’m sorry that you closed your mind to one opinion because you’d already closed it to another, Nouks.

      I’m also sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I do research, and the latest studies and theories suggest that we are on the Autism spectrum.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Reply
  • December 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Kelly,

    You seem sincere in your discussion of ADHD, and that is to be commended. However, sincerity and expertise are not the same. Since you have some connection to ADDitude magazine, then you should have read enough to also know enough to know that ADHD is NOT on the autism spectrum. NO credible resource puts it there. Not IDEA, not the DSM, not CHADD, not LDA, not books by Ned Hallowell or Larry Silver or any credible author,…nowhere. It is it’s own thing. Having ADHD doesn’t qualify you for expert status on mental health any more than having the flu would make you an expert on contagious diseases.

    If you want to diagnose yourself with autism along with ADHD, go right ahead. However, you should not try to pass yourself off as an expert on ADHD while saying it is on the autism spectrum. You damage the public awareness and education efforts of special needs advocates when you do this.

    Reply
    • December 17, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      Hi, Youshouldknowbetter, unfortunate choice of name that was, but you’re stuck with it now.

      I am not saying that ADHD is Autism, try to understand this, just that, due to shared symptoms it is on the Autism spectrum. Additionally, there is nothing we would be able to do to stop it being included, like Asperger’s apparently will be in the DSM V, with Autism.

      Now, a few points I’d like to make:
      1. I did not diagnose myself with ADHD, a certified doctor of psychiatry did that.
      2. I cannot diagnose myself with Autism, nor would I if I could.
      3. I would not have a co-morbid diagnosis of Autism with ADHD if ADHD were to become part of the Autism spectrum
      4. This article is about stigma causing marginalization and driving desperate people, with or without mental illness, to commit grave acts.
      5. Commenting on a blog does not make you any more of an expert than writing a blog makes me, but I assure you I do my research.
      6. If ADHD comes to be referred to as a form of Autism in the future, don’t look for retro active changes in books already printed.
      7. Public awareness of mental health is a joke, I cannot damage it by drawing attention to it.
      8. I am a special needs advocate, and I’m advocating for the needs of those with mental illness to be able to seek help without embarrassment

      I stand behind my post. You have brought nothing more than your opinion to refute it. Please look into the connection between ADHD and the Autism spectrum of symptoms.

      Thanks for reading my post and for commenting,
      I’m always willing to share other opinions,
      Kelly

      Reply
  • December 17, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I feel like the article creates a lot of stigma for people like me with Autism.No person with Autism is the same.Mine is mild.I have learned how tolive with it.I also have a non verbal learning disability,and an anxiety disorder.I have gonethrough therapy to help me.I am not a violent person.I am lucky to have a mom who has worked in the mental health field for over 20 years.She knows that there is no connection with Autism and violence like this.My friend has ADHD.My mom and her mom know about issues surrounding our disabilities.ADHD isn’t on the Autism Spectrum.It’s a seperate disorder.You are spreading the stigma that the Autism community doesn’t need.We need to be understood.I am a member of the local self advocasy groupwhere I live trying to make life easier and more fair for people with disabilities.I give back to my communtiy.I am well adjusted full time college student with Autism and other physical disabilities and medical issues.I am proud of my Autism! It makes me special and unique!

    Reply
    • December 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Pinkhawk, I’m sorry you feel this way, my point was that whenever someone with mental illness issues seeks to solve them in a violent way, the blame should be placed on society for causing the stigma that makes help inadequate, hard to find and an embarrassment to ask for. I never meant to suggest that a connection exists between Autism and Violence, only that a connection exists between stigmatization , bullying, abuse and violence.

      I respect and admire your pride, and I respect your mother’s 20 years service in the mental health field.

      And Pinkhawk, it is people like you who will win respect that the Autism and mental health communities deserve, people who show their community the value in each and every one of us.

      Again, I’m sorry if you understood me to be adding to the stigma that we endure. We deal with mental health issues each day of our lives. That should be more than enough for us, I was never trying to add to it.

      Thank you for reading my post and sharing your point of view,
      Kelly

      Reply
  • December 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    A mental disorder can not be the blame for such a bad act, my son has behavioural issues + borderline aspergers,he is 12 years old. He can be hard 2 handle at times but he would never intentionally do harm 2 others. I believe if we had a firearm in the home (which we don’t,being an Australian citizen) he may of even contemplaited using it during a time of a severe episode but instead he resorts 2 other more reasonable ways 2 express himself,there is no option 2 use a firearm so this type of act will never happen 4 us. You need 2 look at the statistics of shooting deaths per year in other countries then measure it up 2 an American 12 month period, the results are shocking. America needs 2 get strict on firearms, they are weapons and should be treated as such. They should not be easily accessible like lollies at a candy store.

    Reply
    • December 17, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      Hi, Sharree, Psych Central is a mental health advocacy website. I have an opinion on the right to bear arms and an opinion on gun control. My opinions on those issues have no place here. I will continue to address the issues encountered by people with ADHD as well as general mental health issues as they pertain to ADHD.

      I’m not going to agree or disagree with your statement, I’m only going to say that my opinions on guns have nothing to do with my opinions on mental health.

      Thanks for reading my blog and for your comment,
      Kelly

      Reply
  • December 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Kelly,

    I love your writing, as you know. But I think this needs some clarification: ADD is *not* considered to be part of the Autism Spectrum. There are some that believe that it is so, but there is no evidence to prove this.

    There have been studies showing some gene varients that are shared, but that doesn’t mean the individual with ADHD is actually on the spectrum.

    See http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2011/08/10/adhd-autism-may-sometimes-share-gene-mutations?page=2

    Respectfully,

    Terry Matlen, ACSW
    http://www.ADDconsults.com

    Reply
    • December 18, 2012 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Terry, I’m with the ones that believe it to be so. I think that, just as we have seen Adult ADHD become an accepted disorder, we will see more and more evidence to support the idea that it is, in fact, on the Autism spectrum. As stated in the article you linked to: “But much remains unknown, including what else happens, either genetically or environmentally, that leads one child to develop ADHD and another to develop ASD.”

      I will gladly stand corrected if I am found to be mistaken when the unknown is known. My search, like yours I’m sure, is for the truth.

      Thank you so much, Terry, for your comment. It is an honor to have someone as respected in our community as you are comment on my post. For those who seek a trustworthy source of information on all things ADHD, please avail yourselves of Terry’s amazing site by clicking on her name beside her comment or by clicking here.

      Kelly

      Reply
  • December 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    I suggest we keep an open mind and look at all neurological disorders/diseases as just that. There is much debate as to one form or another is a mental illness, ASD, bipoloar, etc. These are all the result of some kind of neurological disorders which I believe is best helped through adequate nutrition as the first step in trying to help these individuals.

    While this is a very complex condition, the conditions that I have found is mostly related to tantrums, melt downs, etc but not major violent actions which stems from their inability to express themselves. This appears to be caused by nerve signals that cannot be completed due to adequate insulation of the nerves making them unable to complete the circuit in a normal manner thus causing the frustration.

    I have considerable evidence that a diet that ensures adequate nutrition does in fact eliminate the tantrums and melt downs in but a few days when adequate nutrition is provided.

    Reply
    • December 17, 2012 at 10:26 pm

      Hi doc, what’s your Ph.D. in? Oh, Food Science & Nutrition. Hmmmm …. Well, that should be more than good enough to make you able to treat people’s mental health issues.

      So let me tell you, I’m not actually having tantrums these days, I kind of grew out of that when I had my 23rd birthday. That thing when I was 25? That was just a slip up. I’m not sure what a melt down is, is that a new medical technical term that only doctors of Food Science & Nutrition are privy to?

      Though I’m not suffering tantrums (or melt downs to the best of my knowledge), I’m also eating atrociously. I’m not talking manners here, I’m talking diet. So I guess a bad diet is the cure?

      I’m not sure what the first sentence of your second paragraph is saying, perhaps if it were an actual sentence it would be easier to decipher. The second sentence is a bit run on, but if I’m getting the picture correctly you are saying that because the nerve has enough insulation it isn’t working correctly and that causes frustration. Well, I can see how that would be frustrating, if my nerves had adequate insulation but still couldn’t complete their signals I’d be frustrated too. You say that tantrums and meltdowns appear to be caused by this? Can you send me a link to the video of this appearance, or your peer reviewed clinical studies showing this to be the case? Reviewed by Food Science & Nutrition peers will do …

      Oh, and look, you have a website. And you have a book that apparently will identify the causes of what? Arthritis, Autism, Obesity and Other Chronic Disease and Disorders? And what’s this statement? “Nutrition is the basis for all life and achieving a complete and balanced diet is but the first step in preventing or curing chronic diseases.” There’s truth in there all right. The truth is when people buy into your diet and they aren’t cured, you can point at this and say, “I can’t be held responsible, I told you this was only the first step … ” Nice touch.

      I do agree with the first line of your comment though, I too suggest that an open mind is a thing to be kept. Folks, never close your minds to the existence of people who will tell you what you want to hear in order to sell you a book that suggests it can cure what no one else can cure. If you don’t think he’s suggesting he can cure the incurable, here’s the title of his next book, “Autism – Natural Prevention, Treatment and Healing©” … Hogwash.

      Thanks for commenting on my post, doc, sorry you caught me on a bad day, but the truth is I only had 3½ hours sleep last night … and between you and me, as I mentioned before, my diet really isn’t the best … but thank God, no tantrums or melt downs, eh? (oh, that “eh?” at the end there? That’s not a tantrum, that’s ’cause I’m Canadian, it has nothing to do with my diet. I promise)

      If any readers want to go to the website of Harold Rongey, Ph.D. you can use your favorite search engine to look up “whostolemyfood” (seriously, that’s the catchy name of the site, doesn’t that inspire a sense of credibility?) … I am not endorsing it, rather the opposite I should think.

      Kelly

      Reply
  • December 18, 2012 at 11:26 am

    If a person interested in the Connecticut Tragedy does the job of educating themselves about Asperger’s, then that person would probably come to the conclusion that it was not Asperger’s, but some other disorder that led to this tragedy. In reading Kelly’s article, I don’t look at it as whether or not ADHD is on the Autism Spectrum, but rather that a person with ADHD or an Autism Spectrum Disorder, or whatever, ends up a what I call “Alphabet Soup.” This is just my opinion as a parent. This stems from all the stuff that goes along with these diagnoses — Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), IDEA (for understanding the education process,) then along comes the OCD, from having to deal with not understanding the world and the GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder,) also from not understanding the world and all the other things that end up going along. My point is that Asperger’s “usually,” from it’s description is non-violent, so this shooter may indeed have had Asperger’s but in my non-professional opinion, he had other things that caused him to commit this horrible tragedy. And I’d also like to add that I am angry that Asperger’s is no longer considered a separate disorder, only because I am fully capable of understanding that it is on the Autism Spectrum, along with several other disorders, but when a non-educated person meets my young adult, they will NOT believe he has Autism, because he speaks well, interacts (awkwardly,) takes college prep and honors course work, etc. It’s not until one notices the subtleties, that won’t be noticeable until one spends time with him, that one realizes there is something off. However, as usual, the media wants to latch on to the immediacy of identifying the cause of this tragedy, when it needs to be settled out.

    Reply
    • December 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      Thank you for leaving your very valid opinion with us, goingtothedogs, I admire your calm perspective.

      I’ve been reading and occasionally responding to some very aggressive calls for society to “lock those people up!” and I am very tired of the nastiness. Your comment was an oasis of sanity, logic and compassion.

      In fairness to the media, they only want to give society what it wants, and what it wants seems to be someone or something to blame. I still maintain that that want is driven by a need to not have to examine itself for fault or cause, when that examination would reveal some grave needs and wants in today’s societal makeup.

      As to the inclusion of Asperger’s in the Autism diagnosis, I hope that it lends more credibility to Asperger’s and at the same time makes Autism become something that isn’t considered a dead end diagnosis. It would be wonderful if people started asking questions and learning about both these disorders. Those are my hopes, my fears, sadly, are the same as yours.

      Thanks for reading my post and for your comment,
      Kelly

      Reply
  • December 18, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    As soon as I heard the shooter (Adam something, I can’t remember his last name) had been diagnosed with Aspergers, I feared there would be people who don’t even know the anything about autism or related disorders saying that was the cause of his violent behavior.
    I haven’t been diagnosed with aspergers yet, but I have been diagnosed with ADHD and show almost every last one of the symptoms related to aspergers, so I’m going to talk to a doctor or psychologist (or someone) about it. I’ve also been asked by close friends several times without mentioning my suspicions if I have aspergers.
    So, I guess I could say I either have it or act a lot like I have it, and I have not even once wondered if murder was one of the rules I didn’t pick up on. But, many people won’t take that, or similar stories, into consideration when they spew some insult at everyone on the autism spectrum, or act like everyone with any kind of disorder is just “crazy” or “stupid.”
    I also wonder if Adam could have been misdiagnosed, or had another disorder along with aspergers.
    Great post, by the way.

    Reply
    • December 18, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      Thank you, Kiki, I admire your plan to ascertain the details of your life in light of your suspicions.

      I don’t know if Adam Lanza was misdiagnosed. I don’t know that he was actually diagnosed with anything, the press is unclear on the actual details as they are not really part of the story, just part of the sensationalism.

      Thank you for bravely sharing your plans with us. Thanks for reading my post, for the comment and the compliment,
      Kelly

      Reply
  • December 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    you obtuse animal.

    Are you intentional causing harm to Autism kids?

    You hater.

    Reply
    • December 20, 2012 at 12:34 am

      I, like all other humans, am an animal, a mammal, specifically.

      No, I don;t believe I am intentionally causing harm to anyone, since the point of my post was that society creates the conditions in which tragedies like Sandy Hook occur. Perhaps you’d like to try commenting again after you actually have read the post? By the way, those who are over the age of consent and have Autism might be a little offended at you referring to them as kids.

      And, just so you know, I don’t hate anyone, not even people who accuse me of things I haven’t done, not even people who call me names because they didn’t bother to read a post I’d written. And while I think your choice of name is a bit silly, as a name, I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment, Autism does not cause violence.

      Feel free to comment here any time, but as a courtesy to me and possibly your own reputation, would you mind reading the post you’re commenting on first? I think it would make for less confusion …

      … still, thanks for your comment,
      Kelly

      Reply
  • December 20, 2012 at 3:17 am

    Two things: Regardless of if you “think” ADHD is on the Autism spectrum or not- You cannot say that it is in fact on the spectrum until there’s solid research and facts proving such.

    Currently, the DSM and IDE etc do not consider ADHD to be on the autism spectrum, but rather two separate disorders.

    And they are often comorbid, but they aren’t the same. ADHD doesn’t have the same set of symptoms as autism, no matter what.
    It doesn’t inherently have the repetitive behaviors, the strict adherence to routines, the communication difficulties and the social clumsiness. They can be “side effects” that come along with comorbid anxiety or restlessness, but they aren’t the same as they are in Autism.
    ADHD presents with hyperactivity and restlessness, and an inability to focus well.

    I have both Autism and ADHD (and Sensory Processing Disorder) And I can clearly separate the two in myself. My inability to focus can be either related to my autism or ADHD- if it’s caused by the autism then it’s very likely sensory related and can be resolved by removing distracting stimuli and adding beneficial ones such as weighted blankets/vests.
    ADHD is more so being distracted by a bunch of things at once- such as fleeting thoughts or random things out of the corner of my eye. When I’m being distracted by things like that, lowering the sensory stimuli around me doesn’t make it any easier to focus. It just distracts me further.

    Second, Autism is not A mental disorder. It is a neurological/developmental disorder. Not mental. It can cause mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, but those are after effects, not inherent. Please please do your research and know the differences!

    This was not meant to be an “attack” or anything, simply trying to inform and educate! You can believe whatever you want but dont try to pass it off as fact when it isn’t proven to be such.

    Reply
    • December 20, 2012 at 3:17 am

      IDE…gah. I meant ‘ICD’. 3 a.m and I’ve been sick all day, sorry!

      Reply
    • December 20, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Hi, Sila.

      Autism and Asperger’s also do not have the same set of symptoms, but there is an overlap, and there will soon be a greater connection in the DSM. They will both be the same diagnosis. ADHD, Asperger’s and Autism don’t, as you point out, have the same set of symptoms, but again, there is an overlap. As to To add fuel to the argument that some, not just me, are making, ADHD is not a mental disorder either, it is also neurological/developmental disorder.

      And as to that statement that Autism is not a mental disorder, I didn’t say it was, I said it was a mental health disorder, a disorder that manifests itself in, and has affects on, our mental health.

      ADHD does indeed inherently have the repetitive behaviors, the strict adherence to routines, the communication difficulties and the social clumsiness, just not to the extent that one with Autism might experience.

      ADHD does not rely on the trigger of a symptom, only on the existence of that symptom. It is a symptom spectrum disorder. The cause of your distraction isn’t the ADHD, the distraction is.

      If each of these disorders are symptom spectrum disorders, and the symptoms overlap, and many of us have symptoms from more than one disorder, maybe we are looking at this the wrong way around.

      Twenty years ago, if I had written that ADHD persisted into adulthood, or that ADHD was not a disorder that just affected boys, there would have been shouts of disagreement. And yet, the world view would soon change. True the change is slow to spread, but it is spreading. Consider this a stirring of the minds.

      But more to the point, this post was not about Autism, ADHD, Asperger’s, or even violence, it was meant to point out that the inherent cause of a problem in society is never the individual. The stress that a person is under when they have a breakdown is the cause.

      Thanks for commenting and for reading my post,
      you’re always welcome here, and I didn’t consider your well stated points as an attack,
      Kelly

      Reply
  • December 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    On add and or ADHD as being on te “Autism Spectrum” – well, possible, an possibly virtually anyone is possible on some sort of spectrum , but I dont’ see this as particularly helpful

    Reply
  • December 20, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Whoops, to restart, fingers misplaced….rebellious computer. The issue is that this guy murdered children, and adults before committing suicide, something which is pretty unusual behavior for anyone, and not in any way, as far as I’ve ever read, connected to the cited conditions. I’m of the opinion, that, akin to our understanding of “cancer,” the more we learn, the more we’ll understand that there are a whole mess of different brain conditions and events involved in our behaviors – and that the descriptive categories we have now are extremely crude. [IMNSHO} the cause of your and my ADD distraction is neither the ADHD NOR the distraction itself,an outside cue, but the difficulty the brain has in controlling its focus – or perhaps in coordinating the 2 sides of the brain so that they focus on the same thing. (All ideas subject to change).
    So back to Adam Lanza – the only thing I feel fairly certain about is that he was in a fury – and determined to spread the pain and with the skills and arms to do this. And that his actions had nothing to do with his having Asberger’s or autism in any ‘known’ form.

    Reply
    • December 20, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      Aaaah, oldblackdog, I never suggested that the idea of ADHD being on the Autism spectrum was helpful, or even that it had anything to do with the topic of my title. It was a random line in an otherwise pointed post. And the point of that post was that Autism, Asperger’s, ADHD and any other disorder that affects our mental well being has little to do with the type of explosive and violent action demonstrated in Adam Lanza’s rampant carnage.

      The point of the post was to suggest that societies repeated stigmatization of anyone who is considered different is enough to cause that person to lose touch with what is right and wrong. And it is totally unnecessary. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say with assurance that anyone would seek help more readily if it did not involve admitting to what society suggests is weakness. If mental health were one of societies greater priorities instead of its dirty secret, it would be no different than flu shots, eye exams, or dental appointments as far as booking appointments openly and with every confidence that you would be treated with dignity and civility.

      So back to Adam Lanza – I believe you are correct, that he was in a fury, he was determined to spread the pain, and did indeed have those skills and arms to do just that. My question would be where did the pain come from? His alleged disorder (I’ve never yet heard his diagnosis confirmed by any greater authority then the all seeing, all knowing “they”) or his treatment at the hands of a world ill suited to deal with a person of his unique characteristics.

      And doesn’t that phrase “unique characteristics” sound all to familiar to us?

      Thanks again, oldblackdog, for your insight and for reading my post,
      always good to hear from you,
      Kelly

      Reply
      • January 7, 2013 at 8:00 am

        And thanks for your [many] responses.[and you know that ADD means endless tangents…] You might like a thoughtful reflection on this and similar tragedies by a forensic psychiatrist – at Medscape – retrieve it from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/776427
        – “Mass Shootings and the Ethic of the Open Heart”
        Grossly oversimplifying he argues: we have no “mental health system,” but we sure could use one; yet even if we did have comprehensive services, and sane gun policies, that might not [would not] prevent this sort of isolated tragic attack. Leaving it there – it is a good article.

        Reply
      • January 7, 2013 at 8:08 am

        My blog is a conversation, with me doing a whole lot of the talking of course, ha ha. Thank you for the link. This subject won’t be exhausted any time soon, will it. As long as people need answers and, worse still, as long as there are those who would use these tragedies to promote their agendas and disseminate misinformation to that end, we will need to continue talking about this.

        Thank you again, oldblackdog, for reading my post and for your calm and thoughtful input,
        Kelly

        Reply
  • December 23, 2012 at 5:57 am

    I have many friends who are on the Autistic scale most of whom just have Aspergeus Syndrom. I have always worked with people who have full blown autism. My understanding of the autistic is that it primarily reduces the emotional and psychological understand situations. This means that certain situations are approach differently due to lack of understanding. I have seen this to be a stubborn lack of willingness to accept your own inaccuracies within Aspergeus Syndrom. Within full blown autism I have seen reactions to be emotional crashes were individuals will start reacting to situation in an overly passionate and sometimes in correct manner. I do not believe that an individual is more or less likely then an average person to perform this kind of action. The fact of the disabilities of the culprit should not be blown this much out of proportion as it can cause stigmatisation of the disability in general. Which can cause prejudice thoughts and opinions to occur which can be overly damaging causing a necessity for more disabled to seek refuge within special needs schools when they are capable of studying in a state school. I do hope people do simple shy away and suggest a disability can cause this kind of behaviour in all suffers based on such evidence.

    Reply
  • December 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Hi, i didn’t read this thoroughly, but just to say something about the “societal stigma” part.
    I have aspergers myself, and have never been bullied in my life, if anything people were always supportive and protective of me at school(sometimes overly so!) I also know other autistic people and never heard of any of them being bullied. So I think the problem can also be related to the structure of society.

    Reply
    • January 5, 2013 at 11:02 pm

      I’m glad you have never experienced being bullied, Mildred. Some of us have been lucky, and some of us have not. Between you and I, in school, you were the lucky one.

      Thanks for the comment,
      Kelly

      Reply
  • January 11, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Upon reading your comment about believing that ADHD is part of the autism spectrum, I went on a huge Google Scholar binge reading up on this alleged connection between autism and ADHD.

    I’m a 20-something with a recent ADHD (inattentive type) diagnosis. As a kid, it was suggested more than a couple times that I might have high-functioning autism because I had social/behavioral problems but was not hyperactive or impulsive. Being a curious person, I’ve done plenty of reading on both ADHD and autism. One thing that struck me about autism and that stands out to me as a major distinguishing characteristic is the ‘theory of mind’ aspect. I have perfectly sound theory of mind. In reading deeply into the nuances of both ADHD and autism and speaking with a very knowledgeable psychiatrist, I’ve gathered that even though a number of symptoms overlap, it would seem that the underlying causes of the symptoms are very different. For example, inability to understand subtle communication can result in the same sort of social problems as the inability to pay attention to subtle communication.

    Besides, the only big ticket item I found that purported that ADHD and autism were basically the same disorder was the book, “The ADHD-Autism Connection”, which was written by a mother without any background in medicine or science. However, I did find some papers that suggested that ADHD, autism, OCD, as well as some other disorders, might be within the same spectrum of disorders due to various correlations in brain development and whatnot. But that’s not really the same as regarding ADHD as part of the autism spectrum. Just because disorders might have similar root causes wouldn’t necessarily mean that the resulting disorders are presentations of the same disorder. I can see ADHD and autism being ‘related’ disorders in that they might have similar genetic and developmental markers, but I can’t see how they’d be the same disorder on the ‘surface level’ of diagnosis and treatment when they seem to be very, very different disorders.

    But that’s just like, my opinion man.

    Reply
    • January 11, 2013 at 10:34 pm

      And it’s like, an admirable one, man. I appreciate and admire your investigation. The suggestion that ADHD is on the Autism spectrum is a controversial one. My contention is that ADHD isn’t Autism, but neither is Asperger’s right now. Fast forward to the release of the DSM 5 and Asperger’s will be a sub-type of Autism. Are they caused by the same thing? Do they share identical symptoms?

      We are dealing with semantics here as much as with facts. What if it were determined that ADHD, primarily hyperactive was a separate disorder from ADHD primarily inattentive? Then those of us who are combined type would have two comorbid disorders. We’d be no different than we were the day before. Just as we are no different from the day before we were diagnosed in the first place.

      The point of my post was that it is the perception of a disorder that causes people to treat those with that disorder in such a manner that they feel cornered, trapped, without recourse. I have to say I’m amazed at the reaction that has been evoked by this post. I feel rather gratified to see that what I was saying has been given credit by this very reaction.

      I am what and who I am. I was before I was diagnosed with ADHD. And should ADHD be reclassified, and please understand that no one is saying that is even being considered as far as I know, I shall still be the same man. And you, AJ, will still be the person you are.

      Thanks for reading my blog, and for your comment. I appreciate your well informed and well thought through point of view.

      Kelly

      Reply
 

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