A child may have both ADHD and ASD or one or the other. There are many effective treatments for both, often in the form of therapies. In order to understand the differences between autism and ADHD, we first need to understand the specifics of each. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what it means to have ADHD, ASD, or both.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is often diagnosed around the time a child begins participating in school. The reason is that a child with ADHD may be disruptive in class, which gets the teacher’s attention.
Let’s look at the common signs of ADHD:
- Impulsiveness (can’t wait their turn, doesn’t fear danger, interrupts often)
- Hyperactivity (inability to sit still or concentrate, fidgetiness, excessive talking)
- Short attention span (no organizational skills, forgetfulness, inability to follow directions)
Although ADHD is often diagnosed in childhood, some people aren’t diagnosed until adulthood. An adult diagnosis may give quite a bit of insight into any difficulties that person may have had as a child. Either way, ADHD affects both children and adults.
Most often, behavioral therapies as well as social skills training are used to help a child cope with ADHD. Medication is sometimes prescribed if needed. Experimentation with diet changes may also help.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) involves a series of symptoms that range from mild to severe and vary in each individual. It’s often diagnosed quite young, since symptoms usually appear in the toddler years. Let’s take a look at the most common symptoms of ASD in young children:
- Little to no eye contact
- Unresponsiveness to their own name by nine months of age
- Inability to follow what someone is pointing to by around 18 months of age
- Lack of facial expressions
- Difficulty understanding others’ feelings
As with ADHD, sometimes diagnosis of ASD doesn’t happen until adulthood. With a better understanding of both autism and ADHD, the likelihood of early detection and treatment is better.
Because the autism spectrum varies greatly, therapies vary as well. However, they may include the following:
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Physical therapy
- Support groups for both children and parents
It’s easy to see and understand the differences between autism and ADHD. Still, one can be diagnosed with both. If you suspect either ASD or ADHD, see your family doctor. They’ll perform tests, ask questions, and watch your child’s behavior to make a diagnosis.
At Chariot Innovations, we’ve designed the MiraColt to simulate the positive effects of hippotherapy (equine therapy). We’ve seen excellent results using hippotherapy for autism patients. Contact Chariot Innovations, and we’ll be happy to answer all of your questions about how hippotherapy helps those with various disorders, including autism and ADHD.