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Autistic Pride Day 2022: What is the Difference Between Autism and ADHD?

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AUTISTIC PRIDE DAY 2022:  Every year, June 18 is observed as the Autistic Pride Day. This day marks an opportunity to raise awareness about the disorder called Autism Spectrum Disorder and spread the message that people who have autism are not diseased.

Under ASD, a group of complex disorders are covered. These disorders largely affect behaviour, development, and communication. However, ASD is often confused with another condition that shares similar traits, called ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder where a person may not be able to concentrate.

So let us break down the difference between the two conditions:

ADHD

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines ADHD as one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders. The condition is usually diagnosed during childhood and can often last into adulthood for most people. Children with ADHD may encounter trouble controlling impulsive behaviours or paying attention.

This often shows in their academic performance as well. It is also said that they may act spontaneously or be overly active.

There are three types of ADHD:

  1. Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive
  2. Predominantly inattentive
  3. Combination

A report in Healthline states that the combined type of ADHD, where one experiences both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms, is the most common form of ADHD.

ASD

The CDC mentions that people with ASD may behave, communicate, interact, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The condition cannot be detected from how they look. In ASD the abilities of people can vary significantly. Some people with ASD may have advanced conversation skills whereas others may be nonverbal.

Those with ASD may need a lot of help in their daily lives, while some can work and live with little to no support at all.

It is not unusual for ADHD and ASD to be mistaken for the other. Children with either of the conditions may experience trouble communicating and focusing in their daily lives. Although they have some similarities, they are still two distinct conditions.

There are some things that are quite specific to ADHD and some things that one may only see in people with ASD. For example, in ASD the person may show symptoms like repetitive movements, such as rocking or twisting, avoiding eye contact, withdrawn behaviours, impaired social interaction, and delayed developmental milestones.

Meanwhile, people with ADHD may exhibit symptoms like, talking nonstop or blurting things out, hyperactivity, trouble sitting still, interrupting conversations or activities, lack of concern or inability to react to other people’s emotions or feelings.

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