Asperger’s and ADHD – What’s the difference?

If one has been diagnosed with Asperger’s, does that mean one has ADHD as well? Or is it either or? Curious, I decided to find out.  Let us start with ADHD aka Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I had thought that people with ADHD were just hyper and talked really quickly. As was diagnosed with ADHD and am rather hyper at times. Which I do believe I keep under control (contrary to what my family may say). However, if I become nervous in front of people or am feeling stressed, or feel the person I am talking to is feeling stressed, then I become a stand-up comic. This can be a benefit if one doing this in front of a paying audience, but can become really awkward when you wanted to chat with a you don’t know, especially a university instructor. Trust me on this.

So…. my first stop on my casual online investigating was to the United States government’s National Institute of Mental Health (aka in which it is written: ADHD is a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.

I think a lot of us have felt inattentive at times at work, school or perhaps even while listening to one’s loved one recount their day. But, this type of inattentiveness is more intense and interferes with one’s daily tasks in life to such a degree that one’s good intentions to do something, or listen to a lecture become, just that – an intention. Also, according Empowering Parents, there is a pattern to where ADHD occurs. Check out the numbers in the “poster” below.

Upon looking at the above chart, I have to wonder if diagnosis’ of ADHD are being over-reported in some of the regions of high incidence or  under-reported in other regions; or is there an error in individuals being diagnosed?

Dr. Daniel Rosenn wrote in an article about this same question entitled, “Is it Asperger’s or ADHD” in which he states: “It would be much easier for all of us if psychiatric diagnoses fell neatly into one category. (If it was possible)… one of the first places we would direct our attention would be at the muddy territory shared by Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

He continues – “It is not too surprising that so many children are first diagnosed with ADHD, (occasionally preceded by the apologetic “atypical”) several years before they circle and land on the Asperger’s tarmac.”

(To be continued.)


About Sandra RB

A late-life diagnosed Aspie living in the PNW. Journalist, blogger, content writer, feature writer, WWU Alumni and Doggy Mom of the Mighty Chi.
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