Autism Online Community & Resources
Join Us on Twitter!


January 13, 2011

Aspergers vs. ADHD

More articles by »
Written by: Mark Johnson
Tags: , , ,
ADHD vs. Asperger

What are the differences between Aspergers and ADHD?   The “Help & Teach Our Children” blog has a great article discussing the differences:


How can you tell the difference between Aspergers and ADHD? The disorders are similar but some of the symptoms are quite different but others overlap. Your pediatrician or doctor may be able to tell you which condition your child has, but here are some indicators to guide you.

Aspergers Syndrome gets some fancy names and sometimes is described as part of the autism spectrum called “pervasive developmental disorders”. It is however a mild form of autism but some parents are very unhappy about such a label. Doctors too are wary about using the term autism and maybe for that reason do not diagnose it as often as they should. The main problem is that as the symptoms overlap, this does happen quite often.

What are the differences then between Aspergers and ADHD? The child with Aspergers (or Aspies as they are sometimes called) will have lots of problems with social skills and they cannot really understand what people’s expectations are of them. They will have great difficulty as well in making eye contact. The ADHD child understands most social cues and will be able to make eye contact.

The symptoms for Aspergers and ADHD will overlap when both types of children have outbursts, temper flare ups and talk non-stop. There is another difference though which becomes fairly obvious and that is that the Aspergers child will talk in a boring monotone but will be completely unaware of the social cues and the importance of interaction. This defect is sometimes known as lack of social reciprocity.

Another difference between Aspergers and ADHD is that the Aspergers child seems to lack any filters. There are hundreds of sensory images of all sorts competing for the child’s attention. A normal person and an ADHD child can filter these out to a greater or lesser extent. The Aspergers child cannot, with the result that they will concentrate on the details so much that they cannot understand the big picture. The ADHD child can understand what the filters are and how they work and may sometimes display a lack of self control but the Aspergers child just does not know what the rules are.

Sometimes the daydreaming and fantasising of Aspergers children shows a lot of similarities with the ADHD inattentive type where they seem to live in a world of their own. The Aspergers child is capable of repeating an action or routine ad nauseum which is not very common in ADHD chuildren. If the Aspergers child suffers from a compulsive disorder as well, their behavior displays that and they will worry about their rules and rutuals incessantly.

While ADHD behavior therapy will work quite well with ADHD children , it is not so easy for children with Aspergers.It may be time to consider alternative treatments and the sites below will help you to decide, should your child be diagnosed with one or other of these disorders. Aspergers and ADHD medication too are different, given the additional problems the Aspergers child has.

Robert Locke is a Health enthusiast who specializes in Children’s Health. He has written extensively on ADHD. Discover what Natural ADHD treatment is available.

About the Author

Mark Johnson




What is it? Generic Name: Dexmethylphenidate – ORAL (dex-METH-il-FEN-i-date) Brand Name: Focalin How is it used? (WebMD) Dexmethylphenidate is used as part of a treatment program (including psychological, educational, and...
by Mark Johnson

David Finch Journal of Best Practices

The Journal of Best Practices

At some point in nearly every marriage, a wife finds herself asking, what the @#!% is wrong with my husband?! In David Finch’s case, this turns out to be an apt question. Five years into his marriage, David and his wife Kri...
by Mark Johnson

What Is Aspergers Medical News Today

What is Asperger’s Syndrome?

================================= MEDICAL NEWS TODAY Article ================================= Asperger’s syndrome is a form of autism – it is a developmental disorder that impacts on the individual’s ability ...
by Mark Johnson


One Comment

  1. Gregg L. Friedman MD

    This is a great article which helps to explain the diagnostic differences between Autism, ADHD, and Aspergers. It is very well written and easy to understand. I give it a 5 star excellent rating. By Gregg L. Friedman MD, Psychiatrist, Hallandale Beach, FL

You must be logged in to post a comment.