ADHD and autism are both disorders that can affect your child's ability to concentrate and stay on task. Children with ADHD display marked inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. Autism Spectrum Disorders are characterized by communication issues, poor social skills, and repetitive or ritualistic behaviors. While both disorders share some of the same symptoms, a professional trained in recognizing the two conditions can differentiate between the two. Children that have ADHD often have problems with communication and may struggle socially.
In an ADHD diagnosis, social development markers such as turn-taking, understanding gestures, name recognition, and imaginative play are all intact. ADHD children might not always respond appropriately, but they understand the concept behind taking turns in a game and they know what their name means. Facial expressions, humor, and empathy are also unaffected in children that have ADHD.
There is the possibility for children to be diagnosed with both ADHD and autism. Generally, doctors begin treating one disorder and after successfully treating the systems for the disorder, symptoms from the other disorder begin to become more apparent. In these cases, the doctor must work with the child to find the right combination of medication and behavioral therapy to successfully treat the child.