Your Questions About Adhd In Children

Mary asks…

Is there a difference between autism and an autistic disorder in children or are they the same?

Are ADHD children getting mis-diagnosed? Is there such a disorder called “autistic disorder” that mimics ADHD? Or is autism all the same at different levels of severity?

barry jennings answers:

All autistics share what is called the triad of impairments…being lack of eye contact, repetitive movements, and social ‘impediments’. Other than that each autistic child is like a snow flake, all of them are unique and each has their own set of issues unique to them. Autism has many levels of severity. Aspergers is a form of high functioning autism. ADHD is a totally different disorder but many autistics share add/adhd diagnosis. Autism is referred to as a spectrum disorder simply because no one child is the same as the other. But to answer your question to be diagnosed as autistic the triad of impairments must be met. Autistic tendencies could fall under another diagnosis that many autistics share PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified)

Sharon asks…

I have a question about ADHD in children?

I have a neice that was recently diagnosed with adhd. Before she was diagnosed she was make up stories…I was wondering could this have had something to do with the adhd? Also I know that some ADHD medicine can cause problems sleeping, but does ADHD itself make it harder for children to sleep? Thanks for your help guys.

barry jennings answers:

Hi darknessblast –

Great question, and an important one about sleep!

First off, I wouldn’t necessarily say that making up stories is a characteristic of ADHD. It could be a characteristic of who your niece is… One important thing to consider, and always remember, is that ADHD is just a piece of who an individual is. It does not define them, and it does NOT make up everything about who she is.

That’s the great piece about ADD / ADHD. While the condition certainly impacts and plays a role in who your niece is, she is still a child and person at heart.

That being said, we might consider that your niece makes up stories because she is creative. While it is NOT proven that people with ADD / ADHD are more creative people, many are.

As for your question about sleep and medication, that is a common side-effect. But it’s not the only answer or cause. People with ADD / ADHD can sometimes have a difficult time “turning their brains off.” Because they have the ability to hyper-focus or get excited about certain things, it can be difficult to regulate their mind and realize it is time for bed or to take a break from an activity.

At the same time, I do often hear from clients and parents that their children do have a difficult time sleeping as a side-effect from medication.

There are things you can do, including other medications that help with sleep, along with other natural remedies that can help.

I probably don’t need to tell you this, but sleep is incredibly important for a person with ADHD. E are told that most people need about 8 hours of sleep, and it is believed that a person with ADHD can benefit from upwards of 10-12 hours of sleep.

Hope this helps.


Rory F. Stern
“Former therapist” and coach.

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