ADHD and autism are two distinct neurodevelopmental conditions however often people get them mixed up as there are neurobiological overlaps and similar symptoms. The main three overlaps are sensory, interoception and social integration issues. People with ADHD tend to get distracted by external stimuli going on around them and those with autism tend to get distracted by internal stimuli such as their thoughts.
Additionally, these two conditions frequently co-occur with ADHD presenting in 30-80% of individuals with ASD and ASD presenting in 20 – 50% of individuals with ADHD (van der Meer et al, 2012). Did you know it wasn’t until 2013 that a provider could diagnose both conditions?! Mindblowing!!
And yet they are two very different conditions, with specific treatments and support plans required for each condition.
People with ADHD tend to crave novelty and variety, find it challenging to focus on one task at a time, find emotional regulation and inhibition a challenge as well as social cues due to their attention not being focused on one thing at a time.
People with Autism however tend to crave familiarity, find comfort in repetitive behaviours and routine therefore have strict adherence to routine, have a high need for verbal context and find reading social cues a challenge to do intuitively.
These are the main differences however there are many overlapping similarities (see picture).
I am now teaming up with Rhiann Marchant who is a fully qualified teacher, SENCO and specialist teacher in the field of autism to deliver a collaborative training bringing together our excellent specialist minds in ADHD and Autism. As a fully qualified ADOS-2 and 3DI Clinical practitioner, Rhiann now runs SENsational Minds, an independent diagnostic and post diagnostic support service for children, young people and adults with autism. With her background in specialist teaching for autism in education combined with her diagnostic knowledge and understanding, she can provide excellent bespoke support and advice to families in how best to support their child’s needs following assessment. Her services include diagnostic assessment for autism, psychoeducation and support sessions, individual school support and EHCP advice.
Together Rhiann and I are combining our years of knowledge and experience of both ADHD and autism to bring to adults, parents, and young people a professional training about the conditions of ADHD and autism. This will be held at the Chill Out Centre, Stanway, Colchester on 21st Feb. It is for those who are diagnosed, awaiting diagnosis or simply curious as well as parents, family members, professionals who would like to understand the neurodivergent brain
A testimonial received from the last sold-out group in January: ‘We attended the awareness session as our son is currently in the process of being diagnosed and it was so informative and we have come away more confident and knowledgeable, thank you so much, it was amazing and such a lovely bunch of people.’
If you would like to join us on the below dates, please get in touch by email email@example.com phone 07928 132 387 or find these events on Eventbrite:
- Let’s talk about Neurodiversity: Understanding Autism and ADHD Awareness group, Wednesday 21st Feb, 6.30 – 9.30 pm:
- ADHD Awareness, Monday 15th April 7-9 pm:
And, If you require further details these can also be found at www.findyourspark.co.uk and you can follow us on @FindYourSparkADHD on Instagram.