Is there an overlap between Asperger's and ADD?

I was diagnosed with Asperger's about 17 years ago. Sometimes I notice ADD traits in myself.

I've got 4 books on the go at once, it's rare for me to focus on one thing.

When I'm online I'll have about 25 tabs open at the same time. I struggle to remember what I'm interested in or doing because I keep thinking of something else I want to do. That's why all the tabs are open, to remind me of things I've been doing or reading about.

Would this indicate I should seek a diagnosis of ADD or is it a standard overlap that many people experience?

Parents
  • I seem to have some ADD traits. I mentioned this to someone and their immediate reaction was that I was definitely not ADHD. But, you know, the more I reflect on my childhood, the more I detect hidden moments of intense hyperactivity, largely away from the gaze of family. So you might also want to consider ADHD, because you might as well see the whole picture for yourself; even if you never talk to specialists about it.

    When I had an assessment, I would say it was quite clear to both myself and the diagnostician that I probably had quite a list of comorbidities; but none exactly acute. The diagnostician decided to only use the label Asperger's/ASD. The given reason was that as I live very far afield, a long list of associated issues might lead local ASD-unaware GPs into trying to treat only the stated side issues; given that they wouldn't know where to start on ASD, but would feel that they could do something about something like ADD; such as medication. Neither of us would consider medication a good idea, especially as I've experienced decades adapting, reasonably successfully, to my side issues.

    I think you will find that the suggested overlap is quite commonly acknowledged by both specialists and their subjects. I doubt that it would be worth seeking a further diagnosis. It is probably enough to self-identify as such, and just keep going with the adaptations you have detailed.

Reply
  • I seem to have some ADD traits. I mentioned this to someone and their immediate reaction was that I was definitely not ADHD. But, you know, the more I reflect on my childhood, the more I detect hidden moments of intense hyperactivity, largely away from the gaze of family. So you might also want to consider ADHD, because you might as well see the whole picture for yourself; even if you never talk to specialists about it.

    When I had an assessment, I would say it was quite clear to both myself and the diagnostician that I probably had quite a list of comorbidities; but none exactly acute. The diagnostician decided to only use the label Asperger's/ASD. The given reason was that as I live very far afield, a long list of associated issues might lead local ASD-unaware GPs into trying to treat only the stated side issues; given that they wouldn't know where to start on ASD, but would feel that they could do something about something like ADD; such as medication. Neither of us would consider medication a good idea, especially as I've experienced decades adapting, reasonably successfully, to my side issues.

    I think you will find that the suggested overlap is quite commonly acknowledged by both specialists and their subjects. I doubt that it would be worth seeking a further diagnosis. It is probably enough to self-identify as such, and just keep going with the adaptations you have detailed.

Children
  • I see your point about how secondary diagnoses could distract attention from the most important one. 

    As you say it's good to be self-aware. I also wouldn't think medication would be a good idea for me due to immune system issues.

  • Not quite sure that I understand your view on a secondary diagnosis for ADD, in my case it has proved to be a positive thing because I struggle with Autism and ADD but as the ADD can be treated ( I am on medication right now) it does offer some relief from the condition thereby leading to some noticeable improvement in my quality of life-not a huge amount but real enough. Another effect of the capsules I am taking is a significant easing of the anxiety I live with constantly, it is reasonable to suggest that "NAS50812" could well benefit from a diagnosis too if it transpires that she/he does have the condition and can begin to receive treatment for it. Obviously it would be nice to do without the chemicals daily but I am firmly of the opinion that I would rather have a (perhaps foreshortened) life with increased mental capacity and focus than to live the remainder of my natural span living in this hell. 

    I was told by my very excellent GP that they are not allowed to prescribe the drugs used to treat ADD, this can only come from the consultant who diagnosed you, my consultant offered me a choice of 3 different drugs and I opted for Dexamphetamine which I am now taking 40mg per day,