Difference between ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome
ADHD vs Asperger’s syndrome:
Parents are naturally attentive towards their children and it is, therefore, rather a heartbreaking and a shocking experience for a parent to realize that their child is somewhat different than other children their age and have quite a difficult time coping up with this fact. ADHD and the Asperger’s syndrome are two such metal diseases which can be seen in children which affect their behavioral patterns drastically and thus, affect their personal lives as well.
What is ADHD?
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, better known as ADHD is a disease of the mind which can be caused by either genetic disorders, diet, social and physical environment. It is a condition often seen in young boys and is characteristic of the child having trouble paying attention, staying focused on an activity or subject, problems following directions and periods of extreme energetic activity.
A child with ADHD knows what to do and yet he forgets to do it. He or she might be unable to talk or play quietly, have difficulty waiting for their turn because of his or her impatience, be disruptive with talk or activities, frequently interrupting others and yet be aware of their bad behaviour, but appear as being unable to control it. Family dysfunction, educational system inadequacies, violence and emotional abuse and smoking or drinking during pregnancy can be the potential causes for ADHD in a child.
What is Asperger’ syndrome?
Most of the time, children with Asperger Syndrome do not receive that diagnosis until after the age of 6. It is considered as a pervasive developmental disorder which largely affects social interaction, communication skills and is also known to involve sensory issues. Asperger’s syndrome affected patients lack lack ‘social reciprocity’ which includes their inability to react according to the situation because of their inability to understand what is happening. Once they focus on a single activity of interest, they completely lose awareness of everything else around them and can be quite unwilling to communicate verbally. He or she is likely to engage in imaginative play and finds it hard to understand the difference between good or bad behaviour. He or she is also unable to understand how to respond emotionally to a situation and is unfocused, forgetful and disorganized and often believes that everything that he or she sees around him or her is of equal importance and is unable to filter the differences between them.
What is the difference between Asperger’s syndrome and ADHD ?
Both these conditions are quite hard to tell apart as both display similar symptoms at times such as becoming easily distressed, be either hyperactive or extremely slow or lethargic, have difficulties mixing with other children due to communication and social interaction, avoiding eye contact and appears not to listen, even when spoken to directly. And yet, Asperger’s syndrome in a child cannot be diagnosed until the child is about 6 years old whereas ADHD is recognized in a child when they are mere toddlers.
Children with Asperger’s syndrome lack “social reciprocity” which means “the capacity to understand that other people have thoughts, feelings, motivations and desires that are different from our own.” And yet, children with ADHD do possess social reciprocity and is able to understand the feelings and emotions of other people. They are even able to understand hidden agendas and body language of people whereas children with Asperger’s do not.
Whereas a child with ADHD is prone to flit his attention from one object to another, a child with Asperger’s is prone to focus his attention on one area of interest and lose himself in that activity, forgetting all else around him. he or she does not understand the difference between what is important and what is not and often focuses on small things, missing the bigger picture. He or she does not understand such rules. Yet an ADHD affected child understands such rules and yet, because of his or her hyperactive nature, he or she lacks the self control to follow them. Also, whereas ADHD is mostly a disorder where the child has a very short attention span and which in turn affects his or her learning, the Asperger’s syndrome is more of a social disorder where the inability of the child to socially interact with others, understand their feelings, emotions, etc affects the social life of a child.