How are practitioners defining ADD, ADHD and autism?
It’s helpful for people to understand how practitioners are defining ADD, ADHD and autism. First, focus on the similarities. All of these conditions may cause someone to be overly active or impulsive. They may also have difficulties interacting with people. In fact, people can be diagnosed with both ADHD and autism.
Autism is often confused in the early years with ADHD. At our functional medicine clinic near Milwaukee, we make every attempt to ensure that we make the correct diagnosis so we do not miss someone who is on the autism spectrum.
Defining ADD, ADHD and autism—what patients need to know
The first thing to know about defining ADD, ADHD and autism is while the public still uses the term ADD, medical practitioners generally do not. Today, ADD, or attention-deficit disorder, is defined as one of the three types of ADHD, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Inattentive only—the type of ADHD the public sometimes refers to as ADD. People with this form of ADHD are not hyperactive, but have an attention-deficit issue.
Hyperactive/impulsive—People with this type are hyperactive and impulsive, but they don’t have an issue with attention deficit. Since this type is uncommon, most people don’t know about it, but it’s important to know when defining ADD, ADHD and autism.
Combined inattentive/hyperactive/impulsive—People with this type of ADHD exhibit all three of these characteristics. This is the type most people think of as ADHD.
An autism diagnosis may or may not share characteristics of ADHD
The National Autism Association defines autism as a neurological disorder characterized by social and cognitive impairments, communication difficulties and repetitive behaviors.
Symptoms on the autism spectrum may be mild or extremely severe. Some common symptoms include:
- Non-responsive behavior
- Avoiding eye contact
- Difficulty understanding their own feelings, or the feelings of others
- Problems with social skills
Understanding how practitioners are defining ADD, ADHD and autism is especially important for parents because early diagnosis and treatment are very helpful.
Our functional medical clinic near Milwaukee treats ADHD and autism
Greg Brown, M.D., our board-certified internist and experienced practitioner, takes a biomedical and functional approach to treating ADHD disorders. He also offers an integrative medical approach for people with autism with our Autism Care program. Contact us for an appointment.