Is it Autism, ADD or ADHD?

Can someone help with perhaps addressing these differences for a general person. I have a family member that may have 1 of the 3 listed in the subject. The question is that it has never been medically diagnosed. The reason in simple terms is that the medical drugs associated with the treatments are not fully understood by the family members and there is a fear that this could more harm than good related to unintended side effects.

The young person involved is about 7 years old and is a gentle loving child with a beautiful spirit and is in general terms at peace but does show signs of hyperactivity [affects sleep as well issues related to staying focused. Other side of this is that the child demonstrates amazing aptitude for music and is very quick witted [ie. better than the average person].

Because of the fragile nature of the subject, how does one suggest treatment options for family members and how does one know if they suggesting reasonable and safe option?

Thank you.


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2 thoughts on “Is it Autism, ADD or ADHD?

  • December 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    First of all, that is an extremely limited description to try to venture a guess on… Second, even someone who is qualified to give a diagnosis would require actually interacting with the child. 

    Here’s what I would do if I were you or the child’s parents: Document the specifics. Keep track of the things that she does that are out of the norm for children her age. Keep track of how often she does them and how badly they interfere with her daily life. Ask her teachers to make note of anything that she does that is disruptive or problematic for her in the classroom. Keep samples of her handwriting… look for signs of improvement or a lack of improvement that should come from practice. Make note of problems with balance and coordination, if there are any. Make note of any misunderstanding or misuse of language beyond simple childhood lack of vocabulary. Make note of any extraordinary usage or understanding of language beyond what a normal 7 yr old should understand. 
    Basically, I’d say look up the general guidelines for what the average 6, 7, or 8 year old should be knowing and doing (since kids all develop at different rates) and if she is well behind this age group or well ahead of it, then there may be cause for concern. (Example: Most children learn to skip with alternating feet between ages 4-6… my son didn’t figure it out until he was almost 9. Most children can use three and four word sentences by age 3… my daughter could at 8 months.) 
    If there are things that are of major concern, then bring them up the next time she has a check up with her regular doctor. He or she may be able to either alleviate your concerns and assure you that she is a normal, healthy child, just being a child… or can recommend further steps in reaching a diagnosis of a disorder and where to go from there. 


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