I do not know which of these is responsible for each trait I am going to mention here, it could also be other factors such as unrealised or realised trauma. The overlap of ADHD, Autism and OCD is quite large. There are similar brain structures – so much so that these are considered by some to be the same condition based on neurology.
It is estimated that between 53-78% of those with an Autism diagnosis also have co-occurring ADHD, and around 21% of those with an ADHD diagnosis also have Autism. Source here.
Here I will give you a list of things I have discovered in science that appear to be associated with either ADHD or Autism – The categories might not be 100% with how science currently defines them – the classification and inclusion of overlapping criteria of these things is somewhat open to interpretation.
It’s almost certain no one will have all of these but these occur in higher rates in Autistic or ADHD individuals.
Apraxia and Dyspraxia
Apraxia – is the total loss of ability to co-ordinate and make purposeful movements and gestures with neurotypical accuracy.
Dyspraxia – is the partial loss of these abilities.
Dyspraxia Traits (Sometimes called Developmental Co-ordination Disorder)
- May not be able to run, hop, jump, or catch or kick a ball when their peers can do so.
- Many have trouble managing walking up and down stairs.
- Always falling over.
- May not like solid food that needs to be chewed.
- Poor at getting dressed.
- ‘Clumsiness’ – not good at picking small things up; tends to break small toys.
- Slow and hesitant in most actions; tends to trip up.
- Muscle tone may be high (the muscles seem hard or tense).
- Muscle tone may be low (a baby may seem floppy when being held).
- Having trouble copying things from the board in school.
- Avoiding PE and games.
- Delayed language development or problems with speech. For example, speech is odd and inconsistent, so that it is difficult to understand.
- Drawings seem very immature compared to those of other children.
Sub-classes or specific learning disabilities
A lot of these seem to overlap as is the case with many neurological differences.
Dyslexia – a reading and writing disability
Dysgraphia – an issue with fine motor control
Dysgraphia is the most undiagnosed of all specific learning disabilities with estimates of around ~60% of ADHD or Autistic children and teenagers being affected by dysgraphia. It is also one of the least understood disabilities.
For specific information on how dysgraphia presents as an adult there is information here that is the best I have seen.
Dyscalculia – Mental Math Ability
For me the easiest way to think of this is a quite extreme difficulty of doing mental math. I cannot do things in my head.
Again the best source for the presentation of dyscalculia in adults can be found here.
Dyspraxia – General Co-ordination issues
This is considered it’s own thing – basically general clumsiness is something that they consider to be dyspraxia – the uniform definition of these terms does not exist in science – different websites will tell you different things.
Aside from the common eye problems – namely nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia). There are some unique considerations related to visual co-ordination.
These problems can usually be corrected by an optometrist with glasses. These can occur with hyperopia or myopia also.
This encompasses quite a few things – but light sensitivity is covered by that (I will cover this later on – in the sensitivities section). Reading problems are also included here, as are writing problems.
Strabismus (Crossed Eyes)
More to come
I intended this to be a far shorter blog – but nearly every sense ADHD or Autistic people have has a ton of co-occurring sensory issues or things that may need to be dealt with at the same time.
On a personal note I am currently in my Seasonal Affective Disorder period as it is winter in New Zealand. This leaves me with a lot fewer spoons to actually do stuff and I am prioritising my ADHD coaching course and trying to maintain my mental health. I will be posting updates less frequently during this time.