Autism and ADHD: Overlapping and Discriminating Symptoms essay sample

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Autism is defined as a severely impairing lifelong development defect that normally becomes visible within the first three years of life. ADHD refers to a condition that renders a person hyperactive, inattentive and impulsive (Compart & Laake, 2012). This paper aims to analyze autism and ADHD as the topic that is related to human growth and development. The objective is to establish the overlapping and discriminating symptoms in autism and ADHD. There is speculation whether children with autism have a comorbid ADHD or they are behavior aspects of autism.

Literature review

Background information

A majority of the challenges that arise ADHD seem to be same to key symptoms of autism. These symptoms include poor communication, behavior patterns, impairment in social interactions and stereotyped interests. Both autism and ADHD have shared comorbid issues that are considered secondary to the chief diagnosis for instance, relationship with executive functioning deficits. These deficits include motor perception and control, early language delays, sleep disorders, low social associations with same age groups and deficit in attention (Luiselli, 2014). There is a group of researchers who are of the opinion that there is no need to recognize ADHD after the diagnosis of autism. The opinion is based on the fact that autism consists of many aspects of ADHD. Their argument therefore is that children who are diagnosed with ADHD should be assessed for autism. In most events high functioning autism is misdiagnosed as ADHD. Another group of researchers have differentiated autism with and without ADHD. A perfect example is that ADHD mostly and not in all case exist in individuals diagnosed with autism (Luiselli, 2014).

When it comes to comorbid diagnosis, neuroimaging and genetic evidence support and describe the high incidence of dual diagnoses. From this perspective, twin and family investigations play a significant role to show how the genetic and familial factors influence the pathophysiology of autism and ADHD. The neuroimaging studies have recognized that the frontostriatal zones are compromised in autism and ADHD and proves that the two conditions are linked to the destruction of resting and active brain networks (Luiselli, 2014). The main roles of the working memory, inhibition, flexible shifting of actions and planning are described to be disabled in neurodevelopmental diseases. In addition, children that suffer from autism and ADHD normally exhibit phenotypic overlap. There is a considerable genetic impact for the two diseases and autism and ADHD traits in a common population have also indicated a high heritability. A study conducted on two twin sample have shown that shared and distinct genetic influences underlie autism ad ADHD. There is evidence that genetic correlation between autism and AHDD symptoms are >.50 proposing a remarkable function of pleiotropic risk loci. Genetic overlap is supported by genetic linkage investigations for autism and ADHD where the overlapping sets of indicative disease loci is present (Nijmeijer et al., 2014). Goldberg et al. (2005), carried out a research to investigate the disability of executive functions (p. 279-293). The sample consisted of …

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