Is it Autism or is it ADHD?

And overall does it matter?

This is of course in reference to #1 Son.

The answer is not straightforward. I want to say no, of course it doesn’t.

But you see, it does.

It affects the services he has access to, the support provided, and of course, his future.

So it matters.

As his mom, I don’t care – he’s my amazing boy and I’m proud of him and I love him and I don’t want to change him.

But as a human? As a parent? I know he is struggling and he needs help.

I can’t see him struggle day by day. Which is why he now has fortnightly counselling sessions. Of which we had the first one this week.

And it was interesting.

His assigned counsellor is expert in both fields, and after only one full session, she is querying if he is autistic.

We’ve been wondering ourselves for a while, as he just isn’t ticking all the boxes and the ones he does it’s either inconsistently or not in the right way.

The initial things she has raised are:

  • Eye contact – yes he prefers not to, but he can be directed back and made to keep focus.
  • Conversations – he talks emotively and well.
  • Affection – he shows emotions appropriately.

She also pointed out that he’s young and a boy, and that ADHD in young children, especially boys, is often mis-diagnosed as Aspergers/high functioning autism.

Fortunately this therapist is medication averse, so even if it is ADHD, she won’t immediately throw him into Adderall.

Which is good. He’s too young. The hus-creature has stayed Switzerland through this whole thing, as he feels it’s not his remit. He also (like me) is reluctant to medicate a young child. However he has much more experience within his working field of adults with ADHD and within his own circle Adderall has been touted as a miracle. Some quotes given have included

It lifts the fog from my brain


If it’s a choice between eating this month and affording the co-pay for my pills, I am not eating this month.

Side note: hurrah American health care where that is a bloody choice you have to make.

So if it comes down to it, I am reassured that medication could help. But the optimum word there is could. I (we) will not be throwing pills at our boy any time soon.

But if you gave me the choice between the disorders? In my heart of hearts I would prefer it to be ADHD – because it would be easier for him to fit into a “normal” mould.

But it is whatever it is, and whatever that is, we will deal with it.

Because this kid? He’s bloody awesome.

Author: Fliss

Wife, mum (of two), yarn-obsessed cat-slave

2 thoughts on “Is it Autism or is it ADHD?”

  1. It is GREAT news if he has ADHD rather than autism, even if his entitlement to specialized help at school is not as good. I am thinking about the future. In the UK, only 16% of autistic adults are in full-time paid employment, and only 32% are in some king of paid employment. So he is much more likely to be able to work for a living, marry, have a family with ADHD.

    It is reassuring that the counsellor will not medicate such a young child, but I find the hus creature’s experiences with ADHD adults most interesting. But has he ever met an ADHD adult with bad things to say about the medication?

    Did #1 son enjoy his session with the councillor?

    On a totally unrelated topic, I praised the virtues of Liverpool, with all its free museums and many other places of interest, to my 3 siblings and father when we spoke on the ‘phone, and suggested they stay for 3 days. I mentioned that there are a couple of hotels just 2 minutes away, on foot, from the wedding venue, and suggested that anyone feeling tired could have a sneaky siesta at the hotel while pretending to go to the loo. Olivier was most interested to hear that!


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