Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have many overlapping symptoms, making it difficult for some to get an accurate diagnosis.\nApproximately one in five kids diagnosed with autism had an earlier ADHD diagnosis, but\u00a0there doesn’t seem to be a direct connection between the two conditions.\u00a0Learn more about the similarities and differences between autism and ADHD.\nOverlapping Symptoms Between Autism and ADHD\nBoth disorders seem to be caused by genetics and tend to run in families. They also have some similar symptoms, particularly ones that are usually attributed to ADHD. Some of these include:\n\nFidgeting or trouble settling down\nImpulsiveness\nHyperfocus, or being extremely focused only on things of interest\nSocial awkwardness\n\nHowever, both conditions have other tell-tale signs that distinguish them from one another\nWhat Is Autism?\nAutism Spectrum Disorder is a specific type of neurodevelopmental disorder. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 in 68 children in America has autism.\nOne of the most recognizable signs is delayed verbal communication in young children. Children may talk at much later ages and sometimes not at all. The disorder can reliably be diagnosed in children by age 2.\nOther symptoms include:\n\nRepetitive behavior\nDifficulty with social interactions\nDespite the perception, many people with autism have above average intelligence, about 40 percent.\n\nWhat Is ADHD?\nADHD is a very different type of condition. Although commonly pictured as the fidgeting, squirming kid full of energy, there are actually three types of ADHD:\n\nInattentive: trouble paying attention and following directions, daydreaming, forgetful, tends to lose things\nHyperactive-impulsive: interrupting, trouble waiting their turn, squirming, excessive talking, excessive running or climbing\nCombined: a child who shows traits of both types\n\nChildren and adults with ADHD tend to be highly creative and imaginative. This is in part because of different “wiring” in the brain.\nThis condition is diagnosed in about 10 percent of school-age kids. It also tends to run in families. Many adults don’t realize they have ADHD until their child receives a diagnosis, and they begin to recognize symptoms in themselves.\nLearning disabilities are present in about half of kids with ADHD.\nBecause of the challenges in diagnosing the correct condition, it’s important to see a professional with experience. There are many ways to get help, from behavioral therapy to at-home modifications, such as more routine or organization, to medications. The earlier you receive a diagnosis, the sooner you can begin finding ways to help your child or yourself adapt.\nLearn more about Behavioral Health Services at UPMC.