Comparing Autism, Learning and Attention Issues

Comparing Autism, Learning and Attention Issues - kids with autism

Comparing Autism, Learning and Attention Issues

Some children that suffer from attention and learning issues face the same challenges as kids that suffer from autism spectrum disorder. Children with attention and learning issues might have meltdowns, a hard time with social skills, as well as sensory processing issues that also affect kids with autism.

These similarities might convince an inexperienced person that these two groups of children might benefit from the same kind of intervention. However, you need to understand that there is a difference between autism, attention issues, and learning.

Here’s what you need to know.

Facts About Autism

Autism is a neurological disorder that determines how children process certain types of information. A majority of people with autism have a hard time with communication and difficulty with social interaction. They literally do not read social data e.g. a pursed lip.

It is quite common for kids who have autism to have an obsessive interest in certain items or topics. You might also come across children engaging in repetitive movements, routines and behaviors.

For the longest timeAutism was a diagnosis that referred to a variety of conditions including pervasive developmental disorder and Asperger’s syndrome.

However, now they have combined into one label…Autism Spectrum Disorder  

Reason Why People Confuse Autism With Attention and Learning Issues

Not all kids with autism exhibit the same symptoms, for instance, there are kids that don’t exhibit intellectual or speech delays. There are many children who suffer from autism yet either possess an average or above average IQ and don’t have any social difficulties.

These are kids whose issues could be mistaken for attention and learning issues. Some traits you can expect a kid with autism to display include:

  • Having a hard time reading other people’s feelings. This normally happens when children fail to understand figures of speech, riddles, or puns. Similar symptoms are exhibited by children suffering from ADHD, social communication disorder, as well as receptive language issues.

  • Challenge with executive function. A lot of children who deal with autism find it hard to solve problems and get organized. They often have a hard time dealing with their emotions especially when they have to change how they do things.
  • The habit of avoiding or seeking out sensory input. This is normally common among children that are experiencing sensory issues as well as ADHD.
  • The habit of being uncoordinated and clumsy. A child with Autism may have a hard time with their handwriting, catching a ball, riding a bike, or running. These symptoms are also exhibited by children suffering from dysgraphia, dyspraxia, as well as sensory processing issues.
  • Hard time working with words. Many children might struggle to express themselves, speak with the right volume, follow conversations or even fail to have the right inflection when speaking.These are symptoms that are also exhibited by non verbal learning disabilities as well as speech language issues.

The principal reason ADHD is confused with Autism is that the Autistic child loses focus because they AE not interested!  In other words it is a non preferred area. ADHD kids lose focus over time because their focus wanes.

If you would like to have your child undergo an evaluation  feel free to get in touch with Dr. Gary Eisenberg who has been a practicing psychologist for over twenty five years and is one of the exceptional professionals that make up the Denver community.

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