Is There a Link Between Autism and ADHD?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are neurodevelopmental disorders with an increasing prevalence, especially in recent years. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention, while autism spectrum disorder is characterized by limited interest, repetitive behaviors, and inadequate social and communication skills.

Autism and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are developmental disabilities that can often be confused with each other in terms of diagnostic criteria and behaviors of children. There are many studies on both disabilities in both domestic and foreign literature. Some of these studies stated that approximately one-third of children with ADHD showed signs of autism, some of the children with ADHD had problems in non-verbal communication and displayed stereotypical behaviors.



When the DSM 4, the diagnostic criteria book published by the American Psychiatric Association, was examined, there was a suggestion that children with a diagnosis of autism could not be diagnosed with ADHD, but this was not stated in the DSM 5 published later. The most important reason why both situations are so intertwined with each other is that the components considered in the diagnosis of children have a lot of common aspects and meet the thresholds of these diagnostic criteria.

Autism and ADHD are very similar in terms of behavioral and cognitive problems presented by children from both groups. When the behavioral dimensions of both types of disability are examined, it was observed that children with autism show attention deficit and impulsive behaviors, while children with ADHD have serious inadequacy in social interaction and communication. Especially the problems experienced in the field of social interaction have a very important effect on the cognitive skills of children. To summarize all this information, autism and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder can be seen together, as well as they may have similar symptoms.

These two developmental disabilities need to be distinguished very well. Because this distinction will directly affect the content of the treatment and education plan to be applied to children. The situation referred to as treatment here is not valid for autism. Because autism is a lifelong developmental disability that has no cure.



The best step to be taken for autism treatment is to start education at the earliest possible time in line with the child’s disabilities and needs, together with an expert educator. However, ADHD is a disability that may require the use of medication under psychiatric supervision and has a treatment process with education.

The fact that both conditions are so similar and in some cases intertwined can make the treatment process difficult but requires a detailed and good observation process. For example, the source of the state of being active, one of the behavioral effects that can be seen in both cases, should be determined very well, whether ADHD or autism. Because this is a situation that has a very negative effect on establishing contact with the child and on the start and continuation of the education process.

If the source is ADHD, medication may be required under psychiatric supervision. After this situation is overcome, it will be easier and more possible to work with disabilities arising from autism. However, an important mistake made by parents with children with autism and ADHD is related to the use of drugs prescribed by psychiatry. It is imperative that they use the medicines given to their children at the scale and duration determined by the psychiatrist. However, families can observe the behavior of their children and conclude that there is no change and can adjust the dose according to them.

Apart from all these, especially during the summer holidays when the children do not go to school, they may not use medicines because they do not go to school and therefore there is no problem. It should not be forgotten that the drugs prescribed by the psychiatrist for children with both autism and ADHD are given in a timely manner, at the dose and duration determined by the doctor.



Both developmental disabilities are situations that need to be addressed with the cooperation of parents, teachers, and psychiatrists. If there is a situation that requires medication, this is determined by the psychiatrist. Parents should ensure the regular use of medication prescribed by the psychiatrist.

The education phase is perhaps the most important phase of the process. Parents must contribute to all work to be done with an expert educator and must comply with the advice and duties given to them by the educator. As a result of all these approaches made with patience, consistency, and willingness, it is not possible not to make progress in the face of these situations. The process can be slow, sometimes annoying time frames, but remember that every child is special and every child progresses at their own pace.

Is There a Relation Between Autism and ADHD?


Most children with autism have hyperactivity with attention deficit. Excessive mobility can be observed around the age of two. It is possible for this excess to continue for a long time in individuals with autism. This makes it very difficult to control the situation. These excesses may subside after a certain time. Sometimes, extreme mobility can be seen only in certain situations and places.



There is thought to be a link between attention deficit and autism. However, whether it is one of the conditions that fall into autism is still being investigated. It would not be right to apply autism treatments for a child who only shows hyperactivity characteristics. Detailed research should be carried out by experts and treatment methods should be followed for these findings.

Autism is a condition that will affect an individual throughout his life. There is a possibility that the hyperactivity will improve. It can be observed that individuals with autism often experience this distraction, but it would be more accurate to count this as only a symptom. Drug therapy is often recommended to correct and control hyperactivity. However, psychological support may also be required by an expert. Getting such help will gain him more in terms of the child’s development. Families can also be more accurate about how they should behave.

There are certain ways that individuals with autism should follow in their hyperactivity problems. We recommend that you do not apply any of this information by finding it around you or on the internet. Each child’s treatment method is different. After determining the level of your child with the tests performed by the experts, the treatments to be applied to him should be established.

You can also get help from computer applications in order to support the treatment of your child, to spend more time with him, and to improve his adaptation to social life. With the applications you download to your mobile phone or tablet, it will be easier for you to attract your child’s attention with the games specially prepared for your child.



Autism and ADHD are very similar in terms of behavioral and cognitive problems presented by children from both groups. When the behavioral dimensions of both types of disability are examined, it is observed that children with autism show attention deficit and impulsive behaviors, while children with ADHD have serious inadequacy in social interaction and communication. Especially the problems experienced in the field of social interaction have a very important effect on the cognitive skills of children. If we summarize all this information, autism and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder can be seen together as well as they may have similar symptoms.

The Most Effective Method in ADHD and Autism Treatment: Child Yoga


Child yoga is a therapy method used to help treat many diseases, including autism. In addition to the positive contributions of yoga to children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the effects of yoga on children with autism were also examined.

Yoga is also used in the world for the correction of juvenile prisoners. Child yoga is actually not that different from adult yoga. Children’s yoga emerges by putting the classic poses in adult yoga into a format suitable for children. Basic activities in Children’s Yoga are breathing exercises based on simple imitation, postures, and positions, meditation, and massage. Child yoga, which is applied by making it fun through games and stories, provides socio-emotional and physical relaxation. In other words, children’s yoga is a technique based on communication and cooperation.



Researchers have concluded that proper breathing strengthens the immune system. Emphasizing the importance of diaphragm breathing, it is stated that correct breathing techniques are learned through yoga. Right breath, which has general calming effects that reduce stress on children, has benefits such as attention, focus, and controlling negative emotions and thoughts.

Autism spectrum disorder has been detected in 1 out of every 59 children in the USA. The increase in this rate every year leads experts to seek different supportive therapy methods. Yoga therapy stands out as one of these methods. In addition to the positive contributions of yoga to children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, the effects of yoga on children with neurodevelopmental differences known as Autism have also been examined.

As a complementary education, significant improvements are observed in the behaviors of children with autism who regularly participate in daily yoga programs in their schools. According to the data, due to the stress-reducing effect of yoga, a decrease in aggression/anger attacks and anxiety, an increase in concentration in children with autism; It is emphasized that it can help develop more open to learning, imitation, and social-emotional skills.

The researchers pointed out that their work should be repeated every week in the same order so that children with autism who respond to routines can feel safe and relax while doing yoga. Visual cues are also very important for the child, yoga cards showing the poses should definitely be used during the practices, and then the postures should be repeated with the adult.



Yoga is based on love, respect, and trust. There is no competitive win-lose approach in children’s games in children’s yoga activities. Therefore, a child with autism who has difficulty in communicating with his environment outside of his needs can provide social-emotional balance with an environment in which his self-confidence will increase. Children’s yoga also contributes to the development of gross motor skills. Yoga helps create a balanced and flexible body structure. It can also help children with sleep problems sleep more comfortably.

ADHD in Children with Autism


Attention deficit is one of the most common conditions in children with autism. The sense of concentration starts to develop in 0-2 months in a child without autism. Even in this short period, it can be observed that the baby smiles at a toy or the person looking at it. Later, in addition to this feeling, the sense of movement also develops. If he has an expectation, he can smile as soon as a parent approaches him and begin to show his reaction with certain movements. The baby’s feelings of relaxation developed in the 6th and 7th months. It’s easier for him to stand next to someone new. The above-mentioned developments are observed in a baby accepted in the normal development process.

If your baby has autism, there will be certain differences in these developments. At times when concentration needs to develop, babies look at a fixed point and do not react to another event. However, at the end of the second month, they start to react like smiling. Once your child is found to have autism, you will notice his attention deficit. He gets distracted very quickly and when you try to get his attention, you can only communicate when you use things that are of his interest. You can get the best information on how to maintain your child’s concentration from your experts. However, in general, you can organize your behavior around a few pieces of information.



In situations such as clinical exams, it is difficult to keep children calm. You can make it easier to overcome these difficulties with certain tactics. For example, you can take them to the place where they will be examined beforehand, giving them time to adapt to the environment. Thus, you will reduce the stress they will experience in an environment where they go for the first time and are examined. If you want to eliminate your child’s attention deficit, you should prepare environments that will make it easier for you to encourage him. It will be easier for you to communicate with him in a quiet, dim, and plain environment.

Since attention deficit and concentration times are very short in children with autism, you should make the most of the 10-15 minute process you provide with them. At first, you may not even be able to provide these 10 minutes with your child, but you will be able to extend this time over time with the tactics your educator will give. Also, the times and places you try to communicate with your child should not change. If your child’s environment, where you are, and the time period you are trying to concentrate is the same, your child will adapt more easily to this situation. In addition, the stress on it will decrease.

If your child gets angry and irritable when he is under stress, you should definitely not use the method of preventing him from making a sound by closing his mouth. In addition, you should always try to make positive sentences during the communication you are trying to do. Try to discover in advance what will grab your child’s attention and calm down in times of trouble. You will realize that you can communicate with him more easily in later stages when you use items, objects, or foods that will calm him down when he is stressed.



Researchers said that children with autism eliminated attention deficit in children with the focusing device called Play Attention, which was developed to eliminate attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.

It was noted that with this device, students eliminated focusing problems. Stating that thanks to the device, the attention ratio of children increased and eye contact increased, the researchers stated that children could have better language training because their focus increased when eye contact increased. Children who receive language training can gain speaking skills more quickly. They can use their minds more correctly. More successful results can be achieved in literacy areas and behavioral disorders. Now, these children start at very small levels according to age groups. Autistic children start with very small minutes. In more adult children, children with mild mental disabilities have sessions of up to 45 minutes.

The researchers said that the children whose perception rates increased with the device received positive reactions from their families. The researchers also stated that mothers’ eye contact with their children increased after the training with the device, and claimed that they achieved very high success in almost all individuals applied. In this way, children learn to finish their homework and learn to make eye contact. They learn to look when called out. Their sitting time in their own place is getting longer. Their focus is increasing. Children’s success in academic classes is increasing.



Difference Between Autism and ADHD


ADHD is a persistent pattern of hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity that is more frequent than individuals of a similar developmental level. On the other hand, autism spectrum disorder is characterized by triple disorders such as social deficits, communication deficits, and restricted or repetitive behaviors and interests. Even though two of them share more or less the same clinical characteristics, there is an obvious difference among them. Individuals with autism exhibit an unusual interest in repetitive movements and patterns compared to individuals with ADHD.

Autism and ADHD are two predominant psychiatric problems among pediatric patients. Although they share many common clinical features, the difference between autism and ADHD can be identified by carefully evaluating the patient’s interest in repetitive movements and patterns that can be considered the sign mark characteristic of a child with autism.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)


Autism is characterized by a triple breakdown. These symptoms must be present in the child before 3 years of age to diagnose autism. The degree of functional disability of these symptoms varies from person to person. Before reaching a definitive diagnosis, it is important to rule out the possibility of other conditions with similar symptoms.  



Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)


ADHD is a persistent pattern of hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity that interferes with normal functioning. The core symptoms are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. The onset of symptoms occurs before the age of 7. The presence of symptoms should be observed in at least two environments. There must be conclusive evidence of impaired function. The symptoms should not be caused by any associated psychiatric condition.

Excessive restlessness, constant overactivity, poor attention, learning difficulties, impulsivity, restlessness, a tendency to accident, disobedience, and aggression are the most prominent characteristics. The prevalence rate of ADHD changes depending on the criteria used in diagnosis. Men are more likely to have ADHD than women. There is a 1:3 ratio.

ADHD has biological, psychological, and environmental causes. Biological causes include genetic, structural, and functional brain anomalies, irregularity in dopamine synthesis, and low birth weight. Psychological reasons include physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, corporate growth, and poor family interactions. Environmental causes include exposure to various drugs and alcohol in the prenatal period, perinatal obstetric complications, early life brain damage, nutritional deficiencies, low socioeconomic status, and lead toxicity.



Autism and ADHD Related Toys That You Can Find on Amazon Website


There are many options available in this case. There are many different sizes, colors, textures, styles, designs, and so on. Depending on your child’s needs you can choose something in order to be useful and helpful for them. 

4E’s Novelty Expandable Ball – Breathing Ball | Stress Reliever Fidget Toy (Colors May Vary) – for Yoga, Anxiety, Deep Breathing, ADHD – Expanding Sphere


It is a perfect toy for both kids and adults, individuals with autism, or without autism and ADHD. It keeps individuals focused and calm. It can be used as a therapeutic purpose in yoga. It is a highly recommended toy by both parents and professionals. It is very attractive with its vibrant colors as well. https://www.amazon.com/4Es-Novelty-Expandable-Expanding-Breathing/dp/B07N99K84Q/ref=sxin_9_ac_d_rm?ac_md=0-0-YWRoZCB0b3lzIGZvciBraWRz-ac_d_rm&cv_ct_cx=adhd+toys+for+kids&dchild=1&keywords=adhd+toys+for+kids&pd_rd_i=B07N99K84Q&pd_rd_r=ed980769-649c-4fac-8488-8c4d547a4964&pd_rd_w=wcx6J&pd_rd_wg=68QV1&pf_rd_p=3d1a8341-be16-45b1-ae3d-ba8c533ec9f0&pf_rd_r=SK3MT1K3SMNJBPC2CS0W&psc=1&qid=1602322648&sr=1-1-12d4272d-8adb-4121-8624-135149aa9081Opens in a new tab.



Infinity Cube Fidget Toy, Sensory Tool EDC Fidgeting Game for Kids and Adults, Cool Mini Gadget Best for Stress and Anxiety Relief and Kill Time, Unique Idea that is Light on the Fingers and Hands


It is perfect for individuals with autism or/and ADHD because of the fact that it is an amazing toy in order to reduce stress. Both men and women, children, and adults can play with it. Thanks to its design, it can be carried everywhere without any problem. It will be your lifesaver in some situations and places. It prevents children on the autism spectrum and children with ADHD from repetitive self-harming behaviors. It does not have a sound to bother people around them as well. It is a perfect toy overall. https://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Fidgeting-Spinner-Anxiety-Fingers/dp/B071X8S8WQ/ref=sxin_9_ac_d_rm?ac_md=2-2-YWRoZCB0b3lz-ac_d_rm&cv_ct_cx=adhd+toys+for+kids&dchild=1&keywords=adhd+toys+for+kids&pd_rd_i=B071X8S8WQ&pd_rd_r=ed980769-649c-4fac-8488-8c4d547a4964&pd_rd_w=wcx6J&pd_rd_wg=68QV1&pf_rd_p=3d1a8341-be16-45b1-ae3d-ba8c533ec9f0&pf_rd_r=SK3MT1K3SMNJBPC2CS0W&psc=1&qid=1602322648&sr=1-3-12d4272d-8adb-4121-8624-135149aa9081Opens in a new tab.



Impresa Products 5-Pack of Stretchy String Fidget / Sensory Toys (BPA/Phthalate/Latex-Free)


It is exactly what you are looking for if you need a sensory toy. It is a perfect set for tactile stimulation for children on the autism spectrum and with ADHD. Since they share soma common features, it is a perfect gift for both of those groups. Thanks to its vibrant colors, it attracts attention. It promotes being calm, increases attention, and keeps them focused. Overall, it is a good investment. https://www.amazon.com/Impresa-Products-Stretchy-Phthalate-Latex-Free/dp/B01LBSZQ3U/ref=sr_1_20?dchild=1&keywords=adhd+toys+for+kids&qid=1602322648&sr=8-20Opens in a new tab.



whoobli Punching Bag for Kids Incl Boxing Gloves | 3-8 Years Old Adjustable Kids Punching Bag with Stand | Boxing Bag Set Toy for Boys & Girls


It is a perfect toy for children with autism and/or ADHD. With the help of this toy, they can stay calm because by punching this they can release their energy. It is a good investment if you have a child with those disorders. https://www.amazon.com/Whoobli-Punching-Boxing-Gloves-Adjustable/dp/B07S6K6B27/ref=sr_1_31?dchild=1&keywords=adhd+toys+for+kids&qid=1602322648&sr=8-31Opens in a new tab.


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