ADHD and Autism Spectrum

Hey everyone,
I would like to know if it is possible to have ADHD and being on Autism Spectrum simultaneously.


It is definitely possible and at times common.

I’d suggest checking out ADDitude for some of their webinars/podcasts on the topic, and also ADHD reWired for some of the podcasts there that discuss the issue of ADHD and autism.


That is not my area of expertise, but from what I’ve read here especially under this topic, it certainly appears to be reality for some!

In any event welcome aboard. Always glad to have a new person join up here. If you care to share more information about graduate studies after medical school I’d be interested.

Stay well . . .

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I know that Jessica has actually done a video with him. He has ADHD and ASD. It is possible to experience both. I know that more recently I have questioned this myself. I think listening to others and if you can relate, talking to a therapist or doctor about your concerns if a great place to start.

@quietlylost. Thank you for your kind suggestions. I’ll go through podcasts.
I asked this question because it’s quite confusing, you know.

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It definitely can be! When there’s a chance for multiple diagnoses (“comorbid”) it can get hard to sort out not only if they’re accurate but also which is the priority or most impairing. Hopefully you find good information!


Thanks @Brooklyn. Though I have studied about ADHD and ASD in my Medical School, I haven’t seen any patient having both conditions. One of my friend who is specialising in Psychiatry also disagree with my diagnoses.

So, I thought it would better to ask the fellow Brains (as Jess calls us).

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Thanks @callie. I’ll definitely watch the video.

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I would like to thank all of you again for your responses. I wasn’t expecting this and I am literally overwhelmed. These 3 years have been quite tough and lonesome for me.


no one knows your struggles like you do, which some symptoms can be seen as “personality traits”. Even in the mental health care field not everyone is skilled enough to diagnosis more “higher functioning” cases. I do work with autistic children and sometimes that can have both, but I think more often then not they just focus on one diagnosis unless clearly evident other ways such with OCD. I know one of my best friends was diagnosed ADHD in childhood and came to find out she had ASD. I would go to a psychiatrist specialized in those diagnoses and treats adulthood. I wouldn’t overwhelm yourself too much, you were born the way you are, awesome. And if your curious now and want more explanation of how it actually feels like not just text in a book then read about how it affects others in everyday life. I can probably assume most would love to talk and try and help:) we are a helpful bunch


I was brimming with confidence when I entered the Medical School, but my journey through the undergraduate (MBBS) programme had been quite stressful. I struggled to keep pace with my peers. My grades consistently deteriorated and I was barely able to secure “Passing Marks”.

I felt like I was dumb and Medical Science was not my cup of tea. Still I worked harder and harder because I had always been a “bright student”. How come have I suddenly become dumb? It was unacceptable! I became a “loner” as I put more and more hours in study. Though slogging get me through the examinations, I couldn’t learn much.

In the end when I started preparing for Post-graduation, my whole world came crashing down. I fell into “Severe Depression” and “Anxiety”.

I sought treatment for the same and hoped that I would get better with time, but nothing improved.

Then last year, I was finally diagnosed with ADHD, but that’s not the end of the story. I didn’t respond well to “Methylphenidate” for about a year, so last week my Psychiatrist decided to evaluate me for ASD. The result showed that I have “Significant Autistic Traits”.

That’s it. Now I am in limbo, neither employed nor pursuing higher studies.


Thank you for sharing! It certainly has been a rough road for you. At least now you know what it is you’re dealing with. Perhaps a new, and better beginning for you.

When I was an undergrad my dream was to become a chemist. But then I hit a brick wall when it came to memorizing . . . flow charts. I was not diagnosed for another 33 years, though I should’ve suspected something as my son (now 43) was dx’d when he was 4.

In any event, I wish you the very best. I look forward to hearing more from you. Stay away from Covid . . . And be well .


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You seem to be fighter. Hope you are doing well in life.

I would appreciate if you could share some coping strategies or lifestyle changes which helped you in moving ahead after your diagnosis.

Take care Barry and give my love to Barry Junior.


:thinking: coping strategies?

Prozac and Wellbutrin help . . .

Regular aerobic exercise very important . . .

A good night’s sleep (Though nowadays it is never uninterrupted . . . The ‘ole prostate thing!)


Drink enough water

Going out for a walk when I get angry

Having the good fortune to be married to a wonderful, loving, supportive woman

Taking an escape listening to classical music

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate . . . (72% cacao)

I guess you can see that there is no one single thing . . .

And for everybody it’s probably a different combination of things . . .

And finally, remember that today can be better than yesterday and don’t worry about tomorrow!



As someone that wouldn’t particularly disagree with his estimate of about “90%” of ASD and ADHD Diagnoses and as someone that is increasingly suspecting that the co occurance of these two disorders together is far more common than I orginally suspected, I’m beginning to suspect that the diagnostic tools and asessors are approaching this not as best as they could be.

I mean 90% comorbidity doesn’t sound like the exception to 1 of 2 diagnoses.
It sounds a lot more like the rule, where the exception is an individual has exclusively traits of one or the other.

Curious on others opinions?

Please note: I used to consider that I was polar opposite to the traits of ASD, but in recent months as I’ve looked closer at how the 2 manifest when coexisting, I’ve begun to take a potential journey of a 2nd diagnosis more seriously.

I think that the experts usually say that about 80% of people with ADHD have at least one comorbidity. (My recall isn’t very good right now, but I think that they also say about 50% have 2 or more comorbidities along with ADHD.)

I might believe that up to 90% of people with ADHD have at least subclinical (i.e., not severe enough for an official diagnosis) comorbidities. It may be that 90% of people with ASD have comorbidities.

I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety as well as ADHD, so I’m in that 80%. The anxiety isn’t persistent, but I recognize that I’ve experienced it repeatedly throughout my life, but I’ve only been diagnosed with it the one time (which was at the same time I was diagnosed with ADHD).

  • The anxiety was successfully treated then and went away. I’ve experienced it at least a couple of times since then, but it wasn’t nearly as intense or as long lasting. (I do believe my ADHD meds help to reduce my anxiety.)

Welcome @Pomegranate , Ryman.

I have ADHD, Autistic Spectrum Disorder traits .


See 28 minutes.

Around 12% of people with ADHD have autistic traits , possibly full autism .

The presentation can be similar.

I had my ADHD diagnosis with a psychiatrist who knows about ADHD and ASD.

Without meeting me face to face he said I have ADHD, seeing videos of me , phone calls .

Eventually he said “unmanaged ADHD “. , social communication issues with ASD.

I had an assessment in February 2004 , the psychiatrist said Aspergers traits not a problem.

The psychiatrist who diagnosed me with ADHD said , I have significant traits of Autism .

I think the impulsivity of ADHD overlaps with the social communication issues of ASD.

My best subject in school was Maths, my worst subject was English literature, it requires different interpretations, a person good at social communication, ( Poetry , Literature - Shakespeare etc ).

I have issues with repetition, routine, change , obsessive, sensory processing .

Here is an ASD screener.



Thanks for that. :slightly_smiling_face:

It was a good video and I took the screening test, I only scored 28/50, but I feel that may have been quite different, if my social environment growing up were much different from what it was.
I was quite fortunate in having a very accommodating and accepting family and social environment, through nearly all of my development, infancy to adolescent.
I also feel my perception of my own social competence may be at least slightly distorted, given that majority of my recalled social experiences are within these same accommodating and accepting environments.
If I really attempt to consider my social engagement outside of these ideal settings, I feel I have a very different experience to report and score… if that makes sense.

This is something that has always perplexed me to a point too, the coexistence of ADHD and ASD, how each one’s driving mechanisms that give the different list of symptoms for diagnosis, interact with each other.

Like, by the very nature of 2 differing diagnosis, 1 will often mask the traditional diagnostic screening of the other.


My family were not supportive.

Sometimes, it can be hard to identify if the symptoms of a person who has full ASD, full ADHD, are ADHD, ASD.

It is much harder to get diagnosed as an adult with ADHD, ASD.

To get a diagnosis, there should be medical records, reports from parents , school reports .

They are neurodevelopmental conditions.

As a child , especially being a toddler , primary school ( aged 5 - 8), people are learning about the world , problems are more obvious , children are less likely to mask it .

Every family is different.

The world has changed in the last 40 years .


A question to the people who are diagnosed or know somehow :brain: with ASD.
This sounds strange and I hope no one having ASD feels offended, but it is actually a serious question. Do you believe and ADHD person can grow into being more and more of an Asperger person?
I being an ADHD brain share my private live since almost 30 years with an Asperger brain. It seemed to be a clever move back than because out of many reasons. In the past years I recognized more and more " Autistic Traits" in myself and I am wondering if I “moved over” a little. I am not claiming it, but the other day, when I wanted to talk about ‘our differences’ and tell my partner what I am struggling with, we realized that a lot of his traits I have adapted.

  • Reliance on rules and routines.
  • Sometimes being upset by relatively minor changes.
  • Unexpected reactions to sounds, tastes, sights, touch and smells.
    Meltdown when I experience sensory overload.
    More and more difficulties to engage socially
    narrowing down of specialist interest

    Some, because they helped me to cope, others I don’t know?
    At the end of the day it is not so important, because I am the way I am. I just realized that I used to be a very outgoing person, extrovert and contact person and that gets less and less. But maybe it is just the combination of ADHD and depression.
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