To Search or Not to Search: ADHD + ASD?

I’ve gone back and forth about asking this question. I don’t even know if this is the right place to post this.

TLDR: 19, in college. Recently diagnosed ADHD and SLD, but wondering if I might have ASD as well. What kind of doctor/professional should I seek out to pursue a diagnosis?

Long version: throughout my life, I’ve been that kid. The weird one, but not too weird – nice enough – doesn’t make eye contact. In third grade, I read an article about ADHD and knew I had it. At nine, I was reading books about ADHD and autism and learning disabilities – dysgraphia and dyscalculia and dyslexia.

At 17, I revisited the thought that I might actually have something, and in October of this year, I was diagnosed with ADHD and a learning disability related to reading comprehension.

I was diagnosed by my college’s on-campus counseling center. I currently have no PCP or general practice doctor of any kind, but I do currently have diagnoses of PCOS, ADHD, and a Specific Learning Disorder (SLD).

I match the symptoms of ASD almost perfectly. The only thing I don’t match is that I’ve always been very social.

I thought when I received my ADHD diagnosis that I had my answer to why I act like my autistic friends and the people I’ve worked with professionally who have autism, but I’m not satisfied completely.

So . . . I’m 19, live in the United States, am a college student. Where would I go for a diagnosis? What kind of doctor? Would it be like the counseling center I went to for my ADHD diagnosis, only one who works with ASD clients instead? Are there lists of practices or resources for me to find one?

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I went to a diagnostics office to get a diagnosis of adhd and asd. Depends on where you live. There are directories or ask your psych office for a referal

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So this is off topic but I don’t have my spleen. I lost it in a bicycle accident 20+ years ago.

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Here is a directory from a website I visit that might help you. https://theaspergian.com/2019/04/12/specialists-diagnosing-asd-in-adults/

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As a general rule, people who diagnose ADHD can diagnose ASD as well, they just might not be experts in that area. The counseling center sounds like a good place to start, since they’ll probably have more localized resources! Also, if you have the time/energy, it’s worth pursuing a diagnose. Having a definite answer can help with peace of mind and whatnot :blush:

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Also the more info and records you can provide the better. I had my records from grade school with teachers notes that really helped me get my diagnosis.

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Yeah, they may also want to talk with family members or close friends depending on who you visit

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@ConfusedbutADHDandLD
Will it be like what I experienced with the ADHD assessment? We did a developmental history, a checklist for parents and friends (past and present), some computerized tests that measured my attention span, and then some personality assessments and IQ tests.

Since I have my psych eval, will they do less testing because I’ve already taken IQ and whatnot?

Sorry, it probably depends on where I go, too.

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@MBalog, haha. The Keep My Spleen line is from a Jane Austen novel. She says that if something happens, “I will keep my spleen till Christmas!” I thought it was absurd and now it’s my username, lol.

Thanks for the link! I’ll check it out.

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Well, some doctors may have you re-take the IQ test and stuff, others may not. The ASD tests are different though. There’s things like making up a story or reading facial expressions off a card. I put exactly what my experience was like here and here as well as what test were done under the cut ( ‘specific test and opinions’ and ‘everything I did’ )

most places have instructions on what to expect/what to bring and I’ve found that to be really useful. Hope this helps :blush:

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I was gonna say make a good relationship with your care team, but ok the spleen comment is going to haunt me and I’m going to research that too much tonight…

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@ConfusedbutADHDandLD

THANK YOU so much for the resources! I feel like I fit the symptoms really well, but I still don’t know if they’re explained by my ADHD or not. I’m VERY inept at social situations, which is what started me wondering if I have ASD too. Then I started talking to a friend who has ASD, and dated a couple of guys who both had ASD. … and worked as an RBT over the summer for kids who have ASD. I SEE IT IN ME, but I still am not sure if it’s just my ADHD or if there really is something more.

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Personally, pursuing a diagnosis was worth it simply for the peace of mind. If you keep questioning and it’s driving you nuts, its worth getting an answer :wink: good luck!!!

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