Adhd vs autism
ADHD Vs Autism

7 ADHD Vs Autism Differences: Definition, Attention, Social Interaction, Repetitive movements and patterns, Gestures, Conversation, and Signs

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or commonly abbreviated as ADHD is one of the common behavioral disorders occurring in children. About 10% of school-age children experience ADHD. However, this disorder seems to be difficult to understand. Not infrequently, people consider ADHD equal to autism. In fact, both are different things.

Then, What’s the difference between ADHD Vs autism?

What’s the difference between ADHD Vs autism?

Children with ADHD and autism alike have problems with attention. Their behavior, likes to change suddenly (impulsive) and also difficult to communicate. They have problems connecting with others.

Because it looks similar, sometimes people equate the ADHD condition with autism. But, in fact, they are two different things. So, what’s the difference?

If noted carefully, children with ADHD will differ from children with autism. ADHD is more affecting how the brain grows and develops. Meanwhile, autism is a series of developmental disorders that affect language skills, behaviors, social interactions, and learning ability.



ADHD is a condition of nerve development that makes children difficult to concentrate, pay attention, sit quietly and tend to be impulsive. There are three subtypes of ADHD, namely Inattentive, Hyperactive – impulsive, and a combination of both. Symptoms of ADHD can improve as the child ages and can gain more focus and control of their encouragement.


Autism is a condition of nerve development that causes challenges in social ability, communication and way of thinking. Repetitive behavior is also a part of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that often appears before a child reaches the age of 3 years old and it is more likely to occur five times greater in men than women.

ADHD Vs autism: Attention span

Children with ADHD often have trouble noticing the same thing for too long, and they can be easily disturbed.

Children with autism may have limited interest coverage. They seem to be obsessed with the things they love and the difficulty of focusing on things they are not interested in. They may be able to remember facts and details easily, and some may excel in mathematics, science, music, or art.

It may be easiest to find these signs when the child is doing his homework. A child with ADHD may not be able to notice any subject.

An autistic child may have a high level of focus on their favorite topic, but may not be able to engage in subjects that are less appealing to them.

Social interactions


The patient likes to do social interactions.


The patient is reluctant to develop social interactions.

ADHD Vs Autism: Repetitive movements and patterns


Preference to repetitive patterns and movements is invisible.


Patients showed interest in repetitive movements and patterns.



Patients can use gestures to communicate.


The patient does not use movement to communicate.



If the patient feels comfortable with the topic, he has no trouble continuing the conversation.


Patients have difficulties in starting and continuing conversations or discussions.

Signs you might notice, depending on your child


  • It seems forgetful, easily disturbed or dreams
  • Apparently not listening and having trouble following the direction
  • Prone tantrum and meltdown due to frustration or lack of impulse control
  • Try hard with their organization and accomplish tasks
  • Have difficulties to stay on duty unless activity is very enjoyable
  • Fight with social skills
  • Struggling to sit still when quiet activities, such as meal times or when self-employment at school
  • Have trouble waiting in queues and be patient
  • Continuous “On the go” or moving; restlessly and need to take and play everything
  • Interrupt people, disrupt everything incorrectly and may struggle with nonverbal cues
  • Act thoughtlessly and may not understand the consequences of its actions
  • It can react excessively to sensory inputs, such as the way the object sounds, smells, looks or feels
  • Play roughly and take physical risks.

Read also:
ADHD In Girls Symptoms


  • Avoiding eye contact and/or physical contact
  • Slow down speech (or not speaking) or repeat repetitive phrases
  • Prone to meltdown due to sensory processing problems, restlessness, frustration or communication difficulties
  • Interrupted by routine changes
  • Fight with social skills
  • Using excessive body movements to soothe themselves (e.g., shake, flapping hands)
  • Have obsessive interest and repetition of response to experience.
  • Constantly “on the go” or moving; restless and need to take and play everything
  • Very advanced verbally, but struggling with nonverbal cues
  • Having trouble demonstrating understanding of others’ feelings and their own feelings
  • React strongly in the way things sound, smell, feel, see or feel (sensory processing problems)
  • Having problems with safety and hazard awareness

Read also:
How To Cure Autism

Summary – Autism Vs ADHD

Autism and ADHD are two psychiatric problems that mostly seen among child patients. Although they share many of the common clinical features, the difference between ADHD Vs Autism can be carefully identified to assess the interest of patients in repetitive movements and patterns, which can be considered as a hallmark feature of autistic children.

Last Updated on August 4, 2020 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team

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