New research from the national psychiatric project iPSYCH offers an explanation for the high co-morbidity between autism and ADHD: they share changes in the same genes. This suggests that teens with autism are more likely to express symptoms of ADHD and that teens with ADHD are more likely to be identified as somewhere on the spectrum. Even if there is some overlap between symptoms, these disorders are not mutually exclusive. As both autism and ADHD affect executive functioning skills, residential treatment centers that focus on improving these skills through experiential therapy can help teens struggling with these symptoms.

Overlap in Diagnostic Criteria

Approximately one percent of schoolchildren have autism and two to three percent are diagnosed with ADHD. Autism and ADHD are different developmental disorders, but they can have certain common symptoms. For example, children with autism can demonstrate violent or aggressive behavior, be impulsive, and have problems in school and with social relations — and these same symptoms can be shared by children with ADHD. A common misunderstanding is that teens with autism usually also have ADHD. While this is common occurrence, sometimes signs of ADHD are better understood with a single diagnosis of autism.

As the articles suggest, ADHD is not only often over-medicated but is also sometimes used to describe symptoms that can be present with other mental disorders. Often, signs of inattentiveness and impulsivity are misdiagnosed as ADHD, which can be more easily identified than high-functioning autism. With these facts and numbers in mind, it is important for parents to find the proper treatment for their child that takes into account how these disorders interact and can be addressed similarly.  

The Importance of Finding Treatment That Addresses Both Issues

While many programs specialize in either ADHD or autism, programs that focus on the underlying issues contributing to both disorders help teens improve their overall wellbeing, not just manage specific symptoms. This holistic approach focuses on the body, mind, and spirit of your child–bettering all three to achieve a more complete healing experience. By exploring the emotional links between your child’s environment and emotions, treatment centers for neurodevelopmental disorders can help your child learn to manage their behaviors more effectively.

As a residential program, our caring professionals conduct comprehensive assessments to determine which areas of growth teens need additional support with beyond a medical model. They can help provide more accurate diagnoses and monitor potential medication by observing how teens engage in a social environment. Seven Stars is focused on social and emotional learning and self-assessments rather than traditional behavioral modification techniques. 

Seven Stars Can Help 

Discover Seven Stars is a residential treatment center for adolescents ages 13 to 18 with neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism and ADHD. This program takes a revolutionary approach towards helping students gain control over their social and emotional behaviors. By enforcing multiple phases, students are able to obtain useful skills and develop their strengths as a way to manage their neurodevelopmental issues. Discover Seven Stars helps students recognize their potential and gain the confidence and skills they need to lead happy and healthy lives.

Contact us at 844-601-1167. Let us help your family today!