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Difference Between ADHD and Asperger Syndrome

ADHD vs. Asperger Syndrome

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD and Asperger syndrome are both mental disorders. ADHD is a condition, mostly affecting boys, and characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. Meanwhile Asperger is an autism spectrum disorder characterized by difficulties in social interaction with repetitive and restricted patterns of interests and behavior. Both of these conditions occur mostly on boys rather than on girls.

ADHD is caused by a number of factors: genetics, diet, social and physical environment. ADHD is highly inheritable, but it has been an issue as to which specific single gene causes the abnormality. Environmental factors such as smoking and alcohol intake during pregnancy cause complications which affect the development of the child in the womb. Children who ingest large amounts of artificial food colors and preservatives contribute to hyperactivity. The environment in which a child grows up also affects him. If he experienced family dysfunction, educational system inadequacies, violence and emotional abuse, he is likely to develop ADHD. On the other hand, Asperger syndrome can also be genetically inherited just like ADHD and the issue in which specific gene which causes it also remains unknown. There are also links to teratogens being the agent causing birth defects during the conception phase of pregnancy, but is not yet confirmed.

People with ADHD are easily distracted. They frequently switch from one activity to another. They experience difficulty in focusing, become bored easily, find completing and organizing a task uneasily, often lose things, seem inattentive when talked to, daydream most often, have trouble processing information, always have unnecessary movements, talk nonstop about random things, run around while touching and playing anything their hands would get to, are very impatient, and they express their feelings without restraint. Unlike those with Asperger who often display intense interest and concentration. They, on the other hand, are most commonly found doing repetitive and restricted activities which make them abnormally focused or intense. They have inflexible routines, move in stereotyped manners, or are often focused on parts of objects. People with this syndrome acquire language skills and abnormalities include prolixity, abrupt transitions, miscomprehension and literal interpretations of nuance, auditory perception deficits, idiosyncratic or formal speech, unusually pedantic, and oddities in rhythm, prosody, intonation, pitch, and loudness.

ADHD and Asperger syndrome are often confused with one another. Because of their similarities, patients are often misdiagnosed and inappropriate therapies and treatment are given. And even though the disorders have quite similar characteristics, the medications to be undertaken are different. ADHD patients are usually treated with stimulant and antipsychotic medications, while no direct medicine could treat Asperger and a program might be used instead which includes training social skills, cognitive behavioral therapy, physical or occupational therapy, social communication intervention and the support and training of parents. This typical program may also be used for ADHD patients.

Asperger syndrome patients are known to lack ‘social reciprocity’ or what doctors commonly call as Theory of Mind. Theory of Mind is the empathy and the ability to understand other people’s feelings and thoughts. While ADHD patients have this Theory of Mind because they are known to have the ability to sympathize with other people’s expectations and motives. It is also a transparent distinction between the two that ADHD patients really know what to do and how to act in a situation but forget about it, while Asperger patients do not really know what to do. They do not realize that every relationship is two-sided and they do not understand it if he bores his friend when he’s talking. On the other hand, ADHD patients simply cannot control themselves from talking.

Understanding the differences between ADHD and Asperger syndrome helps one to avoid inappropriate prescription for patients. Parents must give their full support and care for their children who are suffering from this kind of disorder.


1. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD and Asperger syndrome are both mental disorders.

2. ADHD’s and Asperger syndrome’s major cause is heredity.

3. ADHD patients are outspoken and lacking mental capability while Asperger syndrome patients are focused and intellectual.

4. ADHD and Asperger syndrome patients are often confused by psychiatrists which causes inappropriate prescriptions.

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1 Comment

  1. There are differences in the manifestation of symptoms but both are neuro-behavioral disorders with the common underlying problem of functional disconnection syndrome. You can read about the syndrome and how to correct it at http://www.brainbalancecenters.com/the-truth/ .

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