When A Student Is Distractible And Overly Active, Should He/She Be Given A Second Diagnosis Of ADHD?

Dr. Wayne Fisher answers the question: 'What About A Second Diagnosis Of ADHD?'

Oct. 23, 2008 -- Question: When a student is distractible and overly active, should he/she be given a second diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?

Answer: It is very common for children on the autism spectrum to display the primary symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, those being distractibility and inattention, having difficulty sustaining their attention to tasks, impulsivity or acting before thinking, and also being highly active -- squirming in their seat, being on the go, running around a lot. In fact, these symptoms are so common in children that are on the autism spectrum that one doen't make the initial diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -- it is just considered a part of the autism spectrum disorder. However, it is very important to attend to these symptoms and when they are present to deliver appropriate treatment and that usually includes medication in combination with behavioral treatment.