What is AuDHD?

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Do you have AuDHD? This article will help you better understand the overlapping challenges of ADHD and Autism.

The human brain comes in all shapes and wiring configurations, especially when it comes to the neurodiverse population. Two common types of neurodivergence are Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or ADD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). While they each have their own symptoms and traits, they often overlap and are comorbid. Because of this, a new term has surfaced: “auDHD.” AuDHD symptoms are a combination of both ADHD and ASD traits.

ADHD affects about 5-7% of kids, teens, and adults globally. It causes issues with attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. On the other hand, ASD, which impacts about 1 in 54 people in the USA, involves difficulties with social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors. And then there’s AuDHD, which is a combination of both conditions.

Imagine being caught in a maze where the walls between pathways blur – that’s what it’s like for many who discover they have traits of both autism and ADHD. This overlap can leave patients and professionals scratching their heads, trying to figure out which symptoms belong to which condition.

If only there were an auDHD test to take that can help you decipher between them… 😉

Click here to take the Sachs Center AuDHD Test.

This article dives into this tangled neurodivergent web, exploring the challenges of deciphering ADHD and ASD traits, and how you can test for auDHD and pinpoint auDHD symptoms in yourself or a loved one.

Understanding AuDHD: Autism and ADHD Combined

In the tangled web of neurodiversity, AuDHD stands out as a unique blend of Autism and ADHD or ADD. Unlike a straightforward diagnosis, AuDHD presents a complex mix of overlapping symptoms and diagnostic challenges.

Symptom overlap

AuDHD manifests as a combination of traits and behaviors from both ASD and ADHD.

AuDHDers may struggle with:

What It’s Like Having AuDHD

Living with AuDHD is like trying to operate in a world with the volume turned up to max and the instruction manual missing. Here’s a glimpse into how it feels for those who have it:

Sensory Overload: Sensory processing issues are common in the neurodiverse community. Sensory overload in AuDHD is like having the volume turned up too high on the world around you. It’s a flood of overwhelming sights, sounds, and sensations that can leave you feeling frazzled and unable to focus.

Social Anxiety: You suffer from Rejection Sensitivity (RSD), continually fearing that others don’t like you or will reject you. This leads you to feel fear in social situations and avoid events, parties, and dating.

Inattention: Staying on track is like herding cats – no matter how hard you try, something always manages to slip away. It’s like trying to play a game of chess where the pieces have a mind of their own, constantly jumping around the board.

Hyperfocus: It’s tough to focus on boring and tedious things, but if you’re excited about the task or project, you can focus for hours, often not even recognizing you have to go to the bathroom or eat.

Disorganization: You are chronically disorganized and never know where anything else is, leading to poor time management.

Emotional Dysregulation: Emotions can be a real rollercoaster ride, especially when you have autism and ADHD-both of which can cause extreme emotional responses and rejection sensitivity. Not only are emotions intense, but they’re also hard to regulate. One minute you’re on top of the world, and the next, you’re crashing down into the depths of despair. It’s like having your emotions turned up to 11, with no way to dial them back down.

Communication Challenges: Despite your best efforts to express yourself, it often feels like nobody understands what you’re trying to say. It’s like speaking a different language and struggling to find the right words to convey your thoughts and feelings. Likewise, it’s difficult for you to understand what others try to communicate to you. You miss cues and fail to understand and practice social norms.

Procrastination: You struggle to get started on tasks, especially if they are boring or tedious. If you’re interested in the task, you can hyperfocus on it for hours.

Impulsivity: AuDHD Individuals may act without fully considering the consequences, like hitting the gas pedal before checking the road ahead. This impulsivity, shared by ADHD and autism, challenges self-regulation and decision-making.

Repetitive Behaviors: Common in autism spectrum disorder, repetitive behaviors also occur in people with ADHD, ADD, and AuDHD. These behaviors, like replaying the same song over and over again or engaging in “stimming” behaviors, offer comfort amidst chaos but can hinder social interactions and daily functioning.

Diagnosing ADHD, AuDHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

a woman with adult adhd, add, autism, and audhd gets diagnosed by a psychologist in new york city

Diagnosing neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD, ADD, Asperger’s, AuDHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) requires a structured approach – because, unfortunately, there isn’t a single auDHD test that can diagnose both conditions at once. Let’s delve into how expert clinicians pinpoint AuDHD traits, and diagnose patients.

ADHD Diagnosis: Gathering Insights

When it comes to ADHD and ADD, identifying the telltale signs involves more than just observing fidgety behavior. Clinicians utilize standardized questionnaires and behavior rating scales to collect data on symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These tools provide a comprehensive snapshot, aiding in the diagnosis process.

ASD Diagnosis: Observation is Key

Understanding social communication and behavioral patterns is key for autism (ASD and formerly Asperger’s). Structured interviews and observational tests allow clinicians to assess interactions, communication skills, and repetitive behaviors. Tools such as the Autism Quotient and the Monotropism Questionnaire offer valuable insights into the diagnostic puzzle.

Considering Our Diagnostic Evaluation

The Sachs Center provides a 2.5-hour comprehensive evaluation specifically to assess if you have ADHD, Autism, or both (AuDHD). In addition to the thorough clinical interview with a licensed psychologist, we use evidence-based assessments-like the Brown Executive Functioning ADHD test, The Delis Rating of Executive Functioning Scales, the Autism Quotient and the Monotropism Questionnaire- to help us clarify a diagnosis.

The Importance of Precision in Diagnosing AuDHD

Diagnosing ADHD and ASD isn’t merely about assigning labels-it’s about understanding individual needs and providing tailored support. Accurate diagnosis enables clinicians to recommend appropriate interventions and therapies, empowering individuals to thrive despite their neurodevelopmental differences.


Embrace audhd, autism, adhd, add, aspergers differences in neurodivergent adults, teens, and children

In the diverse field of neuropsychology, the blending of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) gives rise to a unique challenge known as AuDHD. Unlike simple diagnoses, AuDHD presents a mix of overlapping symptoms, posing significant difficulties for identification and understanding.

The combination of ASD and ADHD traits within AuDHD individuals results in a range of symptoms, including social anxiety, impulsivity, hyperactivity, repetitive behaviors, hyperfocus, procrastination and attention deficits. Living with AuDHD can feel overwhelming, with difficulties in focusing, managing emotions, and communicating effectively.

Precision in diagnosing AuDHD is essential to help you better understand yourself. An accurate diagnosis enables clinicians to recommend appropriate therapies, empowering individuals to navigate life’s challenges with support tailored to their neurodevelopmental differences.