Children who have autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may display a wide range of symptoms. A number of characteristics are also present with both disorders. At times, this can make it hard to differentiate between the two, especially in young children under the age of 3.
Symptoms that may be displayed with both conditions include :
- Trouble settling down
- Social awkwardness
- Focuses only on certain items of interest
- An inability to understand, react to, or show concern for other people's feelings
Distinct ADHD symptoms are as follows:
- Short attention span
- Becoming easily distracted
- Trouble sitting or staying still
- Frequently jumping from one activity to another
- Becoming bored quickly with tasks
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing on tasks
- Talks constantly and blurts out phrases
- Consistently interrupts activities or conversations
Symptoms that are characteristic for autism include:
- Avoiding eye contact
- Social skills are impaired
- Displays withdrawn behaviors
- Unresponsive to common stimuli
- Developmental milestones are delayed
- Concentrates and focuses on one particular item intensely
- Performs repetitive movements such as twisting or rocking
These types of symptoms have to be assessed carefully because both conditions may be present in some children. In such cases, the presence of ADHD and ASD is associated with more debilitating symptoms (e.g., severe learning difficulties or social impairments) than children who only have one of these disorders [1, 2]. This also means that there are instances where it is hard to accurately diagnose children.
It is highly recommended that children who have ADHD, ASD, or both conditions, receive behavioral therapy in conjunction with nutritional intervention as this has proven to be useful toward targeting the characteristic behavioral, communicative, and social symptoms of these conditions [3, 4]. In addition to cognitive impairments, gastrointestinal disturbances are common secondary issues that are observed with neurodevelopmental disorders. Gut-related problems also appear to contribute to the expression of certain behavioral and social symptoms .
Beneficial nutritional interventions for ASD and ADHD include a gluten-free and casein-free diet, a ketogenic diet, or specific carbohydrate diets. Furthermore, some children respond positively to polyunsaturated fatty acids, probiotics, and dietary supplements (e.g., vitamins A, B6, B9-folate, B12, C, and magnesium) [4, 5]. However, each child has distinct dietary needs and it may take several rounds of experimental nutritional intervention to determine what works best for each child.
This is why My Spectrum Heroes™ Multivitamin Mineral Plus can be so beneficial. It was formulated based on clinical trials and research showing safety and efficacy in these highly therapeutic levels of nutrients.
- Kotte A, et al. Autistic Traits in Children With and Without ADHD. Pediatrics. 2013;132(3): e612-e622.
- Hartman CA, Geurts HM, Franke B, Buitelaar JK, Rommelse NNJ. Changing ASD-ADHD symptom co-occurrence across the lifespan with adolescence as crucial time window: Illustrating the need to go beyond childhood. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2016;71:529-541.
- Zwaigenbaum L, Bauman ML, et al. Early intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder under 3 years of age: Recommendations for practice and research. Pediatrics. 2015;136(Suppl 1):S60-81.
- Karhu E, Zukerman R, et al. Nutritional interventions for autism spectrum disorder. Nutr Rev. 2020;78(7):515-531.
- Agostoni C, Nobile M, Ciappolino V, et al. The role of omega-3 fatty acids in developmental psychopathology: a systematic review on early psychosis, autism, and ADHD. IJMS. 2017;18:2608.