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PSY-6708 ADHD and Autistic Spectrum

You have learned about the similarities and differences between ADHD and ASD and want to share what you have learned with Mrs. Rivera when she visits next week. You are also excited to have explored the historical foundations of each disorder, and would like to share that as well.


For this assignment, prepare a handout for Mrs. Rivera that briefly describes the historical backgrounds of both diagnoses. Then, create a diagram, chart, drawing, or other self-created graphic that can demonstrate to her the differences and similarities of both disorders in terms of their associated symptom presentations. Summarize that diagram to help her understand the distinctions between ADHD and ASD.


Support your assignment with at least three scholarly resources. In addition to these specified resources, other appropriate scholarly resources, including seminal articles, may be included.


Length: 5-7 pages, including the graphic creation, but not including title and reference pages


Your assignment should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course by providing new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University's Academic Integrity Policy.


Literature Requirements

The Historical Origins and Characteristics of Individuals with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Throughout the past 200 years, scientists have observed and written about childhood presentations of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, as well as social withdrawal. However, their understanding of the theoretical underpinnings and bio-psychosocial factors associated with these symptoms has developed through the years, and the diagnostic labels have changed accordingly. Since 1798, when Sir Alexander Crichton first described a set of characteristics similar to modern-day attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), there have been numerous attempts to identify the specific etiology and pathological course of this condition. Similarly, the term “autism” began to be used in the 1940s to describe a pervasive, isolating self-focus in certain children, but over time has come to be viewed as a collection of related disorders across a diagnostic spectrum reflecting different presentations and severities. In 2013, the authors of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) combined what had been considered four separate developmental disorders under one diagnostic label, autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

ADHD and ASD share numerous common symptoms, making it difficult for even professionals to distinguish in their earlier presentations.



In the scenario introduced earlier, Cody’s teacher noticed that he has trouble following directions, staying in his seat, and sitting still. Easily distracted, he frequently gets up and causes problems in the classroom. He grabs toys and other items from his classmates and seems to be unaware and unconcerned with their feelings. When being redirected, he avoids eye contact with his teacher and rocks himself repetitively to self-soothe. Is Cody suffering from ADHD, ASD, or both?


This week, you will explore the historical foundations of both ADHD and ASD, as well as their defining characteristics by today’s diagnostic criteria.


Be sure to review this week's resources carefully. You are expected to apply the information from these resources when you prepare the assignments.

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