Common misdiagnosis of autism?

Welcome to the comical world of autism diagnosis! As a neurotypical person, it may be difficult to comprehend what exactly goes into diagnosing an individual with autism. It’s not just about ticking boxes on a checklist and voila – there you have it, diagnosed with autism! Many times, an incorrect or misdiagnosis can happen because symptoms of other disorders can often mirror that of autism. Buckle up for this wild ride as we explore common misdiagnosis of autism, which can leave both parents and professionals alike scratching their heads.

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

Let’s start our journey off strong by taking a look at one commonly confused disorder – ADHD. Children with ADHD tend to struggle with attention deficits and impulsive behaviors; however, these characteristics are also seen in those with autism. In fact, studies show that children who were initially diagnosed with ADHD were later rediagnosed as having ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) instead.

It doesn’t end there though: some individuals could even exhibit features belonging to both conditions simultaneously! Tricky tricky!

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

When someone thinks OCD they typically picture someone constantly cleaning or organizing things but there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to spotting signs of OCD in those possibly undiagnosed cases dealing under the spectrum disorder structure.

The repetitive behaviors associated with ASD are similar enough to those found in Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior where sometimes even professionals need extra time adjusting their seeing glasses before placing proper measures towards assistance involving more take-away focus issues such inadequate susceptibility being led by obsessive thoughts rather than “normal” routines.

OCD checking objects like washing hands multiple times displays an exaggerated worry over outside viruses much like how autistic people seem fixated on other macro detail oriented aspects too like monitoring sounds or controlling conversation topics flow backtracking how to adapt so they are within acceptable social behavior.

However, one major difference lies in the reasoning behind the repetitive behaviors. Individuals with OCD engage in these behaviors due to intrusive thoughts, whereas those on the spectrum have a strong need for sameness and predictability.

SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder)

Someone throw an overloaded machine into that waiting gamepad filled room because when it comes down to discussing sensory processing disorder this is where taking advice from anyone over than higher up specialist should be taken into caution.

SPD affects how individuals process information through their senses such as sight, sound, touch or smell which can result in behavioral issues if feelings get too overwhelming. Looking at loud texture sound insensitivity … oh no sorry let’s start again – looking at loud sounds, peculiar textures or different aromas triggers an excessive fight or flight response much like autistic individuals conducting themselves erratically during certain episodes of dis-synchrony pertaining to their surroundings…even though everyone else seems relatively unaffected by ubiquitous occurrences known and felt all around them!

The similarity between ASD and SPD symptoms is undeniable; however sensory overload can also affect children without autism which causes confusion when figuring out whether simply having sensitivities would warrant being examined under a potential autism diagnosis.

GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)

Bubblewrap isn’t just reserved for wrapping your possessions before you hand over your life-savings moving homes! It’s quite handy if anxiety strikes unexpectedly as well. Not saying go ahead & pop away some happy neurons inside your grey matter just yet but yeah..just kidding who am I even addressing? This nonsense thought isn’t recommended medically nor therapeutically!

Anxiety often goes undiagnosed/underdiagnosed amongst those with Autism Spectrum Disorders for multiple reasons: impaired communication skills leave many unable to express their inner struggles while heightened stressors only contribute towards increasing exacerbation levels more than something easily manageable since general anxieties can also show behavioral traits similar to that of Autism. Many general anxieties and fears do not necessarily indicate a causative link towards autism, as such there is an inherent risk for making misdiagnosis based on both bad communication and insufficient data.

Learning Disabilities

A youngster with autism may struggle in school due to learning disabilities which could seem consistent with those generally found within the ASD category except taken into account their specific deficits.

It’s important for professionals to address the possible skills this disorder brings that seems elusively difficult versus labeled LD even incorrectly because these assessments often rendered are conducted without exclusive testing taking into account nuances more relevant and conclusive under ASD analysis.

Underlying autistic impairments combined with fragmented classroom environments require proficiency tests where particular areas may need support instead of asserting blanket labels like intellectual disability or negative stereotypes associated therein especially given it should warrant fully understanding circumstances before making haphazard conclusions!

PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder)

The line between PDD and ASD is so thin you might as well use dental floss: one overlapping characteristic seen among affected individuals is difficulty with social interactions. However, Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) won’t quite cut it when using current diagnostic categories defined by DSM-V since individuals don’t meet criteria necessary enough quantifying being diagnosed exclusively under other conditions like seeing markers obvious across all spectrum levels (i.e., Asperger Syndrome).

This poses a major challenge for clinicians determining whether certain characteristics qualify children solely under the “autism” umbrella or if they additionally possess elements belonging specifically inside PDQ related guidance separate from standard issues normally occurring during diagnosis stages involving neurodevelopment differently varying per individual basis over long periods spanning years at times!

FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder)

And now ladies and gentlemen let’s throwback some class & discuss everyone’s favorite culprit– fetal alcohol syndrome. Only this time with a twist! Instead of strictly impairing physical or cognitive abilities, individuals may exhibit symptoms that resemble all those familiar behaving traits showcased normally in Autism.

A major requirement for diagnosis involves prenatal alcohol exposure. The problem occurs when examining misdiagnosed cases where parents weren’t even aware they drank while pregnant therefore making it extremely difficult to pin down any potential link between their child’s behaviors and FASD because people like blaming ‘laziness’ for bad behavior more often than not.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings, ranging from mania to depression but sometimes clinicians mistake manic episodes as autistic ones leading towards multiple misdiagnosis circumstances galore!

Manic moods associated with bipolar disorder can sometimes display signs insufficiently differentiated from autism characteristics: hyperactivity or agitation levels appear similar no matter how you slice it; particularly if inappropriate humor becomes excessively displayed during each episode which also represents one helpful manner identifying whether the triggered underlying cause has a psychiatric source versus solely an ASD level phenomenon induced through inherent social and verbal skill deficiencies due possible quick mixing of associations under different subcategories surrounding stimulants exposure.

Angelman Syndrome

Although mostly recognized for its unique physical attributes – such as lack of speech coupled with seizures – Angelman syndrome shares enough overlapping features with autism triggering confusion in the tentative process attempting pinpoint exact overlap independent & dependently related previously thought unassociated conditions likely warranting examination too should further analysis deem applicable while using best practice methods in conclusion drawing stage before projection plans become made involving proper help maximizing either areas working fine off one another concurrently operating together efficiently without interference among balanced daily routines dispensing routine therapeutic attention respectively…whew!


No doubt Houdini would be impressed by the capability of these disorders appearing & disappearing like magic tricks on an unexpected basis confusing both loved ones & professionals endlessly! Remember though folks always trust your gut intuitions as a starting point for solutions-seeking to safeguard against curmudgeonly diagnoses which don’t encapsulate thorough standardized grading testing results warranting further analysis. Research is key when attempting to arrive at the appropriate diagnosis for an individual struggling with behavioral issues!!

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