New Issue!

Spring 2017 Issue ADDitude magazine Read the 'ADHD Therapies That Work' issue now!

The New ADDitude Forums Are Live!

Reach our full community by posting to ADDitude's discussion forums here

Asperger's Syndrome and ADHD

New Here and in Need of Information

Hi, I’m new here (to this group, that is), and recently read an article in CHADD’s magazine “Attention” that gave me a real jolt.  It discussed autism spectrum disorders, Aspergers, and ADD, and after reading the description of someone with both ADD/ADHD and Aspergers, I recognized myself beyond any doubt.

I was on a mix of ADD stimulant meds which were, frankly, ramping up my anxiety levels until I asked my doctor to take me off some of these—actually, ALL of them—to determine if they were the cause of all my distress.  I am feeling much better without them, but it puzzled me no end that I, an adult with ADD, could be doing BETTER without her ADD stimulant meds.  Then I read the article I mentioned above, which explained that people with both ADD and Aspergers Syndrome are generally unable to tolerate stimulants without something like a good SSRI med to counteract the anxiety-causing effects of stimulants.  I have nearly been going out of my mind on high doses of Adderall, Vyvanse, etc.—feeling anxious, hyper-emotional, angry, frustrated, etc. etc. all the time, even though I am now retired, on disability, and should be doing better, in my opinion.

Are others out there experiencing this?  I have only just read about this and haven’t yet consulted my doctor about an Aspergers diagnosis, but I fit the profile so perfectly I feel sure it’s the answer.  What have you found beneficial?  What more can anyone tell me about having both these conditions?  I am 60 years old, but I’d love to feel halfway “normal” before I die, if this is possible.  Please advise.  Thank you!



Hi Mara. I am 61 years old. My experience has been that I need a lower dosage of medication for the ADD and Aspergers’. I am on 20 mg Ritalin twice a day but many days half hat amount works. The adderall and others have made me too intense. I feel as close to “Normal” as I guess anyone can. But, having both conditions it nothing in my life has truly been normal.
of course, I am not a physician but I would consider cutting the medicine in half provided it is NOT sustained release. If it has a line in the middle, it is safe to cut.

Posted by ecentrk on Feb 10, 2014 at 1:11am

I’m not on commission (!), but I just want to let everyone who might benefit about the possibilities of neurofeedback - many insurances are beginning to cover it.  Beyond the small but significant improvements of high dose Omega-3’s, then a gluten and dairy free diet for a our 7 year old (very) ADHD Aspie, this new therapy has helped.  He is not as frenetic, and all his teachers say is is better able to focus.  In Michigan there’s, but there are other practioners out there.  Something to think about; it may help you use a lower dose or no meds.  Do your research; find out what is best for YOU.

Posted by Katherine85 on Feb 10, 2014 at 10:55pm

Thanks to you both.  I am, at present, taking just ONE med, not an ADD med, but one which helps with another disorder I have to give me some energy.  One reason my doctor put me on the stimulants in the first place was to try to increase my energy level so I could continue to work as long as possible.  I do need energy, but I don’t need all the anxiety and constantly out-of-control emotional outbursts I was experiencing on Adderall and Vyvanse!  I never suspected Aspergers, but it could certainly explain why I just haven’t done well for the past seven years on the stimulants.  Cutting them out has really helped.

I have read about neurofeedback, and it sounds intriguing, though I don’t know whether my Medicare-related insurance would cover it—and I can’t afford anything insurance doesn’t cover.  I will check on this, though.  Thanks again.

Posted by Mara on Feb 12, 2014 at 1:15am

hullow other lovely people in the same boat.

I have not been diagnosed with adhd, but I have with aspergers, this is my 10th year anniversary. I am now 48. I would love some of the ‘h’ in adhd, but the energy is not there at all. I can relate with the anxiety ramping up on some of the meds. I have had aurorix, which is an maoi, and legal in Australia. it got me out of the everything turning grey depression, but it would spin me into screaming anxiety. though the ssri’s would blank me out to where I couldn’t remember that the pain I was in was because I needed to get out of bed and go to the toilet, let alone how else to “do a morning”.
I am having more success on low doses of a generic version of aurorix. I don’t know why this would be affecting me differently, but it seems to have a very different result. I am out of bed more and occasionally getting something done. (hyperactivity and mania both hold a fascination for me, since I am so slow I would lose in a snail race.)
the ‘add’ makes sense of my emotional overload and sudden anger. (which is over very, very quickly, and not at all, if I can catch it in time.) but I don’t think it has always been there, unlike Asperger’s. since I am getting ‘less aspie’ and more socially sensitive, I am able to process offense much faster. it used to take decades to work out when I was being insulted… but now my poor husband gets my rapid, enormous reactions, now that I am able very quickly feel insulted by the things he says. (not on purpose… English is his third language…).
trying to get the balance right is difficult, but not impossible.
anyway consider the generic vs brand difference, and it might help. I definitely function better with at least some dopamine. all the best to all of us.

Posted by Mrs Pius on May 24, 2014 at 5:00am

Reply to this thread

You must be logged in to reply. To log in, click here.
Not a member? Join ADDConnect today. It's free and easy!

Not a member yet? Join here »

Search the ADDConnect Group Discussions