Does Hayden have ADHD? 12

This week saw our follow up appointment after Hayden’s autism diagnosis in November last year. The appointment itself was a little disappointing if I am honest. We were in the consultation room for less than twenty minutes. I didn’t know what I was expecting but something a little more thorough than that. The doctor had asked how Hayden’s first year at school had been and I was completely honest about the ups and downs we have had with Hayden’s school. Whilst it does appear they are doing all they can, sometimes it feels like their best isn’t good enough. I was also asked how I handled that behaviour the school appear to struggle with at home. It isn’t easy, but it’s our normal. We just live with it. We pick our battles and remain laid back on other occasions. “Does it seem Hayden is on the go all the time?” I was asked. Possibly the understatement of the century! The boy never stops! The doctor then asked if I would be happy for Hayden to receive screening tests for ADHD…

Does Hayden have ADHD?

Very often when you have someone diagnosed with Autism it is not necessarily the only thing that that person struggles with. Many people on the spectrum have other conditions and ailments to deal with. The mention of it did not surprise me. I had previously thought Hayden may possess certain characteristics that point to ADHD.

Does Hayden have ADHD?

NB: The following factual information has been sourced from the NHS website. More information can be found here.

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  Behaviours common in ADHD include Hyperactivity, Inattentiveness and Impulsiveness. Symptoms of the disorder are very often detected at an early age, and especially when a child starts school.


  • having a short attention span and being easily distracted
  • making careless mistakes – for example, in schoolwork
  • appearing forgetful or losing things
  • being unable to stick at tasks that are tedious or time-consuming
  • appearing to be unable to listen to or carry out instructions
  • constantly changing activity or task
  • having difficulty organising tasks

Hyperactivity and impulsiveness

  • being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings
  • constantly fidgeting
  • being unable to concentrate on tasks
  • excessive physical movement
  • excessive talking
  • being unable to wait their turn
  • acting without thinking
  • interrupting conversations
  • little or no sense of danger

Just based on the above there isn’t really any question as to the result of the screening tests. Hayden ticks almost every single box.

The thought of Hayden receiving a diagnosis does not concern me in the slightest. It makes sense. It is common in people already diagnosed on the spectrum, and will not change the little boy we love so dearly.

What does worry me slightly is the thought of medicating Hayden. How it will affect him, his behaviour and the person he is. Like any medication, it can come with side effects. Many of these I really hope do not start playing a part in our life.

We will cross that bridge when we come to it. But anything that can help our precious little boy cope with the world around him will be carefully considered and welcomed.

Hayden may well have ADHD on top of Autism. But if he does then we will deal with it. It is part of who he is. Whilst he can be tiring and incredibly frustrating we still love him to the moon and back.


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12 thoughts on “Does Hayden have ADHD?

  • Lady Nym

    I’ve come across a lot of parents whose child has been diagnosed with ADHD and after being medicated it becomes apparent they’re also on the spectrum (like the ADHD was masking the autism) but haven’t come across it this way round before. It sounds like you already know he has ADHD and are simply waiting for a diagnosis that reflects that. Like you say, it’s pretty common for ASD to hand in hand with other conditions and disorders. I hope the diagnostic process is as easy as possible and good luck.

  • Themotherhub

    My son has ADHD and ASD, he is 6. I just wanted to say I hear you ! It is exhausting , but it is our normal. Re the medication , it’s something that was suggested to us, but we’re seeing it as a last option of all else fails at the moment. But never say never definitely

  • Tracy

    People shouldn’t be afraid of diagnosis because it means the child gets the correct support. Whatever happens with your little boy, he is well loved with supportive parents and that’s the most important thing of all. X

  • Helen Needham

    Thinking of you – you will make the right decision for you all.

    We faced this decision a few months ago after it was suggested our Son might have ADHD. Making the decision to medicate or not medicate is such a tough choice. Our Son only tolerated taking the medication for 2 weeks, so we were forced to stop the medication route. Luckily his school have found a way to manage him without it. At home, we have just learnt to live with it as we haven’t known anything different. Life is certainly never dull with our Tazamanian devil always on the go! 😀

  • Lisa Savage

    You’re so right. A diagnosis opens him up to the support he needs. And whether you progress with or without medication, you’re still an awesome mama to a super little dude xxx

  • Lynne (Raising my Autistic son)

    I hope that if Hayden is diagnosed with ADHD it leads to some more support for him and all of you. It must be exhausting parenting a child who has almost endless energy combined with a short attention span – you are wise to pick your battles. I love #spectrumsunday, so thank you for running it again this week; I look forward to it running either fortnightly or monthly in the future, which ever is best for you.

  • Toni @ Gym Bunny Mummy

    I’ve never thought about additional diagnosis onto top of Archie’s Autism but he also ticks most of the ADHD boxes too. Archie has an assessment placement at a SEN nursery starting this September so we’ll see what may come of it. I totally get your point about diagnosis not changing things, but yes the medication is scary. My nephew has severe ADHD and without medication he’s a danger to himself and others xx

  • mummy/nannan

    We will all support and be with you every step of the way. It goes without saying we love all of you to the moon and back. Xxxxx

  • Louise giles

    Hi Claire
    My daughter amy is medicated on methylphenidate just enough of a dose to calm her down but not change her personality. They will start low till you and the doctor are happy with Haydens behaviour. I was extremely worried but had the top specialist by pure chance diagnose amy while he was in on our family councelling session. She can now concentrate on tasks and is calmer, you can see the difference when it’s wearing off. The main side effect she had was loosing her appetite but that wears off after they have been on it a long time. And amy has a rare anemia so her liver is affected slightly with medication so my worry about liver damage was calmed by the doctor. Ask any questions about the medication they will answer. Don’t just Google the effects Google the benefits as you will scare yourself with the horror stories and they are not mainstream results.
    I hope this helps xx

  • BloggerMummyLauren

    We used to visit the occupational therapist every week, and she suggested maybe thinking about screening Neil for ADHD. It’s something I have always wondered, and like you wouldn’t be particularly concerned about a diagnosis of.
    It’s difficult because a lot of the traits cross over, and some of the things on that list could be down to autism alone, but most Neil would fit perfectly.
    Personally if he was to receive a diagnosis of ADHD I don’t think I could medicate him, it just wouldn’t be for us as a family.
    I’m interested to see how they goes for you, as it sounds very similar to us at the moment!xx