Being ADHD and Autistic

I was a rather pensive child.

My Dad often recalls that I was, somewhat, emotionless. In reality, I was just deep in thought.

Not a lot has changed. 

Yesterday I had a call with my new coach, Cathy. She specialises in ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

After receiving a diagnosis for ADHD back in 2017, I often wondered whether there was more that hadn’t been noticed about my behaviour. I show some characteristics of ADHD, like getting bored of tasks and trouble concentrating on subjects that don’t interest. But others, like impulsivity and hyperactivity, I show almost no signs.

I’d often dismissed the notion that I may be autistic, as images of Dustin Hoffman in Rainman gave me the wrong idea.

But the range of behaviours that summarise ASD are vast.

That’s why they call it Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Some autistic people suffer with language issues. Some have exceptional memories. And others are somewhere in the middle, showing many signs of autism without any extreme symptoms.

It turns out, that I belong to the latter group.

According to my coach, it’s likely that I am both ADHD and Autistic. Sporting the rare combination of both disorders.

She calls this a superpower.

One that blends creativity and logic together.

And I’m excited to hear that this often distressing part of my brain is a superpower. But part of me still wishes to be normal.

Hopefully over the next few months I will find a strategy to deal with the odd things that I do – like running across a road without thinking about it and not understanding the social norms of conversation.

Whatever happens, it’s good to know more about myself.

And I urge everyone to engage with a coach or, at least, take the time out for a little personal introspection.