Do I have ADHD or Autism/Asperger’s?

Do I have ADHD or Autism/Asperger’s?

Do I have ADHD or Autism/Asperger’s? 1500 1000 Dr. Menon

Life’s transitions are hard for everyone.

But for you, they feel excruciating. People describe you as smart but also “quirky” or “unique” or “going through a phase.” You’re always forgetting things. You may annoy friends and family by being late all the time. You have trouble focusing even when you are doing things you like to do. It’s really hard to get started with many daily tasks even when you know it’s the right thing to do and the pressure is on. Growing up, the adults in your life may have told you to “just try harder” to fit in and make friends, but you had a feeling there was more to it than just lack of effort or an attitude.

On the other hand, you could also be described as someone who is straightforward, with good intentions and a big heart! People count on you for being detail-oriented and gifted at things with patterns like math and music. You have so many strengths to share with the world; if only they didn’t get buried under all of the effort it takes to “fit in”.

There are many reasons why you can feel uncomfortable in social situations, be forgetful, have trouble controlling your impulses, or struggle to get started on tasks. Life changes, stress, and poor organization, planning or coping skills can all add to these challenges. What’s the difference between ADHD, Autism or learning differences? It’s complicated. It’s OK if you’re not sure what to call it. The categories below include some common features the psychologists at Thrive Collective in Northern Illinois look at. It’s part of the process to figure out if a person has Autism, ADHD, or something else that’s getting in the way of feeling successful and reaching their goals. Do any of these sound familiar?


Do you…
  • Get lost in your own thoughts and “check out”?
  • Seem naïve or have trouble with dishonesty, manipulation or disloyalty?
  • Feel confused when there is more than one meaning to a word?
  • Notice patterns frequently and remember things in visual pictures?
  • Remember exact details about someone’s life or a past experience?


Do you…
  • Feel trapped between wanting to be alone and wanting to fit in?
  • Switch preferences/behaviors based on the environment and other people?
  • Feel significantly younger on the inside than actual age?
  • Feel extreme relief when you don’t have to go anywhere, talk to anyone, answer calls, or leave the house but at the same time you feel guilty for “hibernating” and not doing “what everyone else is doing”?
  • Sometimes feels like you are on stage being watched and/or feel like you always have to act out the “right” steps?
  • Need a large amount of down time or alone time?


Do you…
  • Speak bluntly and literally, especially when younger?
  • Experience extreme emotions (outrage, deep love) ?
  • Have trouble transferring what has been learned about emotions from one situation to the next?
  • Have a lot of compassion for the suffering of others?
  • Take criticism to heart/sensitive but you’re also highly self-critical?

With others

Do you…
  • Excel at camouflaging/masking your social confusion, hiding in a group, and making sure you don’t get noticed?
  • Imitate people on television or in movies, especially when you were younger?
  • Make friends with older or younger people more easily than same-age peers?
  • Escape into other rooms at parties?
  • Have a difficult time making friends?
  • Have a tendency to overshare or hold a lot of thoughts, ideas, and feelings inside?
  • Feel as if you are missing the conversation “gene” or thought-filter or like conversations are exhausting?

Managing daily life

Do you…
  •  Need to have things be “just so”?
  • Struggle with being organized or multitasking?
  • Have a sensitivity sensory issues to sounds, textures, temperature, and/or smells including, being self-conscious about them and masking them?

Thrive Collective can help.

These are all areas that can affect how you feel about yourself, how you relate to others, and how you set and accomplish your goals. Getting the answers to “why” can help us understand “how” to change the behaviors and choices you make. At Thrive Collective in Illinois,  we follow a “biopsychosocial”  model of care. That means we look at all aspects of a person’s life and consider past history and present needs when we complete a thorough evaluation. In therapy sessions, we can explore these areas in a non-judgmental, safe space. We can look at old habits and patterns and see what’s working for you and what’s not. If there’s an area you’d like to change , we can offer tools, strategies based on your strengths and a partner.

Please reach out and schedule an appointment. We have providers licensed in many states for telehealth services.