ADD/ADHD and autism spectrum disorders

Joe at Evangelical Outpost had some interesting posts about the use of ritalin and ADD. Part one Taming Tom Sawyer: Ritalin as a Substitute for Character ; part two, Do You Have Adult ADD?: Ritalin as a Substitute for Character; and part three, Clarifications and Criticisms: Ritalin as a Substitute for Character. I'm of the inclination that ADD and ADHD are over diagnosed and ritalin is certainly over prescribed. Most of the symptoms of ADD/ADHD are also symptoms of autism spectrum disorders. Below is a quote from a description of the traits of one such disorder.

"Asperger Syndrome, which is often abbreviated AS, is a sociological disorder classified as a very unique and misunderstood syndrome in the autism spectrum, which defines all disorders and syndromes related to autism. In the past, people with this syndrome were thought of as having a schizoid personality, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive compulsive disorder, or autistic psychopathy, and it was found out later that none of those were the case. Being misdiagnosed is quite common due to the rareness of the syndrome." Traits, Diagnosis, and Social Aspects of Asperger Syndrome

I wonder how many children and adults diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and put on ritialin actually have some other problem. I found it interesting that in the comments on Joe's ADD/ritalin posts no one addressed the issue that the rate of diagnosis of ADD/ADHD and use of ritalin is much higher in the US than it is in Europe. Could it be because there is a better understanding of autism spectrum disorders in Europe?

Here's some info on autism spectrum disorders:
Common Characteristics of Autism
Asperger Syndrome
Frequently Asked Questions About Pervasive Developmental Disorders, from the Yale Child Study Center website

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