We were saying the same thing when ds was 5, but then realized (even before diagnosis) that working for the "good of the team" would NOT motivate him at that point--his reaction was while my younger dd is all "go team!". The reward system of motivation is basically about building a store of "little victories" for children that otherwise don't have many--The better ds feels about himself the easier it is to get him to do things. With spectrum and ADHD children we are also working with a child with about 30% of the emotional maturity of typical child.
We all work for rewards, even if it is just for the warm fuzzies of helping someone or doing what is expected of us.
My DS and DD are this way as well - DD(6) is all about helping, whether it's with chores, schoolwork, her classmates, etc. DS (8) does not care unless it's about dinosaurs or Transformers. We also see improvements in behavior when HE is feeling better about himself.
I knew something was "different" about DS when he was a toddler. Super bright, very verbal, huge vocab, liked to line his blocks up in a row, remembered all the words to all his books, could discuss various types of dinosaurs (and correct less-informed adults lol!) etc. His preschool was fine, small (12 kids, very small town) so his teacher had more flexibility in catering to his abilities. Kindie was less fine - his teacher started complaining about social issues (she pointed the finger at DS, I asked her to look again at the situations he was in and see if maybe he was acting out b/c he didn't know *how* to handle it, she expressed frustration at his lack of interest in peer engagement, etc). First grade was even WORSE. Seriously. It was a hell year for DS as well as for me. His teacher was AWFUL. Social issues again, again they tried to present DS as anti-social, psychotic, future Columbine type....that's not DS. True, he is not very interested in peer interaction, but he is not ANTI-social. We watched him at lunch to see if we could get a handle on his interactions - we found that when the conversation at his table turned to topics in which he had an interest, he was quick to pipe up and put in his thoughts. Once the convo turned back to, I dunno, Justin Bieber or whatever, his interest returned to his lunch lol. His first grade teacher decided that as a motivator for DS, she would allow the class to earn marbles (rewards) for POLICING DS' BEHAVIOR. Which, predictably, led to his classmates resenting him (he's holding them back from the reward) while DS grew more and more frustrated with his classmate's resentment. The reward system was not good, not going to work, AND put DS under scrutiny all day long from all his classmates. Happily, by the time the teacher shared her confusion at the failure of her reward system, she had already discontinued it (ie, by the time I heard about it, it was already over, thus exploding at the teacher would have had no effect....grrrrr).
We homeschooled (unschooled - decompressed!) for the fall semester of this school year (2nd grade for DS), then moved so that I could complete an internship for my degree. DS went back into public school here and has an ANGEL for a teacher. She *gets* him (the school and I have had many meetings, and I was not shy about letting them know we ENJOYED the unschooling and I won't stand for any more misguided behavior mods - he does have a diagnosis, and I do believe it is correct, and I'm simply not going to hear any junk about anti-social etc. Which is not an issue, b/c his current school rolled their eyes upon hearing that anyone suggested that. Yay for awesome teachers!
As I mentioned, DS does have a diagnosis of Asperger's, given about a year ago. He was being seen and evaluated at a children's clinic at my university, by a grad student who developed a great relationship with DS. She was leaning toward the Aspergers but holding back due to his young age. Her supervisor sat in for a few sessions and they consulted and agreed (very confidently) that Aspergers is what we are looking at. We will be re-evaluating for ADHD (I was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, about the same time we were evaluating DS lol) but felt it important to recognize the Aspergers and work with that issue first because both DS evaluators felt that it made sense to deal with the definite (ASD) and see if that alleviated any of the symptoms of the indefinite (ADHD). I also felt good about waiting on that b/c I feel like many ADHD "symptoms" are also "symptoms" of being a young exuberant child (boy, specifically) operating in a school system that asks for unnatural behaviors from those energetic, curious boychildren. :)