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How Is Autism And Asperger Difference

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Communication Delays In Autistic People


Unlike people with other forms of autism, people who suffer from Aspergers syndrome dont have communication delays. They also dont have any problems with language development. This is different from children who have Autism. By the time Aspergers children are 2-years-old they are fine with words, and by the time they are 3-years-old they catch on to phrases. On the other hand, children with Autism struggle with language. This is one difference between Aspergers and autism.

How Aspergers And Autism Are Similar

While there are some differences between Aspergers and autism, the disorders share a lot of the same symptoms. Children with both conditions may have:

  • Difficulty maintaining relationships
  • Problems expressing feelings or emotions
  • Trouble maintaining eye contact
  • Sensitivities to certain foods or sounds
  • Issues with motor skills
  • A desire to follow strict schedules
  • An obsession with specific subjects

Both kids with autism and those with Aspergers may be perceived by others as awkward in social situations. Additionally, engaging in hand-flapping is common in those with both disorders.

Social Interaction And Autism

Children with autistic disorders find it difficult to interact with the people around them. They rarely make and sustain eye contact, they resist cuddling, reject any form of affection and never look for it, cannot stand being kissed, have difficulty making friends and are mostly unable to play with children their own age.

Oftentimes they will have problems obeying simple rules, which is why they have problems attending a regular school. Normal peer relationships are also diminished due to the lack of social skills. Autistic people also tend to migrate toward exclusive activities. This will also affect their self-help daily living skills . However, it is important to point out that one person with Autism may experience very different symptoms and behaviors than another person with Autism.

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Difference No : Time Of Diagnosis

The average age of diagnosis for a child with autism is around age 4.

Because kids with Aspergers typically dont exhibit language delays or have lower IQs, theyre often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed until much later, sometimes in the teen or adult years.

Many parents may not realize that their son or daughter has Aspergers until he or she starts interacting with peers or participating in social activities.

Aspergers is often misdiagnosed as attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder . Although these conditions are sometimes both present, Aspergers is different from ADHD in that its a problem with socializing, rather than a problem with focusing attention.

Main Difference Autism Vs Aspergers Syndrome

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism and Aspergers syndrome are two psychiatric conditions that share several common features. Although it is quite challenging to differentiate one from the other, it is important to know the borderline of demarcation of Autism and Aspergers syndrome, mainly for the purpose of treatment. The main difference between Autism and Aspergers syndrome has been identified to be the severity of signs and symptoms and delay in language. Children with Aspergers syndrome have very mild symptoms and signs compared to Autistic children with a comparatively normal language, intelligence and cognitive skills.

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Different Names And Terms For Autism

Over the years, different diagnostic labels have been used, such as: autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder , Autism Spectrum Condition , classic autism, Kanner autism, pervasive developmental disorder , high-functioning autism , Asperger syndrome and Pathological Demand Avoidance . This reflects the different diagnostic manuals and tools used, and the different autism profiles presented by individuals.Because of recent and upcoming changes to the main diagnostic manuals,‘Autism Spectrum Disorder’ is now likely to become the most commonly given diagnostic term. Asperger syndrome remains a useful profile for many diagnosticians and professionals.

Asperger Syndrome And High Functioning Autism

The diagnosis of AS required at least two symptoms of social interaction impairment and one symptom of behavioral and interest restriction, a normal cognitive functioning and the absence of significant general delay in language. Moreover, diagnostic criteria for Autistic Disorder should not be met . This implied a differential diagnosis between AS and Autism, especially the type without cognitive delay, also known as High Functioning Autism . HFA is not a term used in the DSM, but it is commonly used to identify patients diagnosed with Autistic Disorder or PDD-Not Other Specified , with average or above average intellectual abilities . HFA differs from low-functioning autism in terms of clinical presentation, prognosis and need of support and assistance in daily life. Since AS and HFA are both characterized by a normal cognitive functioning, there has been considerable debate over whether AS and HFA are distinct conditions, suggesting different etiological and neurobiological mechanism, or share a similar underlying neuropsychological functioning and should therefore be regarded as variants of a single disorder .

According to Hans Asperger original description, his patients differ from those described by Kanner . Instead, Lorna Wing, translating Aspergers work, named the syndrome and Kanners autism both part of an autistic continuum .

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Why Was Aspergers Left Out Of Dsm

Rather than continuing to view Aspergers syndrome as a separate category, experts decided that with the publication of the DSM-5, autism should be considered a spectrum disorder. This distinction recognised the similarities between the causes and symptoms of autism, regardless of its severity. The different levels, therefore, were established to distinguish between presentations of varying severity.

This conception of autism was not entirely new. From its initial inclusion in the DSM-IV, some researchers were concerned about the Aspergers diagnosis, as they felt it was simply a variation of autism.1

Similarities Between Aspergers And Autism

Difference Between Autism and Asperger Syndrome

While there are some key differences between Aspergers and other levels of autism, the two have some things in common. Individuals with either condition may experience hypersensitivities to certain things like bright lights, sounds, taste and touch, for example.

They may have difficulties in social situations, particularly those that are new to them as well. Anxiety, depression, clumsiness and difficulty interpreting nonverbal communication cues may also prove difficult for people who have Aspergers or another level of autism.

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Why Fold Asperger Syndrome Into Autism Spectrum Disorder In The Dsm

by Francesca Happé / 29 March 2011
This article is part of:

Francesca Happé

Professor, King’s College London

Draft criteria for the new edition of the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , due in 2013, have aroused high emotions, particularly in the case of Asperger syndrome.

In 1994, the association first introduced Asperger disorder as a diagnostic category in the DSM-IV, the current edition of the manual, and distinguished it from autistic disorder by a lack of significant delay in language and general cognition. The term Asperger syndrome has become popular, and there has been a great deal of research comparing those with this diagnosis to those with autism.

Why then do we in the DSM-5 Neurodevelopmental Disorders Workgroup suggest folding Asperger syndrome along with pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified into a new category of autism spectrum disorder? Our aim is to acknowledge the widespread consensus that Asperger syndrome is part of the autism spectrum, to clean up a currently hard-to-implement and contradictory diagnostic schema, and to do away with distinctions that are made idiosyncratically and unreliably across different diagnostic centers and clinicians.

Asperger Vs High Functioning Autism

The difference between Aspergers and High Functioning Autism is that in some places, the former was or is still considered a mild variant of the latter. This is the most significant distinction, and it emerges as a result of the wide range of symptoms or their intensity in relation to the person in question. However, this isnt the only distinction there are a few other variances between the two related to their approaches, suitability, and early diagnosis.

Aspergers Syndrome is another name for Aspergers Syndrome. Most people are diagnosed with this illness before they turn two years old, and theres a chance theyll never be free of the symptoms. The trouble with general communication or expression, as well as a low level of intelligence in the patient, are some of the syndromes unique symptoms. Autism spectrum disorder describes this condition because it is related to behavior that mimics autism.

Autism, on the other hand, is a neurological ailment that is similar to Aspergers but with more severe symptoms and conditions. Severe symptoms, such as low IQ and communication impairments, are more common in people with this disorder. Although there is no cure for this condition, over time, various strategies have been developed to help individuals increase efficiency and reduce symptoms.

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A Concise History Of Asperger Syndrome

In the same years of Leo Kanners description of Infantile Autism , Hans Asperger wrote a case report on Autistic Psychopathy , describing children with social-communication impairment, eccentric manners, unusual interests and cognitive domains of hyper-functioning. The American Psychiatric Association did not immediately recognize Autism as a distinct category: it was introduced as Infantile Autism in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and included within Pervasive Developmental Disorders in the DSM-III-R . In 1981, Wing resumed Aspergers researches, renaming the Autistic Psychopathy as Asperger Syndrome . In 1989, the first diagnostic criteria for AS were proposed and in the 1990s, AS appeared in the DSM-IV within PDD .

How To Deal With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Topic 4

Unfortunately, no specific prevention ways have been listed for autism spectrum disorder, but it is a treatable disease and with good treatment procedure, kids can improve their speech impurities as well as social skills. As to causes, there is no great difference between Aspergers and autism in line with treatment. The following 7 methods apply to both of them.

1. Learn About the Disorder

Knowing more about the situation in hand always helps. Learning about the misconceptions revolving around ASD and the truth can deepen your understanding about the troubles faced by your kid.

2. Try Behavior and Communication Therapies

Enrolling your kid in programs addressed to deal with autism spectrum disorders is the best thing. These programs specialize in behavioural and social skills development, teaching kids how to act in given set of situation thus preparing them for real life troubles. Here, the kid can learn how to communicate with different people.

3. Join Educational Therapies

Highly structured educational programs are always a win in the proper treatment of ASD as they provide planned activities for social, communication and speech skills in a school environment.

4. Use Family Therapies

Understanding your kid is the need of the hour, especially with kids suffering from ASD. Parents can learn how to intelligently play and associate with their kid so as to improve their lacking skill-sets in family therapies.

5. Take Medications

7. Seek Out Other Families of Children with ASD

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What Is Aspergers Syndrome

Aspergers syndrome was first described by the Viennese pediatrician Hans Asperger in the 1940s. He noticed that some children had behaviors similar to autism, but with average intelligence levels and language development.

When the DSM-4 added Aspergers syndrome, it described the condition as the same as autism with a key exception: people with Aspergers didnt have delays in the areas of communication and language.

The for Aspergers disorder states that the person will have:

  • closer to neurotypical language development
  • average intelligence
  • noticeable differences in social interaction
  • repetitive behaviors
  • strong, focused approach to certain interests or activities

Aspergers syndrome tends to be seen as a form of high-functioning autism. High-functioning autism typically means that a persons language skills and development are considered normal according to neurotypical standards.

When the DSM-5 was published in 2013, Aspergers syndrome was folded into autism spectrum disorder.

The specific behavior and communication patterns associated with high-functioning autism or Aspergers tend to be classified as requiring support. This means people with an Aspergers diagnosis might not need as much support in day-to-day life as other autistic people.

Restricted And Repetitive Interests And Behavior

People with Asperger syndrome can display behavior, interests, and activities that are restricted and repetitive and are sometimes abnormally intense or focused. They may stick to inflexible routines, move in stereotyped and repetitive ways, preoccupy themselves with parts of objects, or engage in compulsive behaviors like lining objects up to form patterns.

The pursuit of specific and narrow areas of interest is one of the most striking among possible features of AS. Individuals with AS may collect volumes of detailed information on a relatively narrow topic such as weather data or star names without necessarily having a genuine understanding of the broader topic. For example, a child might memorize camera model numbers while caring little about photography. This behavior is usually apparent by age 5 or 6. Although these special interests may change from time to time, they typically become more unusual and narrowly focused and often dominate social interaction so much that the entire family may become immersed. Because narrow topics often capture the interest of children, this symptom may go unrecognized.

According to the Adult Asperger Assessment diagnostic test, a lack of interest in fiction and a positive preference towards non-fiction is common among adults with AS.

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What Causes Autism Spectrum Disorders

Every medical condition has a cause sometimes easily identified and other times very confusing, even for specialists and researchers. Autism spectrum disorder, like Aspergers and autism, has no such specific cause listed but it is known to depend solely on genetic and environmental factors. There is no big difference between Aspergers and autism in terms of causes.

Genetic Causes

If we talk about the genetic problems, it has been found out that different set of genes are responsible for triggering autism spectrum disorder and they have also been associated with genetic disorders like Rett syndrome or fragile X syndrome in some children. Genetic mutation is seen to be affecting brain development on a larger scale by cutting off the communication between brain cells and is sometimes inherited.

Environment Factors

As for environmental changes, the researchers are still in dilemma about the proper reasons and are exploring the role of viral infections, pregnancy complications or any other factor in causing autism spectrum disorder. Contrary to popular belief, no links between childhood vaccine like MMR and autism spectrum disorder have been found out.

Motor And Sensory Perception

Autism and Aspergers: 5 intriguing differences (YOU need to know)

Individuals with Asperger syndrome may have signs or symptoms that are independent of the diagnosis but can affect the individual or the family. These include differences in perception and problems with motor skills, sleep, and emotions.

Individuals with AS often have excellent auditory and visual perception. Children with ASD often demonstrate enhanced perception of small changes in patterns such as arrangements of objects or well-known images typically this is domain-specific and involves processing of fine-grained features. Conversely, compared with individuals with high-functioning autism, individuals with AS have deficits in some tasks involving visual-spatial perception, auditory perception, or visual memory. Many accounts of individuals with AS and ASD report other unusual sensory and perceptual skills and experiences. They may be unusually sensitive or insensitive to sound, light, and other stimuli these sensory responses are found in other developmental disorders and are not specific to AS or to ASD. There is little support for increased fight-or-flight response or failure of habituation in autism there is more evidence of decreased responsiveness to sensory stimuli, although several studies show no differences.

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Autism And Aspergers Are No Longer Separate Diagnoses

When using diagnostic tools previously, autism and Aspergers were diagnosed separately by pediatricians or specialists. It is now recognized that these terms merely identify where a person sits on a spectrum, known as the Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD for short. It covers all the different indicators a person may have to be classified as having ASD. Previously people who received an Aspergers diagnosis generally had functional language, were of normal or high intelligence but lacked the ability to interpret social cues. I know I have one of these special creatures!

An autistic diagnosis could include a whole raft of identifying features such as: poor or no language, repetitive behavior, aversion to foods, sounds, stimuli and no understanding of emotions or social cues, to name a few. Some people with autism may have savants which is an exceptional gift or talent.

It is important not to get caught up on the label, but more what it means for your child so that you can ensure you get targeted support to enable them to function as effectively as possible.

Kereth Harris

Why Was Aspergers Diagnosed Separately

Often an Aspergers diagnosis occurred at a later stage for children, as signs and characteristics may have only begun to be observable when the socialisation demands that going to school places on a child started to have an impact.

Individuals classified as having Aspergers often acquire language capability at a time commensurate with their age , while others on the autism spectrum may develop the ability to use words and sounds for communication at a delayed rate, with some individuals language not developing at all.

Those previously diagnosed with Aspergers tend to have average, or above average, IQ levels.

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Development Of Brain Structures

The fetal testosterone theory hypothesizes that higher levels of testosterone in the amniotic fluid of mothers push brain development towards improved ability to see patterns and analyze complex systems while diminishing communication and empathy, emphasising “male” traits over “female”, or in ES theory terminology, emphasising “systemising” over “empathising”. This theory states that fetal testosterone influences the development of certain structures in the brain, and that these changes relate to behavioral traits seen in those with autism. Males generally have higher levels of fetal testosterone contributing to their brain developing in that particular way.

Treatment Options For Autism

Whats an Aspie

Every individual with autism is unique. They face different challenges and have various strengths. There is no specific treatment that will fit all.

There may also be additional medical conditions with autism, such as gastrointestinal issues. Addressing these conditions will improve the quality of life for the individual.

Therapies targeting communication and social skills as well as therapies that will teach other skills will also benefit the individual.

Treatment should be personalized for the individuals specific needs. The treatment can involve behavioral interventions, therapies, or medication.

The following are used as treatment and interventions, by themselves or in combination with one another:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Occupational Therapy

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