The Bottom Line: Both Disorders Require Intervention
Sometimes, theres not an obvious difference between a child with Aspergers and one with autism. Signs and symptoms can overlap, and doctors may not make a distinction between the two disorders.
Because the newer diagnostic criteria lumps the conditions together, you may be told that your child has an autism spectrum disorder, instead of autism or Aspergers.
Also, every child with an autism spectrum disorder is different. He or she may not have the same symptoms as another child.
Your doctor can help you determine specific traits that may further categorize your child. But, for the most part, kids with Aspergers syndrome and autism face similar challenges and benefit from similar treatment approaches.
The takeaway for parents is to tell your doctor if you notice the signs of Aspergers or autism. Both disorders benefit from early intervention. The sooner you can spot and treat an autism spectrum disorder, the better your chances for a good outcome.
Intervention For Autism And Aspergers
Interventions and treatments for Autism/Aspergers Syndrome should include various approaches and be tailored to the individuals needs.
It is important to involve professionals, as well as parents and teachers.
Early intervention addresses core symptoms of AS/ASD and tackles poor communication skills and restricted and repetitive behaviors.
The following methods are used in the interventions for AS/ASD:
- Social skills training
- Ability to play with language
- Tendency to follow rules
What Is Aspergers Syndrome And How Is It Different To Autism
When suspecting their children might have ASD, parents often ask What is Aspergers Syndrome and how is it different to autism?
Due to some recent changes in the way autism is diagnosed, that question can be difficult to explain. While there are distinct differences in the symptoms and behaviours of people with Aspergers Syndrome to those with , there are also many similarities.
Heres what you need to know about the similarities and differences between Aspergers Syndrome and autism.What is Aspergers Syndrome?
Aspergers Syndrome was a medical condition first described by paediatrician Hans Asperger in 1944, who observed autism-like behaviours in boys who had regular levels of intelligence and language development.
The question What is Aspergers Syndrome? is multifaceted, as Aspergers Syndrome isnt formally diagnosed anymore. In 2013, Aspergers and autism ceased being medically classified as different conditions. Instead, they are both now tested and , or autism spectrum disorder.Similarities between Aspergers Syndrome and AutismWhile there are some differences between Aspergers and autism, the disorders share a lot of the same symptoms. These include:
- Difficulty maintaining eye contact
- Difficulty creating and maintaining friendships
- Difficulty expressing feelings or emotions
- Sensitivities to certain foods or sounds
- Issues with motor skills
- Finding comfort in having strict schedules
- Obsessing over specific topics
Also Check: Is Level 2 Autism High Functioning
Articles On Autism Types
When you meet someone who has Asperger’s syndrome, you might notice two things right off. They’re just as smart as other folks, but they have more trouble with social skills. They also tend to have an obsessive focus on one topic or perform the same behaviors again and again.
Doctors used to think of Asperger’s as a separate condition. But in 2013, the newest edition of the standard book that mental health experts use, called The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , changed how it’s classified.
Today, Asperger’s syndrome is technically no longer a diagnosis on its own. It is now part of a broader category called autism spectrum disorder . This group of related disorders shares some symptoms. Even so, lots of people still use the term Asperger’s.
The condition is what doctors call a “high-functioning” type of ASD. This means the symptoms are less severe than other kinds of autism spectrum disorders.
The DSM-5 also includes a new diagnosis, called social pragmatic communication disorder, which has some symptoms that overlap with Asperger’s. Doctors use it to describe people who have trouble talking and writing, but have normal intelligence.
What Is The Autism Spectrum
You might have heard people referring to autism as a spectrum. This just means that there are a number of ways that autism can be experienced.
While people on the autism spectrum share a bunch of similar traits, there are an equal number of differences between them, so the experience of living with autism varies greatly from person to person.
Dr Stephen Shore an autistic professor of special education at Adelphi University, New York, put it best when he said:
If you have met one person with autism, you have met one person with autism.
The spectrum can range vastly from people who experience significant difficulties with cognitive function and have no or limited speech, to those who have developed a range of functional skills to support their everyday life.
Some of the key strengths identified in people on the autism spectrum are:
- being detail oriented
- maintaining a focus on a task and
- seeing things from a different perspective.
My differences turned out also to include gifts that set me apart.
John Robison, New York Times Bestselling Author
If youre on the autism spectrum youll generally enjoy routine and predictability, and might also find yourself focussing on a specific area of interest, or following a particular passion. This can mean that people on the spectrum are highly successful in their chosen careers.
There are of course challenges that people on the autism spectrum face, these can include:
You May Like: What Does Autism Look Like In Girls
Is Asperger Syndrome The Same As Autism
Aspies, as many Aspergers Syndrome patients call themselves, have long been a group apart from the general population of ASD sufferers.
Aspergers is named after Doctor Hans Asperger, an Austrian physician and pediatrician. Asperger was studying developmental disorders in children around the same time as Leo Kanner, the physician in the United States who is typically credited with describing the modern strain of autistic disorder unfortunately for Asperger, this research was performed mostly during the Second World War and inside the German sphere of influence. Although both researchers had common findings and came to similar conclusions, they were unaware of one another and Kanners work became the standard.
But Aspergers name lives on for one particular reason: he himself appears to have exhibited some of the same typically autistic features as he was studying. In 1980, English psychiatrist Lorna Wing acknowledged both that fact and his studies by naming a less severe strain of autistic spectrum disorder after him.
What Are Some Common Signs Of Asd
Even as infants, children with ASD may seem different, especially when compared to other children their own age. They may become overly focused on certain objects, rarely make eye contact, and fail to engage in typical babbling with their parents. In other cases, children may develop normally until the second or even third year of life, but then start to withdraw and become indifferent to social engagement.
The severity of ASD can vary greatly and is based on the degree to which social communication, insistence of sameness of activities and surroundings, and repetitive patterns of behavior affect the daily functioning of the individual.
Social impairment and communication difficultiesMany people with ASD find social interactions difficult. The mutual give-and-take nature of typical communication and interaction is often particularly challenging. Children with ASD may fail to respond to their names, avoid eye contact with other people, and only interact with others to achieve specific goals. Often children with ASD do not understand how to play or engage with other children and may prefer to be alone. People with ASD may find it difficult to understand other peoples feelings or talk about their own feelings.
Also Check: Do Autistic Toddlers Dance To Music
Don’t Miss: Is Dr Shaun Murphy Really Autistic
Treatment Options For Autism
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
Is There A Cure For Aspergers Syndrome
Currently there is no cure for ASD. Nor are there any home remedies or herbal supplements proven to cure Aspergers syndrome or related conditions.
But several non-surgical treatments exist to help manage many of the conditions symptoms including depression, social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder .
Therapy is another good alternative for exploring ways to improve quality of life for you, your child or your students.
Many people with Aspergers syndrome say that therapy helped them to deal with their symptoms or other problems. Therapy providers for children and adults with Aspergers syndrome include:
- Physical therapists: Physical therapy can help improve coordination and balance. It can also help them to focus better when faced with distracting noises or sights.
- Speech therapists: Speech therapy can improve your ability to speak clearly and at appropriate volumes.
- Occupational therapists: Occupational therapy can help you learn job skills needed to become and stay independent.
- Family or relationship therapists: This type of therapy can help children and adults have healthier relationships with friends and loved ones.
Your healthcare provider can give you suggestions or referrals to these kinds of therapists.
Aspergers: Does It Even Exist Anymore
You should know that Aspergers isnt officially recognized as its own syndrome anymore.
The American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders no longer considers Aspergers syndrome a separate disorder. Since 2013, doctors have been instructed to diagnose Aspergers and autism both as autism spectrum disorders.
Despite this newer classification, many experts believe that children and adults with Aspergers have clear-cut symptoms that set them apart from those with autism. Indeed, the lumping of autism spectrum disorders has caused quite a bit of debate in the medical community.
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.
Also Check: Jerry Seinfeld Autism
Differences Between Asperger And Autism
Although it is hard to test IQ scores of children with ASD because of the nature of the disorder lately it is known that they have average or above average intelligence scores.
Those with Aspergers, on the other hand, predominantly score on par with or higher than their peers. Frequently they have superior IQ scores.
Generally, people with Asperger do not suffer from the speech impairments or inabilities that often characterize those with an autism spectrum disorder.
While there may be difficulty in understanding the subtitles of speech , people with Aspergers possess the ability to speak and annunciate clearly.
In addition, autism spectrum disorders are usually spotted in children before they reach school-age.
This is because the symptoms present much earlier than those of Aspergers.
Because Asperger affects sociality and communication, it easily goes undetected until an affected child encounters difficulties in school.
‘asperger Syndrome’ Was Introduced To The World By British Psychiatrist Lorna Wing In The 1980s
The term derives from a 1944 study by Austrian paediatrician Hans Asperger .
Many people who fit the profile for Asperger syndrome are now being diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder instead. Each person is different, and it is up to each individual how they choose to identify. Some people with a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome may choose to keeping using the term, while others may prefer to refer to themselves as autistic or on the autistic spectrum.
Autism is a spectrum condition. All autistic people share certain difficulties, but being autistic will affect them in different ways. Some people with Asperger syndrome also have mental health issues or other conditions, meaning people need different levels and types of support. People with Asperger syndrome see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. If you have Asperger syndrome, you have it for life it is not an illness or disease and cannot be cured. Often people feel that Asperger syndrome is a fundamental aspect of their identity.
People with Asperger syndrome don’t have the learning disabilities that many autistic people have, but they may have specific learning difficulties. They may have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.
With the right sort of support, all autistic people can be helped to live a more fulfilling life of their own choosing.
Also Check: Is Level 2 Autism High Functioning
What Is The History Of Autism
The understanding of autism has developed over a number of decades. While the term autism was defined by Kanner, there is varying evidence that other professionals, including Grunya Efimovna Sukhareva and Paul Bleuler, had recognised the unique presentation of symptoms much earlier than this. Since the 1940s the diagnostic criteria has evolved and shifted as we learn more but now autism is widely understood as a spectrum of conditions with wide-ranging degrees of impairment
What Are The Risks Or Complications Of Aspergers Syndrome
As mentioned before, Aspergers syndrome may coexist with other psychiatric conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or anxiety disorder. Even when anxiety disorder is not present, people with Aspergers syndrome may suffer from anxiety or hypersensitivity to certain stimuli such as loud noises. In some cases, disruptive behaviors and/or depression may occur in response to the anxiety and frustration experienced by sufferers of Aspergers syndrome. Other behaviors that have been reported in people with Aspergers syndrome include obsessive-compulsive behaviors and difficulties with anger management.
As with any condition, the degree of severity of symptoms can vary widely among individuals, and not all persons with Aspergers syndrome will experience associated psychiatric disorders, depression, or disruptive behaviors.
Recommended Reading: Can A Child With Autism Have Dyslexia
How Is Aspergers Syndrome Diagnosed
As mentioned above, Aspergers Syndrome is no longer diagnosed as a condition in and of itself. It is part of the range of conditions included in Autism Spectrum Disorder.
If a parent is concerned about a childs social development, unusual language patterns, and odd behaviors, a pediatrician should be consulted. The pediatrician can determine if the child should be seen by a specialist, such as a developmental pediatrician, psychologist, or other clinician who is familiar with ASD.
Testing and assessment usually involve a team of medical and psychological professionals. The specialists will ask the parent many questions about the childs development and current skills and problems. They will also interact with the child and conduct assessments to evaluate what symptoms the child shows when interacting with others. They may also assess the childs language and intellectual abilities. A medical doctor might ask questions or order tests to make sure there are no other medical concerns for the child.
Aspergers Syndrome may be difficult to diagnose. Sometimes this condition can be confused with other conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder , Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or Oppositional Defiant Disorder . Making sure to evaluate the childs social and communication skills, their patterns of behavior and thinking, and how these symptoms have developed over time will help the assessor provide the correct diagnosis.
Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders
Was Aspergers Linked With Nazism
Some prominent historians have argued that Hans Asperger was complicit in Hitlers regime of euthanasia in his bid to create a genetically fit German population.2 Psychiatrists and other physicians were involved in a Nazi programme that murdered children who were seen as either physically or mentally “inferior” or “undesirable.” Asperger, along with some of his colleagues, attempted to mould certain autistic children into “productive” citizens. He was also responsible for sending others to the Spiegelgrund clinic, where they were starved or given lethal injections. Asperger’s complicity in the death of neurodiverse children has fueled some calls to further abandon the Asperger’s label, even in a colloquial sense.
You May Like: Do Autistic Toddlers Dance To Music
What Types Of Treatments Are Available For Aspergers Syndrome
Treatment for ASD should be designed to meet you or your childs needs. The best treatment in the world wont work if a child or adult doesnt agree that its best for them. A good treatment plan builds on their strengths and encourages growth in areas where they have difficulty. Progress should be continually monitored and treatment adjusted as necessary to continue to help them succeed in school, work and life.
Mirror Neuron System Theory
The mirror neuron system theory hypothesizes that alterations to the development of the MNS interfere with imitation and lead to Asperger’s core feature of social impairment. One study found that activation is delayed in the core circuit for imitation in individuals with AS. This theory maps well to social cognition theories like the theory of mind, which hypothesizes that autistic behavior arises from impairments in ascribing mental states to oneself and others or hyper-systemizing, which hypothesizes that autistic individuals can systematize internal operation to handle internal events but are less effective at empathizing when handling events generated by other agents.
You May Like: Does James Holzhauer Have Autism
Level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder
Since the mid-2000s, there has been a steady increase in the number of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder registered at the Paul Menton Centre, consistent with the finding that Ottawa has the second-highest concentration of such students in Ontario .
While still in use, the term Aspergers Syndrome does not appear in the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , and is now subsumed under the broad category of Autism Spectrum Disorder . Those diagnosed in the past with Aspergers would now be identified as having Level 1 ASD . A neurodevelopmental disorder usually identified in childhood, ASD is diagnosed and described based on two symptom dimensions: Deficits in social communication/social interaction, and Restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities.
Carleton students with ASD typically have many strengths. They are usually highly articulate, in speech and in writing. They tend to be attentive to detail, with strengths in rote memory and a systematic, logical approach to problem solving. They may have intense interests around a general theme with more specific, related interests having varied since childhood , which can be highly motivating if they are in a related program. They are also likely to be straightforward, loyal and honest .