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
What Does The Future Hold For People With Aspergers
A popular fiction book, The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon, puts forth the question, would you cure your Aspergers if you could? Without giving up the books ending, some Aspies would say yes, and others, no. In real life, being different simply means you are different, not better and not worse. People with Aspergers, such as the popular poster child for this condition, Temple Grandin, continue to make incredible contributions to society and the growth of culture. Armchair historians posit that Renoir, Churchill, and Einstein, among others, had this condition. Comedian and actress Amy Schumer and husband Chris Fischer recently went public about his high-functioning ASD diagnosis. Schumer all but gushed about his autistic traits, expressing that it was those traits which made her love him in the first place.
Whether it is recognized as its own diagnosis or not, for many, being an Aspie is a thing. For others, it is simply an ingredient in the soup of personality which makes them who they are. Scientific discoveries about ASD continue to unfold. For those on the spectrum, no matter where they are, the future holds the same level of promise that it does for all of us.
What Is Life Like For A Child With Aspergers
- Sometimes kids think I dont want to play, but I do. I just dont know how to ask to be included, so Im waiting for an invitation. Other times Im not sure what other kids are doing, so Im watching to see what the rules are.
- My brain gives me too many messages at once. Its like having 10 people telling me to do different things at the same time. When I get confused, I might knock things off the table, shout Stop talking, or walk away. I need a few minutes to get my thoughts organized. My teacher lets me take a chill break in the hall for a minute when I need one.
- Its hard to start or continue a conversation because Im not sure what I should say when I dont have a question. I often just answer yes or no to a question. But ask me about trains, planes, computers, electricity, or tornadoes and I will talk until you walk away. Please try to start a conversation with me anyway.
- Sometimes I make noises like a cat or dog, spin my pencil, or kick the furniture while Im thinking. I have no idea Im doing this until someone tells me to stop. Sometimes I blurt things out. My brain just needed to say things right then and it didnt ask for my permission.
Aspergers Vs Autism: What Are The Differences
Aspergers and autism are no longer considered separate diagnoses. People who may have previously received an Aspergers diagnosis instead now receive an autism diagnosis.
But many people who were diagnosed with Aspergers before the diagnostic criteria changed in 2013 are still perceived as having Aspergers.
And many people also consider Aspergers as part of their identity. This is especially considering the stigma that still surrounds autism diagnoses in many communities around the world.
Yet the only real difference between the two diagnoses is that people with Aspergers may be considered as having an easier time passing as neurotypical with only mild signs and symptoms that may resemble those of autism.
How Is Asperger’s Diagnosed
Doctors use interviews to diagnose autism spectrum disorder. When all the results are in, your doctor uses the information to determine where you fall on the spectrum.
Experts say an ASD screening might include an assessment of your:
- Social skills. Questions about current relationships, interactions with authority figures, and feelings about others are expected. Sometimes, outsiders like family members or teachers also answer questions to give experts a deeper understanding.
- Physical health. Underlying issues could blur your ASD symptoms. For example, kids with profound hearing loss may seem as though they are uncommunicative, but when that problem is addressed, they can chat with their peers with ease. A full health panel helps doctors rule out issues like this.
- Mental health. Asperger’s and other autism disorders often spark depression, anxiety, and hyperactivity. These problems can limit recovery.
Asperger’s is difficult to diagnose, and it’s common for doctors to use multiple interviews to spot the disorder. People with Asperger’s are intelligent and often quite social. Some mask their symptoms, so the issues are harder to see. Multiple interviews, held over a long period, can help doctors identify issues that might remain hidden in one quick chat.
This is a valid choice, but it’s not the right one for everyone. Autism spectrum disorder is a protected disability, and people with the diagnosis can access critical help.
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What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder
The idea behind ASD is that autism is a spectrum or range of persistent communication and behavior patterns.
Support needs also exist on somewhat of a spectrum for autistic people. While some people require significant day-to-day support, others need less.
In 2013, four different diagnoses were combined into autism spectrum disorder. These conditions were:
- childhood disintegrative disorder
- pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified
An ASD diagnosis means a persons behavior and communication skills fit certain patterns. And according to the DSM-5, they must show signs of these patterns by the time theyre 2 years old.
Criteria for an autism diagnosis includes:
- difficulty starting, joining, or participating in conversation
- differences in nonverbal communication
- sensory processing differences
- preference for routines
- focused, strong interest in certain topics or activities
- stimming, or repetitive movements
- difficulty adjusting to or understanding context in relationships, especially in neurotypical contexts
One of the biggest differences between the two is that Aspergers syndrome is no longer an up-to-date, standalone diagnosis.
The other major difference is that people with Aspergers syndrome are considered high-functioning, meaning they:
For Applied Behavior Analysts Aspergers Is Just Another Behavioral Condition
Applied behavior analysts do not typically suffer from the disagreements over whether or not Aspergers exists as a distinctive disorder. Accustomed to performing a Functional Behavior Analysis for individual patients and developing a specifically-tailored Behavior Intervention Plan , the ABA approach to treatment does not require a particular diagnosis to be effective. Each patient is unique, with their own individual challenges and requiring their own distinctive treatment plan.
On the whole, however, ABAs have a wider range of options for treating HFA or Aspergers patients. Their greater self-awareness makes them more cooperative in the treatment, and they are more amenable to self-monitoring techniques and other relatively subtle interventions to bring about the desired behaviors.
The real answer, at least from the ABA perspective, to whether or not Aspergers is the same as autism might be that no ASD patient is the same as any other ASD patient. No matter what they call it, each has individual needs and issues and has to be treated on an individual basis.
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Diagnostic Criteria For Aspergers Syndrome
Heres a brief summary of the from the previous version of the DSM :
- having difficulty with verbal or nonverbal communication, such as eye contact or sarcasm
- having few or no long-term social relationships with peers
- lack of interest in taking part in activities or interests with others
- showing little to no response to social or emotional experiences
- having a sustained interest in a single special topic or very few topics
- strict adherence to routine or ritual behaviors
- repetitive behaviors or movements
- intense interest in specific aspects of objects
- experiencing difficulty in maintaining relationships, jobs, or other aspects of daily life because of these previously listed signs
- not having any delay in language learning or cognitive development typical of other, similar neurodevelopmental conditions
As of 2013, Aspergers is now considered part of the autism spectrum and is no longer diagnosed as a separate condition.
Asperger Therapies And Services
Find the following services near you using the Autism Speaks Resource Guide.
Cognitive behavioral therapy can help address anxiety and other personal challenges.
Social skills training classes can help with conversational skills and understanding social cues.
Speech therapy can help with voice control.
Physical and occupational therapy can improve coordination.
Psychoactive medicines can help manage associated anxiety, depression and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder .
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Level Of Cognitive Functioning
Aspergers is generally accepted as presenting without significant impairments to cognitive function, meaning that the patient is usually found to have no additional learning disability and an IQ that is average or higher. However, this is not always true, and some people with Aspergers may present with common learning disabilities as well without having full-blown autism. It is generally agreed that no high-functioning form of autism can occur in someone with an IQ below 65-70.
Aspergers syndrome is thought to always present along with impairments in fine motor control this strongly overlaps with other forms of autism, however.
According to the ICD-10 and DSM-IV , for a diagnosis of Aspergers syndrome, spoken language development must not be impaired. Children with high-functioning autism, on the other hand, often present with significant language impairment. Controversy is rife in this area, however, as Asperger himself claimed that speech and language issues are a key feature of Aspergers syndrome, albeit not often to an intensely impairing level. As Aspergers often goes without a diagnosis until adulthood, its difficult to accurately assess how many children with the condition have issues with language in early life.
Age of onset
That being said, if someone you care about has one form of autism, its worthwhile to research the spectrum as a whole so as to gain a thorough understanding of the condition.
What Is Aspergers Syndrome Level 1 Autism Or High
Autism is a developmental disorder, which means that people are born with it and tend to display symptoms early in life, often before the age of two. People with autism tend to display difficulties in the following areas:
- Social communication and interaction
- Sensory processing issues
People with level 1 autism face those same difficulties, but are of average or above-average intelligence and can lead either independent lives or only require some support. This is in contrast to people with level 2 autism, who require “substantial” levels of support, and level 3 autism, which is characterised by severe deficits in verbal and non-verbal communication and where a “very substantial” level of support is also required. In simpler terms, level 1 is a milder form of autism and level 3 is the most severe form of autism.
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Growing Up With Aspergers
Having a developmental disorder can have a great toll on the individuals life. Since people with Aspergers have a tendency to be alone due to social difficulties, individuals can feel lonely and isolated.
People diagnosed with Aspergers stated that they felt like they did not fit in when they were in elementary school.
The pressure from typically developed peers also did not help. Some state that they were made fun of due to their differences.
Having unusual interests may distance the individual with Aspergers from their peers. While everyone is interested in sports or music, the individual may have limited interest in certain topics, such as reading books on certain topics.
The inability to make friends due to these may make the individual feel sad and depressed.
People with Aspergers diagnosis stated that they were left behind in school as others did not understand or pay attention to their needs.
Their restricted and repetitive behaviors were considered obsession. Some also stated that their parents tried to overcorrect these behaviors and sometimes took away what they were interested in.
It is important to be educated towards the symptoms of developmental disorders like ASD.
Being nice and patient, and paying attention to their wants and needs could go a long way to help them have a quality life.
Are Autism And Asperger Syndrome The Same Thing
Neither we can say that Autism and Asperger Syndrome are two different things nor we can say that they are similar. Asperger syndrome was generally considered to be on the high functioning end of the spectrum. Affected children and adults have difficulties in development and behavior. Readout to find the similarities and difference between Aspergers and autism.
If you need more information or you have a question regarding Autism and Asperger Syndrome, you can discuss it with our HearingSol healthcare professionals, just give us a call on +91-9899437202. We are always here to help you.
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What Is Asperger’s Syndrome
People with Aspergers syndrome, now diagnosed as a high-functioning form of autism spectrum disorder, are considered to have good cognitive and language skills. However, they still experience difficulties with communication and social interaction, and show repetitive behaviours.
Its important to understand that every person with Aspergers syndrome and autism spectrum disorder more generally is different, which is why people with this condition are now referred to as being on a spectrum.
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Those who identify as Aspies tend to consider themselves “quirky,” “weird,” or socially awkward, as well as highly intelligent and perhaps an expert in their field. It may be harder for them to find a positive identity in such a broad diagnostic category as “autism spectrum disorder.” Some people who continue to use the term Aspergers syndrome were likely also diagnosed with the condition prior to 2013, and may find it difficult to update their language or long-held self-image.
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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
How You Get A Diagnosis
If you notice signs in your child, see your pediatrician. They can refer you to a mental health expert who specializes in ASDs, like one of these:
Psychologist. They diagnose and treat problems with emotions and behavior.
Pediatric neurologist. They treat conditions of the brain.
Developmental pediatrician. They specialize in speech and language issues and other developmental problems.
Psychiatrist. They have expertise in mental health conditions and can prescribe medicine to treat them.
The condition is often treated with a team approach. That means you might see more than one doctor for your child’s care.
The doctor will ask questions about your child’s behavior, including:
- What symptoms do they have, and when did you first notice them?
- When did your child first learn to speak, and how do they communicate?
- Are they focused on any subjects or activities?
- Do they have friends, and how do they interact with others?
Then they’ll observe your child in different situations to see firsthand how they communicate and behave.
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‘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.