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What Is Aspergers And How Is It Different From Autism

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The Problematic History Of Hans Asperger

What is Autism – How is it Diagnosed – A Parent’s Perspective

Asperger syndrome shares its name with Hans Asperger, a prominent figure in the early research into autism who worked as a paediatrician in Austria in the 20th century, including during the time of the Nazis. An eight-year study into his relationship with the Nazi regime was published in 2018, concluding that he assisted in their euthanasia programme. This provoked a big debate among autistic people and their family members, particularly those who identify with the term Asperger. We are listening closely to the response to this news so we can continue to make sure the language we use to describe autism reflects the preferences of autistic people and their families.

What Causes Aspergers Syndrome

The causes of Aspergers Syndrome are unknown. Genetics and brain abnormalities may be involved.

We do know that Aspergers Syndrome is NOT the result of a childs upbringing or poor parenting. Aspergers Syndrome is a neurobiological disorder, meaning it is just a part of the childs brain development, whose causes are not fully understood.

About Autism Spectrum Disorder

Not all autistic children exhibit the same signs of autism or experience these signs to the same degree.

Thats why autism is considered to be on a spectrum. Theres a wide range of behaviors and experiences that are considered to fall under the umbrella of an autism diagnosis.

Heres a brief overview of behaviors that may cause someone to be diagnosed with autism:

  • differences in processing sensory experiences, like touch or sound, from those who are considered neurotypical
  • differences in learning styles and problem-solving approaches, like quickly learning complex or difficult topics but having difficulty mastering physical tasks or conversational turn-taking
  • deep, sustained special interests in specific topics
  • repetitive movements or behaviors , like flapping hands or rocking back and forth
  • strong desire to maintain routines or establishing order, like following the same schedule each day or organizing personal belongings a certain way
  • difficulty processing and producing verbal or nonverbal communication, like having trouble expressing thoughts in words or displaying emotions outwardly
  • difficulty processing or participating in neurotypical social interactive contexts, like by greeting someone back whos greeted them

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Characteristics Of Autism And Aspergers

Schools for Kids with Aspergers

Characteristics of Aspergers vary from individual to individual. However, there are certain symptoms shown by an individual that makes the diagnosis possible. These are:

  • Persistent difficulties with social communication and social interaction
  • Restricted and repetitive behaviors

Aspergers Syndrome is no longer a stand alone diagnosis with publishing of DSM-V. The characteristics may seem really similar to that of autism.

Here is a summary of diagnostic criteria used of Aspergers Syndrome:

  • Difficulty with verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Lack of interest in taking part in activities
  • Tendency to be alone
  • Limited interest in certain topics
  • Strict adherence to routines
  • Not having delayed language or cognitive development

Aside from not having delayed language or cognitive development, all symptoms can also be seen in individuals with autism.

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Is It Autism Or Aspergers

Aspergers Syndrome became part of the umbrella diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The symptoms of autism and Aspergers mostly overlap. Symptoms that distinguish Aspergers from Autism diagnosis is the typical strong verbal language skills.

Individuals with Aspergers Syndrome have difficulty in:

  • Social interactions
  • Tendency to stick to routines
  • Distinctive strengths

These vary from one person to another, just like ASD.

In addition to the symptoms above, individuals with autism strongly struggle with delayed language and communication.

If you feel like your child is suffering from delayed speech, they might be on the spectrum.

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

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Does Autism Improve With Age

It may seem so, but actually those cases where a child loses its diagnosis is due a replacement in said diagnosis.

As new information and new methods of examination comes, there are also improvements in the diagnostic system that allows the professional to know with more precision what the cases they studied were.

Growing Up With Aspergers

Aspergers Syndrome

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.

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Heres What You Need To Know

The biggest takeaway from this article: the signs that were once used to diagnose Aspergers now fall more firmly into a diagnosis of ASD. So, basically, Aspergers is no longer a functioning term. This doesnt mean the term isnt still used, thoughit just means that theres no formal diagnosis for Aspergers Syndrome.

Either way, a diagnosis doesnt mean you, your child, or any other loved one, has a disease that needs to be treated. The best thing you can do is learn about the nuances of ASD in order to develop a better understanding of you or your loved one.

The most important thing is to accept you or your loved one, whether its autism vs. Aspergers Syndrome.

If youre in need of a pediatric diagnosis or care, contact us today to get started.

Aspergers Syndrome Vs High

Note: At the time of this article Aspergers was a separate diagnosis, however, it is no longer used and falls within the broader ASD diagnosis with a higher functioning level.

Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder and the fastest-growing developmental disability among children. Learning that your child has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder can be a shock, and it is overwhelming to parents who do not yet understand what the diagnosis will mean for their child and how they can help. Even more frustrating for some parents is that within ASD are two separate diagnoses that are often used interchangeably by medical professionals, despite key differences between them. Aspergers Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism are singular diagnoses with differences in language development, age of onset, and cognitive function.

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Judson Center: We Help Individuals And Their Families

No matter what level of autism your child is diagnosed with, we know the news can be devastating for your entire family. Thats why Judson Center is dedicated to providing care for all family members who are impacted by an autism diagnosis, including individual patients and their siblings and parents.

While we offer special programs and counseling for family members, we provide at-center and in-home ABA treatment for patients. We also offer kids with autism the chance to attend innovative Summer Programs that help patients advance their skills even further in a variety of areas.

Get in touch with Judson Center to learn more about the treatment and support we provide for children with all levels of autism and their families now!

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.

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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.

Motor skills

Aspergers syndrome is thought to always present along with impairments in fine motor control this strongly overlaps with other forms of autism, however.

Language development

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

In Summation

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.

Treatment For Children With Autism

Learning about the difference between autism and Aspergers is helpful, but taking action is even more important. At Therapeutic Pathways, we encourage parents to seek treatment for their child as early as possible. Research suggests that early intervention provides the best opportunity for children to learn valuable independent life skills.

For more information about treatment options, contact Therapeutic Pathways at 422-3280.

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Diagnosis Of Autism And Aspergers

As we discussed before, Aspergers Syndrome is now a part of ASD diagnosis. Its signs and symptoms differ from one person to another.

There are certain symptoms that need to be present in an individual in order for ASD diagnosis to be made.

The person will be assessed in terms of having persistent difficulties with social communication and social interaction and restricted and repetitive behaviors. These are seen since early childhood.

The following symptoms can mean that your child has ASD. If you see the following signs in your child, seek professional help:

  • Lack of eye contact
  • Depth of knowledge in that area of interest
  • Sensitivity to certain sounds, textures, smells, tastes, etc.

What Is The Difference Between Aspergers Syndrome And Autism Spectrum Disorder

#17 What Is PDD-NOS & How Is It Different From Autism

The name for Aspergers Syndrome has officially changed, but many still use the term Aspergers Syndrome when talking about their condition. The symptoms of Aspergers Syndrome are now included in a condition called Autism Spectrum Disorder . ASD is now the name used for a wide range of autism-like disorders. Some providers may still use the term Aspergers Syndrome, but others will say ASD without intellectual or language impairment. These two syndromes are, for the most part, the same.

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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:

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.

What Should I Do If My Child Has Aspergers

As we mentioned numerous times before, Aspergers Syndrome is no longer diagnosed as a condition by itself.

It is now a part of many disorders categorized under the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

If you are concerned that your child may have issues with their social development, unusual patterns and different behaviors, you should consult a pediatrician first.

Pediatrician will be able to assess the situation and may refer your child to a specialist if need be.

These specialists include developmental pediatricians, child clinical psychologists or other clinicians who are experienced in dealing with autism spectrum disorders. They will conduct certain tests to see if the child is on the spectrum.

The specialist will ask parents and caregivers various questions to determine the childs development and other skills and issues.

They will also interact with the child to detect if there are any symptoms in terms of interacting with others. In this assessment, the childs language abilities will also be examined.

Getting a correct diagnosis on your childs disorder will be a great way to start to equip them with what they need to have a balanced and normal life.

It may be a difficult process for the parents and caregivers to get ASD diagnosis. But with professional help and your support, your child can receive therapies and interventions that will help them live an independent and a quality life.

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What Is Asperger’s Syndrome

Asperger’s syndrome is part of a wide diagnosis called autism spectrum disorder . Since 2013, Aspergers syndrome is replaced by the broader diagnosis of ASD within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders revised criteria.

People with ASD have difficulty with socializing and social skills. They tend to have narrow range of interests, rigid routines and will often show repetitive behavior .

Aspergers syndrome, as defined before 2013, was different than other ASDs because people with Aspergers have average or higher-than-average language and intelligence levels.

Irregularity Of Movement In Asperger Syndrome


Motor abnormality includes variety of impairments inability to execute a sequence of actions, atypical eye movement and deficiencies in motor learning . There are several studies examining movement in AS patients, presenting abnormalities in motion performance . In addition, different visual sensitivity to the movement and postural responsivity to the optic flow, correlate with motor skills . There is also significant impairment of movement performance as well as proprioceptive and vestibular processing in AS . Furthermore, AS individuals show deficit in explicit motor-sequence learning that could be related to the left hemisphere dysfunction . Explicit learning of right and left hand movement is impaired in AS. However, despite the impairment of explicit learning , the implicit learning of both hands maintains intact. Attractively, a right hand preference in implicit motor learning is observed in AS individuals due to left striatal system abnormality .

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What Are The Risks Or Complications Of Asperger’s Syndrome

As mentioned before, Asperger’s 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 Asperger’s 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 Asperger’s syndrome. Other behaviors that have been reported in people with Asperger’s 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 Asperger’s syndrome will experience associated psychiatric disorders, depression, or disruptive behaviors.

A Brief History Of These Disorders

Eugen Bleuler was the first person to use the term autism to describe extreme cases of schizophrenia during 1911.

Through the 1920s 1950s the concept of autism became recognized among the psychologists, psychoanalysts and psychiatrists.

People with autism were considered to have symptoms like hallucinations and childish behaviours, stating that people with autism had enriched symbolic life that was not accessible to the observer.

However, psychologist began to question of autism during the 1960s, achieving a new understanding of autism where the individual didnt have hallucinations or fantasies, but the complete absence of unconscious symbolic life.

This new concept of autism changed the understanding of autism for the exact opposite.

Changes in the evaluation methods made autism associated with developmental disorders like profound retard.

However, the Asperger Disorder was described in the 1940s by the psychiatrist Hans Asperger.

He observed kids with autism-like behaviours that still show normal intelligence and language development.

Nevertheless, many professionals saw Asperger Disorder as a type of high-functioning autism and still do nowadays.

Nonetheless, the Asperger Disorder was included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association in 1994 as a separated disorder.

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