Simple Definition Of Autism
We know that you are busy and since we are pioneers in autism and aspergers understanding as well as an autism-led organisation, we cannot tell you everything we know about autism on this page.
Think about every single human trait or sense. From hearing and smell , to attention span and problem-solving skills .
Even the most obscure traits such as facial recognition skills , the ability to understand animal behaviour and being able to sense when there is going to be a storm vs being surprised when it suddenly starts to rain.
All these traits are found in the general population and most people have certain traits to a certain extent, therefore falling within a general range of normal. For example, most of the population are ok at problem solving, ok at recognising faces and relatively ok at sensing the changes in weather.
However, everybody is quirky.
This means that everybody in the world will have the odd few traits or senses which you just cannot rely on, or instead are well over-developed.
What Doesnt Cause Aspergers: Debunked Myths
You might have heard that vaccines are linked to autism, but this claim is unproven. On the contrary, extensive research has shown there is no link between vaccines and autism spectrum disorders.
Years ago, one controversial study that caused concern over the association between vaccines and autism was withdrawn because of its poor design and questionable methods.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that vaccines are safe and do not cause autism. In fact, skipping vaccines can put children at risk of contracting and spreading other dangerous diseases, such as measles, mumps, or pertussis .
Another common myth is that Aspergers is caused by a poor home environment. Research shows the disorder is not due to lack of love, emotional trauma, or neglect.
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.
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Do Treatment Options Differ For Aspergers And Autism
Neither what was previously diagnosed as Aspergers nor autism is a medical condition that needs to be treated.
Those diagnosed with autism are considered neurodivergent. Autistic behaviors arent considered whats socially typical. But that doesnt mean that autism indicates theres anything wrong with you.
Whats most important is that you or someone in your life whos been diagnosed with autism know that theyre loved, accepted, and supported by the people around them.
Not everyone in the autism community agrees that autistic people dont need medical treatment.
Theres an ongoing debate between those who see autism as a disability that needs medical treatment and those who see autism treatment in the form of securing disability rights, like fair employment practices and healthcare coverage.
Here are some
Some People Use Other Names For Autism
There are other names for autism used by some people, such as:
- autism spectrum disorder the medical name for autism
- autism spectrum condition used instead of ASD by some people
- Asperger’s used by some people to describe autistic people with average or above average intelligence
Unlike some people with autism, people with Asperger’s do not have a learning disability.
Some people call this “high-functioning” autism.
Doctors do not diagnose people with Asperger’s anymore.
But if you were diagnosed with it before, this will stay as your diagnosis.
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Cognitive Problems In Alexithymia/asperger’s Syndrome
notes that individuals with Alexithymia have problems with introspection, poor capacity for fantasy, and that they show a stimulus bound, externally orientated cognitive style. Indeed James Grotstein describes Alexithymia as âan affect processing disorder that interrupts or seriously interferes with the organisms self-organising and reorganising processesâ . This means that they have a diffuse sense of self. Indeed there is an earlier disorder called Pensee Operatoire described by where there is a similar utilitarian thinking style to that seen in Alexithymia and indeed Asperger’s disorder. has described patients with La Pensee Operatoire as showing a âdull, mundane, unimaginative, utilitarian, and sequential recitation of concrete factsâ . He also notes that these patients show a cognitive style where there is an âabsence of the human quality contributes to making these patients thoughts âoperativeâ or thing orientatedâ . Such patients may often be described as dull, colourless and boring even when they are intellectual and clever . Of course many persons with Alexithymia or Asperger’s syndrome or La Pensee Operatoire can operate very well or indeed at superior levels in their work as mathematicians, engineers, etc. .
What Is Asperger Syndrome
Asperger syndrome, or Aspergers, is a previously used diagnosis on the autism spectrum. In 2013, it became part of one umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 .
Typical to strong verbal language skills and intellectual ability distinguish Asperger syndrome from other types of autism.
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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.
Autism Differences Between Aspergers And Autism
On the other hand, trying to define autism leads to relating it to a series of disorders that affect the communication skills, socialization and empathy of the person. Autistic people have a personality withdrawn on itself in a pathological way. Patients suffering from this syndrome generally have an IQ below normal, their language and grammar are limited, or they show no interest in socializing. Differences between Aspergerâs and Autism
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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
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What Are The Characteristics Of A Person With Aspergers Syndrome
When you consider people like Daryl Hannah and Sir Anthony Hopkins as those living with Aspergers, youll understand that the syndrome can affect anyone from any background.
No, you wont be able to look at someone and recognize that he or she lives with Aspergers syndrome. But once you spend some time around a person with the syndrome, youll see the character traits associated with Asperger.
You might think many of these characteristics are the same as someone with autism. However, you will find a significant difference. Those with Aspergers syndrome develop language skill milestones. Conversely, with autism do not speak or encounter developmentally-delayed speech.
A person with Aspergers syndrome may have exceptional verbal skills in that they have a high-level vocabulary. However, they may also talk to themselves a great deal. They might even speak to themselves in the third person at times. They may also develop repetitive speech patterns.
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Aspergers Vs Autism Symptoms
ASD encompasses many people who display a variety of symptoms, but they can all be grouped into categories.
Autism symptoms include:
- Communication difficulties. Some people with autism don’t talk at all. People with Asperger’s tend to have good language skills, but they may not understand nonverbal language.
- Social dysfunction. Some children with autism seem disinterested in other people. People with Asperger’s often want to connect with others, but they can’t seem to make a connection.
- Limited interests. Some people with autism like only one thing or a series of things, and they may like to talk about only those things. This is more pronounced in people with Asperger’s.
- Cognitive problems. Some people with ASD score low on intelligence tests. Some people with Asperger’s score very high.
People at the very impaired end of the autism spectrum often need around-the-clock care. They may not be able to tackle daily tasks, including using the bathroom or cooking, and their employment opportunities are minimal.
People with Asperger’s are often able to succeed in mainstream jobs, experts say. Some enjoy thoughtful, intellectually challenging careers like laboratory work or computer programming. Others thrive in research settings, and they set up home offices to do their job.
Meeting one person with autism doesn’t mean you understand everyone with the diagnosis. An open mind is critical.
Learn More About Aspergers Syndrome
Aspergers syndrome, also referred to as Aspergers disorder, is a type of pervasive developmental disorder which is associated with delays in the development of basic skills, such as the ability to socialize with others and communicate, while also developing restrictive, repetitive patterns of behaviors. Additionally, this neurobiological disorder is included on the autism spectrum, which encompasses a number of developmental disabilities. Autism spectrum disorders occur along a continuum of severity and the symptoms of these disorders can appear in a number of different combinations in each child or teen who is afflicted by them. While two children with the same diagnosis may share certain behavioral patterns, they may display a different range of abilities and skills. Additionally, some people who have ASDs are severely disabled and require substantial support for activities of daily living. Aspergers syndrome, however, is considered to be the mildest form of ASD, and those who have it are considered to be high functioning. Furthermore, most individuals who have been diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome are able to improve their social and motor skills through therapy, greatly improving their quality of life. They are able to go on to hold steady, mainstream jobs, but may still require a bit of social support and encouragement from loved ones.
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Similarities Of Autism And Aspergers
As mentioned before, Aspergers is now a part of autism spectrum disorders.
However, back when the syndrome had its own diagnosis, the symptoms were really similar to that of autism. The following were the similar symptoms:
- Difficulty in interpreting verbal and non-verbal language
- Difficulty in understanding gestures, facial expressions, jokes, etc.
- Difficulty in understanding others thoughts and feelings
- Difficulty in expressing emotions
- Depth of knowledge in that area of interest
- Sensitivity to certain sounds, textures, smells, tastes, etc.
Why Some People Continue To Use Asperger’s Syndrome
One of the issues with letting go of Aspergers may be that the category of autism spectrum disorder is very broad. It, perhaps, doesnt speak specifically enough to people who might be leading independent lives, holding down jobs, and functioning at a high level. It may be difficult for some of these people to identify with a condition that is often linked to severe intellectual disability.
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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
Causes And Risk Factors For Aspergers Syndrome
There is no one single cause for the development of autism spectrum disorders, including Aspergers syndrome. However, when considering the complexity of the disorder and the fact that symptom severity varies, there are likely many different causes. Some current theories include:
Genetic: Research has determined that several genes appear to be involved in autism spectrum disorder. In some children, the presence of Aspergers syndrome can be associated with genetic disorders, such as Rett syndrome or Fragile X syndrome. Additionally, genetic changes may make a child more susceptible to autism spectrum disorder or create the possibility for environmental risks. Furthermore, other genes may affect brain development or the way in which brain cells communicate, or will determine the severity of symptoms.
Physical: Brain imaging studies have shown that there are structural and functional differences in specific areas of the brain of those who have Aspergers versus those who do not. These differences may be caused by abnormal migration of the embryonic cells during fetal development, which then affects the way in which the brain is wired and further goes on to affect the neural circuits that control thought and behavior.
Environmental: Researchers are also exploring the impact that environmental factors, such as viral infections, prenatal complications, and air pollutants, may play in the development of autism spectrum disorders, like Aspergers syndrome.
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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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Final Thoughts: We Are Closer To Understanding Aspergers Syndrome
But theres still so much more for scientists to understand. Much of the research yields results that are inconclusive or observational in nature.
There is no definitive cause of Aspergers Syndrome. However, evidence suggests that genetics, as well as several environmental factors, can cause a child to develop the condition.
Evidence exists that exposure to specific toxins during the first eight weeks of fetal development could make a child more likely to develop Aspergers Syndrome.
Furthermore, the health of the mother might also contribute. Influencing factors MAY include:
- Maternal and Fraternal age
- Environmental factors
Each of those factors might cause the development of Autism Spectrum Disorder conditions, including Aspergers Syndrome.
Researchers still have much to learn about Aspergers Syndrome. As the library of knowledge continues to grow, we will gain greater insight into this disorder. And we should learn more about how to help people cope better with it.
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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.
How Are Asd Levels Determined
While its difficult to determine a persons ASD level, trained psychologists have some tools that can help them accomplish this, such as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition . This assessment is typically paired with a thorough developmental history.
Being diagnosed at a later age can make treatment more difficult. If you or your childs pediatrician think they may be autistic, consider making an appointment with an ASD specialist. Learn more about testing for ASD.
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Are Aspergers And Autism The Same
Aspergers Symptom was added in 1994 to the fourth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of American Psychiatric Association.
This was a separate disorder from Autism back then. In 2013, the DSM-V removed Autistic Disorder, Aspergers Disorder and other pervasive developmental disorders and gathered them under the umbrella diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Although it is no longer used, some professionals still consider Aspergers Disorder a less severe form of autism.
In addition, some people who were previously diagnosed with the symptom still strongly identify with being with Aspergers.
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