Autism vs Asperger's Diagnosis

Erica - posted on 08/17/2009 ( 19 moms have responded )

2

29

0

Hi! My 5 yr old received his diagnosis as a High Functioning Autistic last week. Based on the information I've read during the last few months, I believed him to be more of an Asperger's child. While that is also considered a form of High Functioning Autism, what is the main difference? What qualities would exclude him from being an Asperger's child and be diagnosed as a High Functioning Autistic instead? Any help or input is much appreciated!

Erica

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Cheryl - posted on 03/28/2011

13

1

0

Hello Erica...these are labels. I know you wish to know the difference but it might not be as easy as that. Usual Asperger children and such are different too. It does appear that these children are very bright. I work closely with a company Auum Inc. whose President, Founder and Biochemist was labeled as a child to be Aspergers. I found him to be very knowledgeable when it explains that he is wired differently and that all are not the same. He does tell the parents to let them do what they love to do...he also discovered a new omega source (hence Auum) that helps these and other children dramatically. His mission to help children all over the world but we know omegas are essential for everyone. The first clinical study he did was with 42 chidren, 4 of which were non-verbal. These children spoke within 6 weeks. Why didn't this make the news? You might already know why. Happy to send you more information and answer any questions. You have a very special 5 year old boy but from the date you posted this, he might very well be 7. Look forward to hearing from you.

Lynn - posted on 08/22/2009

11

14

0

Here's the resource that helped us with my grandson's diagnosis. Dave Angel is in the UK, but has a blog, member community and email services. We (daughter & I) found that MANY people had no clue what Asperger's Sydrome was, nor did they even care to learn. As we were struggling, in the beginning, to obtain a correct diagnosis, we tried EVERYTHING. We read TONS of articles and books on the subject. Then I googled AS and found Dave. I still receive weekly articles from him and other AS parents, many of which apply to us and have proven to be incredibly helpful! Here's a letter I thought you all might find interesting.

Question

Are there any connections between ADHD children and those with Asperger’s Syndrome? My child is diagnosed with ADHD, but he seems to cross over a bit with weak social skills and emotional behaviour. How do you determine what is ADHD and what is Asperger’s?

Answer

The symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Asperger’s Syndrome do mimic one another, and there are some connections between ADHD and Asperger’s. In fact, there are dual diagnoses of ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome in many cases. Both of these diagnoses are developmental disorders; they share many of the same behavioural features and both affect children in the areas of behaviour, communication, and social interaction. As a result, there is often some confusion as to which disorder(s) is present. Medical, mental health, and educational professionals need to be trained to differentiate between the disorders and diagnose the correct one.

Here is a list of the behaviours seen in Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:

Autism / Asperger’s Syndrome

Difficulty interacting with peers

Fearlessness; feelings of invincibility

Temper tantrums without provocation

Inappropriate laughter

Resistant to intimacy

Physical over-activity or lack of physical activity

Minimal eye contact

Impulsive work effort that results in mistakes

Inconsistent fine motor skills

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Disruptive with others; cannot talk or play quietly

Impatient; does not want to wait

Risk taker; willingly becomes involved in potentially dangerous activities

Exhibits severe temper tantrums

Interrupts others; talks and/or acts inappropriately

Resistant to intimacy during younger years

Constantly active

Inattentive; has difficulty listening or conversing

Avoids attending to details; makes mistakes in work activities.

Both ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome

Problems with gross/fine motor skills

Behavior driven by impulses

Difficulty with appropriate emotional responses.

An ideal reference book for you is The ADHD Autism Connection, A Step Toward More Accurate Diagnosis and Effective Treatment, written by Diane M. Kennedy. Go to the internet and access this book by clicking the following link – ADHD

Ms. Kennedy’s book answers questions that you and many other parents with Asperger’s children have asked. In addition, this book contains information on children with Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, and similar conditions.

This book recognizes that Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is now one of the most rapidly growing diagnoses. Ms. Kennedy states that many people have not found the help that they need for their children, and parents are not aware of what to do as a result. This book provides knowledge of the similarities and differences between Autism and ADHD.

This book also addresses the fact that a diagnosis of Autism carries a negative connotation. In light of this diagnosis, parents are afraid to admit that their child is Autistic, and they do not create an atmosphere of open communication. Ms. Kennedy’s book portrays the connection between Autism and ADHD in a manner that gives parents the courage to candidly discuss these diagnoses with a sense of understanding and optimism.

Knowledge of the diagnostic differences, along with the information provided in The ADHD Autism Connection, A Step Toward More Accurate Diagnosis and Effective Treatment, will help you differentiate between symptoms of ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome.

That’s all for this week … and don’t forget to head over to http://www.parentingaspergerscommunity.c... if you want to take advantage of the current special offer to join The Parenting Aspergers Community (only 5 days left …)

Have a great day,

Dave Angel

Donna - posted on 08/18/2009

13

16

0

my son is under the cdc centre with suspected autism, i have looked into autism and aspergers and i have found that no one really knows what autism is or what causes it. you will find that everything you read will contridict its self as there is little that that they know about autism. i have finally came to the conclusion that every child with asd or aspergers is unique and not two children are the same. they have there own set of symptons. and that s why the spectrum is so big.it effect people and children differently. just be there for him and cherish him which i know you will and the end of the day hun its just a diagnosis and know matter which they say he is. he is your gorgeous beautiful little boy. take care

Summer - posted on 08/18/2009

70

14

17

My son when through an evaluation just last year and I thought that he would fit Aspergers more than HF Autism, but they said that Aspergers is a term that is being used less and less, most professionals as just going with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and not getting more specific. However, I have found that if I tell people that my son is Aspergers, they know what to expect a lot better than if I tell them that he is High Functioning Autistic. Good luck on your hunt for an answer!

[deleted account]

Although many experts disagree about a precise definition, the difference between autism and Asperger's syndrome seems to be a matter of severity and is tied to communication issues. Autism is known as a "spectrum" illness, as it has a wide variety of symptoms and associated conditions, the most common elements involve poor or impaired social skills, a very narrow interest range and sensory problems.



Autistic patients exhibit very rigid behavior with limited imagination. Autism is also characterized by limited verbal and non-verbal communication skills and difficulty in understanding or comprehending typical social relationships. When faced with social interaction, for example, they may appear to be indifferent or will implement repetitive functions or comments as a response mechanism. Their listening skills are usually poor.



Asperger's syndrome is basically a less severe form of autism. While the characteristics of the base illness remain, individuals with Asperger's syndrome seem to be relatively good at expressing themselves, can have average or above-average IQ and will not always experience or display learning difficulties. As a result, it is often not possible to diagnose the syndrome until after the child is at least five years old. You may notice subtle signs, however, such as the tantrums daily routine, which is often a way for the Asperger's child to exhibit serious frustration and can be far more noticeable and severe than if it were exhibited by a healthy child.



Whereas children with autism suffer from intense communication difficulties, those with Asperger's syndrome are much better at speaking, but will find it difficult to skillfully exhibit their abilities in a social situation, play and physical activity.



Some experts define Asperger's syndrome as simply autism with a functioning language, whilst others believe that they are two distinct issues. Autism, they say, is a left brain illness, whilst Aspergers is an affliction of the right brain. It may be possible to help differentiate between the two by observing early communication skills. For example, monitor your child's development each year and see whether he or she has the correct range of language at that age.



An Asperger child often becomes obsessed with things, and this can range from statistics to obscure or little known facts. As this obsessive behavior can sometimes take over control, it can lead to impaired development within the social arena. Many experts believe that children with autism can improve and take on the characteristics of children with Asperger's syndrome and become virtually indistinguishable in comparison.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

19 Comments

View replies by

Annabel - posted on 01/02/2012

36

5

0

In the UK they are no longer diagnosing aspergers - simply it is described as autistic spectrum disorder, high functioning. As autism is a spectrum it is now felt this seperate diagnosis is artificial, what matter is support and that is provided based on need not diagnosis here (not sure this is always a positive thing but basically we get our financial support and care based on needs over and above a typical kid, not to do with a doctors opinion)

Julia - posted on 03/26/2011

2

4

0

There is a very fine line between the two. My 9 year old son has Asperger's. He reads at the college level and is very articulate. At 3 years old was diagnosed with Asperger's because he had all signs of Autism but never lost his speech. The neurologist that evaluated him said the difference is that Asperger's kids never loose there speech.
Julia

Lori - posted on 08/23/2009

13

11

3

I believe that is what it is going by is the i.q. because my 11 yr old was also diagnosed that but he has the iq of a 3 yr old

Kristy - posted on 08/23/2009

4

20

0

actually i find i'm probably in the same boat as u.i have a 9yr old with a diagnosis of high functioning autism.he was diagnosed when he was nearly 3 because he was on that end of the scale.i'm not sure but i think 1 of the main differences may b related 2 their i.q

Faye - posted on 08/22/2009

13

12

2

Well, I think the same thing about my daughter. She is 2 1/2. She was Diagnosed with PDD-NOS. My pediatrician thinks she has Aspergers. I mentioned this to the Dr. that diagnosed her, and she said she cant evaluate my daughter for Aspergers until she is three. As her mother I think she as Aspergers. I told the Doctors for at least a year that there was something not right with Caity's behavior. Theyincluding my husband just thought I was over reacting. I have twin daughters. Cori was doing just fine and Caity semmed to be on her own. I won't go into the details as alot of you already know what its like. I don't think that having the diagnosis of Aspergers will change anything, but it will give me piece of mind.

Rachael - posted on 08/22/2009

6

13

0

According to the "magic" DSM -V used by the medical profession to diagnose...we went through this and always felt that our son had more characteristics of Aspergers but had a speech delay which then puts him in the Autism category. Personally I do not believe in the distinction between HF Autism and Aspergers. I think it is far more complex and my son is a bit of a "mixture". Labels are good for funding applications and getting government assistance but don't get too caught up in it. As long as your son gets the assitance he needs that's the main thing! Rachael

Bobbie - posted on 08/20/2009

9

23

0

My son got reduced homework, reduced classwork, and time and a half for tests. He was put into a separate room for testing and he had a 1:1 aide in most of hid classes, You are his best advocate. My son was mainstream for all his schooling and he is starting college in a couple of weeks. Don't worry!

Bobbie - posted on 08/20/2009

9

23

0

Asperger's is a form of autism. It was named after a man named Hans Asperger from Germany who was doing reseaarch in the early 40's. Then the war broke out and the information was put aside until 1994. Autism is an umbrella phrase which covers a multitude of diagnoses. don't allow yourself to be caught up in the language. when my son was diagnosed, the school psychiatrist said Asperger's. When we had our IEP meeting, the dr. said Autism. My only knowledge of autism was from Hill Street Blues. I pictured my son disappearing on us as he got older. That isn't the case. He has trouble with eye contact, carrying on converssations, etc. He is quick to anger and he can get very angry. He will be 18 soon and heading off to college. There is hope. Good luck. Bobbie

Angela - posted on 08/19/2009

4

108

0

I have asked the same question, and my son's specialist says the markers they use in testing determine which category. However, I don't see a difference. My son is about to turn 14, and wasn't diagnosed until 3 years ago. He was diagnosed with every disorder imaginable. I worked with special needs children and saw others acting the same as my son.

Erica - posted on 08/19/2009

2

29

0

Thank you for all of the replies. After all of my research, I still believe my son completely matches an Asperger's definition. But the doctor's told me no. I guess it really doesn't matter a whole lot, as he will remain in mainstream school and we are working hard to accommodate any difficulties he has. I just feel like I'm right, LOL

[deleted account]

You need to go to the local library and check ou some books, or do a lot of internet research. You will find conficting information though from one site to the other at times. From what I have picked up, people with Asperger syndrome do not show as much of a delay in language or development, as those with Autism do. Those with Aspergers do show delay in language skills, although they are not as profound. Aspergers is more in the social area, where Autism is more in the developmental area. Peple with Aspergers actually want to be social, they just don't eactly know how. Autistic children wort of live in a world of their own and don't even want to be part of anyone else's world. I read once that "People with Aspergers live in our world, but peole with Autism live in their own workld".



Again, I suggest you do as much research as you can.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms