Asperger’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism

Asperger’s Syndrome is a specific diagnosis within the autism spectrum disorders category.  In the past and up until recently, the main difference between Asperger’s and the category of high functioning autism was connected to whether the person developed language skills as a toddler.  If the individual developed language skills as a toddler, they were considered to have Asperger’s and if they did not, they were considered high functioning, even if they developed language skills later on.  More recently, diagnosis based on this criteria has been reconsidered, and there is a definite question as to whether language is the best basis to determine the diagnosis of Asperger’s vs. high functioning autism.

Some of the similar symptoms between Asperger’s and high functioning autism are that they both have the same basic impairments and symptoms.  In the case of Asperger’s and high functioning autism – compared to autism in and of itself – individuals in both of these groups have average or above average intelligence.

What differentiates the two conditions are some issues such as age of onset of symptoms and motor skill difficulties.  Even though the two categories are somewhat separate and different, many of the main features and symptoms of Asperger’s and high functioning autism are largely the same and treatment, therapies and educational assistance is similar or the same in many cases.

Asperger’s has some distinct and unique symptoms from high functioning autism and their own separate areas of success, as well.  It is good to focus on these unique distinctions for both groups.

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