Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome: What’s the Difference?

High functioning autism and Asperger Syndrome can appear very similar.  For family members who are around people with either one of these diagnosis they can see the differences, however, for somebody who is not frequently around these people, the differences can be very hard to observe.  While some of the struggles will be the same, Asperger Syndrome can be more difficult to diagnosis because some of the symptoms are more subtle.

The following is a few ways in which Asperger’s and Autism differ:

  • With Asperger Syndrome there is no clinically significant or general delay in language.  The words expected to be known and used by age two or phrases by age three are usually on target and the individual may appear to be socially competent in many ways.  Those with autism will typically demonstrate a delay in their language skills at an early age.
  • Those with Asperger’s will typically have average or above average intelligence.  Individuals with autism can also have average or above average intelligence, however, many individuals with autism also have below average intelligence.
  • People with autism may struggle moreso than children with Asperger Syndrome in their daily, self-care activities.  Individuals with AS typically have age appropriate adaptive skills, whereas individuals with AS have more difficulty in this area.  This is not always the case, but is a frequent difference in the two diagnoses.
  • There is also typically no delay clinically for those with Asperger Syndrome when considering a natural curiosity about the world or environment around them.  Children with autism may show little to no interest in the world around them.  This may seem a little bit strange to some, but those who have witnessed this struggle will immediately know if their loved one struggles in this manner.

These are just a few of the differences between Autism and Asperger’s, for a more detailed and informative list visit your local medical professional or consult a medical journal.

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