Wednesday, September 22, 2010

General Information about Asperger's and Autism

Well, it's time for Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday! And guess what? We're starting the alphabet! Yay! No more colors to write about. So, this week's letter is the letter A. What begins with the letter A? Hmmmmm. I'm drawing a complete blank. I could write about apples, but really, who cares about apples?

Oh, who am I kidding? A is a pretty easy letter for me to blab on about. Asperger's starts with A, as does autism. So, this post is going to address the issue of Asperger's and autism.

Many people are confused about Asperger's and whether it's a form of autism. This is actually pretty widely debated. Some states like California and Texas don't consider Asperger's to be a form of autism. So, if you live in these two states and get a diagnoses of Asperger's, you may not get the services you need, such as behavior therapy.

The general consensus is that Asperger's is a form of autism. The main difference is that a person with Asperger's is not speech delayed while a child with autism is. This is the main difference. Other people believe that kids with Asperger's tend to have an either average or above average I.Q. while kids with other forms of autism have an average or below average I.Q. I'm not sure this is the case. I've met many kids with high-functioning autism who do not present any differently than a child with Asperger's once they acquire language. Also, for the kids who remain non-verbal, the I.Q. tests are based on spoken language, so I don't think the I.Q. is properly measured for these kids.

Partly because of the confusion of Asperger's and the fact that its diagnosis may curtail services to some kids, the American Psychiatric Association may be doing away with the diagnosis in 2012. This is somewhat controversial because many people who are diagnosed with Asperger's like their Asperger label and don't want to be considered autistic. Nevertheless, I think it will be a good change because it will help all kids on the spectrum get the help they need.

Even though the official diagnosis may go away, will the term Asperger's go away? I highly doubt it! I think people with Asperger's will still use the label!

Many famous, successful people are suspected of being on the spectrum. Here is a list of some people suspected of having Asperger's or high-functioning autism:

Albert Einstein
Isaac Newton
Bill Gates
Dan Aykroyd
Jane Austen
Michael Palin
Keith Olbermann
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


I hope this post has helped clarify some misconceptions about Asperger's and autism!

27 comments:

  1. Very interesting. My son has been evaluated for everything under the sun and while he has some "autistic like traits" as we're told, he doesn't quite fit into any particular category. He talks but is lower functioning with enough sensory integration difficulties that it affects everything from his social skills to his ability to cross a street safely. I suppose the best we can do regardless of diagnosis or services available is help him find his niche in life so he can be happy and safe.

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  2. Autism is such a broad spectrum umbrella... my favorite quote is "When you meet one person with Autism, you meet one person with Autism" because it presents so differently - it's funny though - my husband was worried about the diagnosis but I was relieved because it opened up doors for services and programs that otherwise might have been closed... my son is in a pre-school program with several children with the diagnosis and each one presents different challenges and symptoms and each has different sensory needs... and social needs :)

    My son is finally starting to acquire language and is making huge strides now, so I'm interested in seeing where this leads us in terms of growth at school and beyond :)

    It's such an amazing journey :)

    Love your post btw and sorry for rambling - I think I'm off to link to your post and write my own ;)

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  3. I have met some ppl that really get offened (they have classic autistic kids) when you lump the terms together. I understand where they are coming from yet I disagree, I think aspergers is autism. there are a lot of similarities. Every child is different regardless but there are basic similarities.

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  4. My son has a PDD-NOS diagnosis, but the guy who diagnosed him told me that people would understand what I was talking about better if I just said Asperger's, because in his case, just about the only difference was that he did have a speech delay when he was little.

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  5. This is really interesting, thanks for posting it!

    It's so weird to see how the diagnosis can differ depending on where you live.

    Chipmunk has been diagnosed with high-functioning ASD, which I was told by his paediatrician is an interchangable term with Asperger's, implying he is both, yet in your article it seems they are viewed differently.

    It's no wonder people get confused, and can't access the information they need! I think the medical profession need to reach a consensus...though as an Aspie, I'll continue to use the term whatever they decide ;)

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  6. That is very interesting, thank you Cheryl. I think just based on providing services and not running into road blocks, it might be a good thing what the APA is doing. However, it is still confusing. I think they do need to clean up the diagnosis a bit.

    Thanks Cheryl!

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  7. My question is: how does one tell Aspergers from a child who just isn't good socially? Makes me wonder..

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  8. I'd often wondered (but never got around to researching) what the specific difference was between Aspergers and Autism. Thank you for enlightening me.

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  9. If you ever get a chance to watch 'My Name is Khan'(from the epiglottis) <--lol it is about a muslim who suffers with Aspergers syndrome. It is an excellent movie .

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  10. I didn't realize all those people had it. This post taught me a lot. Mostly I learned that I have a lot to learn.

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  11. Where I get lost is on how the "spectrum" works...ARGH! I am not sure anyone will ever really be able to clear that up but what some call on the spectrum is not what others call it etc...oh well. Regardless, I do wish all was more understood - thanks for the post!

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  12. Interesting post. I see a lot of kids in my behavior disorders classroom that fall on the spectrum.

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  13. Very interesting and enlightening post. La

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  14. I knew the two were related, but I didnt know the difference. Funny how politics and money are everywhere. Joni

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  15. Your list really surprised me! Thanks for sharing this :)

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  16. Cheryl: excellent question! I personally think that many kids with social skill problems probably DO have more going on! But key things to look for are: are there sensory issues? Are there problems handling change or the child not getting their way (tantrums, etc.)? Are there problems with communication? (problems holding a conversation). These are just a few big areas. My list of 12 most common symptoms of Aspergers (link is on my favorite posts list) is pretty good at laying out the key symptoms!

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  17. As a teacher I've had quite a few autistic and Asperger children in my classroom. Not one is the same. The more I research it the more confusing it is. These days when a child does not conform to the norm either intellectually or socially, specialists are quick to label these kids with these syndromes. So much more research is required. Thanks for sharing.

    Anne-Marie

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  18. Our Grandson was diagnosed with Asbergers, cerebral Palsy, dispraxia etc etc etc! He is competing in the World special Olympics next year in Athens...he speaks at fund raising dinners in front of up to 600 people (speech problems not-withstanding) and is captain of his special school. He is a champion!!

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  19. Nice post. I have one of each of those (Aspergers and autism), and my men amaze me daily with how cool, funny, and capable they are. They do a lot of the projects on my blog, including reconstruction after a major fire. I love finding others that realize the diagnosis is basically your warning that you have the gift of brilliance and talent to nurture.

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  20. I think in the back of my head I knew Asperger's was a form of autism but I wasn't certain. I'm all for abandoning the term if it means these kids and adults can have access to therapies and things that will make life easier for them!

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  21. Well now! I only fell upon alphabe-Thursday and thought it sounded fun and then I started looking at links and here we are at a blog I very much need to read just now. Good! Or in the spirit of alphabe-Thursday: amazing!

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  22. I really appreciate this concise information about Aspergers. It seems they are discovering more and more on this insidious condition all the time...but I always wonder if there is a 'cure' happening anytime in our lifetimes.

    While my daughter was in a naturopathic rehab in Minneapolis I attended many lectures on this subject, as well as addiction, autism, and depression.

    It seems they are trying to make inroads to implants and supplements. I hope it happens.

    Thanks for this excellent link to Alphabe-Thursday's letter A.

    I appreciate what I learn here.

    A

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  23. We are waiting for the referral to go through, but we have changed her status on her IEP to get her better services. She is speech delayed, well was. She still has issues here and there. And the whole social thing. Anyhoo. I love your site. I am sure I found you through Jenny. And I am glad.

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  24. My cousin's son is a very high functioning Asperger kid. I will forward this link to her. Thanks,
    Dana

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  25. Interesting and informative.I live in a country where it's still a stigma to be labelled autistic.I have a friend who suspects that her son shows some signs of this but her family is not willing to listen to her and think she is overreacting,so she has taken the matter in her own hands and has got her son into behavioural therapy.I think parents' support and encouragement and acceptance is the best thing a child can get while dealing with this.Thanks for the info.I will pass this along to my friend too.Visiting from Jenny's Alphabet Party

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  26. Great post. To be honest I think that we are so early into our understanding of various traits and eventually so many of these labels will either merge, change or fade away as we embrace new variations of what it means to be human.

    I've enjoyed browsing your blog and wanted to thank you for visiting on my SITS day. Will be back!

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