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Aspergers versus Autism: What’s the Difference?

Question

I'm not sure I understand the difference between Aspergers and Autism. What exactly is the difference?

Answer

The lines are sometimes blurred when it comes to the similarities and differences between Aspergers and autism. While both are Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), and while there are similarities that can be noted in autism and Aspergers, there are some significant differences too.

Similarities between Autism and Aspergers—

• both have trouble maintaining age appropriate relationships

• both suffer from poor communication skills

• children with autism and Aspergers alike may develop obsessions to a specific subject of interest

• hyper or hyposensitivity to pain and touch is common in both disorders

• poor eye contact is exhibited by both populations

• problems with gross and fine motor skills can be noted in both groups

• resistance to a change in routine is commonly found in both Aspergers and autism

Differences between Autism and Aspergers—

• Aspergers is usually detected later in a child’s life than autism

• autistic people typically are to some degree oblivious to the need for social interactions

• children with Aspergers express a desire to fit in socially, whereas autistic kids gravitate toward complete exclusion and seclusion

• in autism, the person’s IQ is usually below average, and communication delays are always present

• many autistic children are very late at developing verbal language (some are nonverbal)

• normal to above average intelligence and language development is common in children with Aspergers

• problems with depression are much more common with people who have Aspergers than in those with autism

• the average age for the diagnosis of Aspergers is 6 to 11, while Autism is usually diagnosed around or before the age of 3

• those with Aspergers tend to know that they have social challenges and sometimes suffer anxiety and depression related to these problems

• verbal IQ is higher than the performance IQ in Aspergers

• with Aspergers, even though speech is sometimes repetitive, the grammar is usually very good

• young children with Aspergers reach most developmental milestones within a typical time frame

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

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My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

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Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

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Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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