What are the long term outcomes for people with Aspergers?

The long term outcomes for those with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism depends on the severity of their symptoms, their baseline IQ, their ability to communicate, and what kinds of interventions and support they receive. Those who come from supportive families, retain a reasonable sense of self-esteem, and become relatively well-educated, stand a good chance of getting into solid relationships, finding good jobs, and having a normal life.

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Famous People with Aspergers and Their Achievements

Having the diagnosis of Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism can be devastating for the parents of children who wonder what will happen to their child as he or she grows. In fact, there have been many known or speculated individuals with Aspergers that have made positive achievements in several areas of society.

Vernon L. Smith was a professor and researcher in Economics who had Aspergers. He eventually went on to collect the Nobel Prize in economics in 2002. He authored or co-authored several books related to economic theory.

Tajiri Satoshi is a Japanese game designer with Aspergers. He developed a passion for video games as a young person and eventually became the creator of the Pokeman characters and game despite his diagnosis.

Several authors in the world have known Aspergers. Sometimes writing becomes an outlet for those with Aspergers because verbal communication is more difficult for them. They tend to be more solitary and then learn to express themselves in the written word.

Music is another way some Aspergers individuals express themselves. Craig Nichols is a musician and front man for the garage band “The Vines”. Other Aspergers sufferers go on to become accomplished concert musicians or pianists.

It has been speculated that Sir Isaac Newton, Hans Christian Anderson and Thomas Jefferson all suffered from the syndrome. Each took their disability and found ways to shine through and express themselves in social and other situations that led to their success in several fields.

Having Aspergers doesn’t mean that a child is doomed to be “disabled.” Often, a bit of encouragement and playing to their strengths on the part of parents and teachers can give Aspergers children the self-esteem it takes to succeed in whatever area intrigues them.

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Gender Differences in Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

Interestingly, different research studies list the ratio of boys to girls with Aspergers (High-Functioning Autism) as being anywhere from 4-10 to 1. That is, some research suggests that for every 4 boys, there is 1 girl. Other studies suggest that the male population is much higher relative to females. 

The Gift of Aspergers

Children with Aspergers (high functioning autism) and their families spend a great deal of time focused on the needs or limitations of the affected child. However, children with Aspergers also have abilities that many children do not. It is important that families talk about the strengths and abilities that "Aspies" do have.

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Helping Your Aspie's Teacher To Understand Your Child

By the time your Aspergers child reaches the age where he is going to school, you’ll have several years of experience figuring-out what works and what doesn’t work in managing him. While your child’s teacher understands the fundamentals of teaching, he/she will be lacking in crucial information about Aspergers and what works best in certain circumstances. This means that you have information to share with the teacher -- and the time to do that is before (or very near) the time your son enters the classroom.

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Helping Aspergers Children To Deal With Stress

Children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism often suffer from different types of stress compared to other children. Stressors can be as diverse as school issues to the texture of their clothing! These kids often suffer from so many obsessive thoughts that they are stressed out by things such as noise, smell, certain textures, things out of place, and disorder in general.

These children are perceived to be quite intolerant of others as well as the environment. They become very anxious in unstructured settings and in situations where people are moving at random. They may not be able to tolerate people standing close to them. 

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The Difference Between Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

"What's the difference between Asperger's Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism?"

The short answer is: "very little, if any." And in the DSM-5, which comes out in May of 2013, Aspergers will be referred to as "High-Functioning Autism" (HFA).

Aspergers and HFA are currently considered separate diagnoses along the spectrum of autistic disorders. Even so, there are many similarities between the disorders so that some consider them to be different labels for the same condition.

Both those with Aspergers and HFA have difficulties with sensory functioning and can't tolerate certain noises or certain kinds of tactile stimuli. By definition, those with either disorder have an IQ which is at, near or above the normal intelligence range. Both conditions involve a child or adult who has learned to function in society or in their surroundings by relying on the skills they happen to be good at.

Children with Aspergers and HFA think better in visual terms. They see pictures in their heads when recalling something and don’t have a particularly good ability to think in words. Both diagnoses are associated with a relative inability to understand nonverbal cues and facial expressions.

The primary difference noted in the diagnostic criteria for each disorder is the finding of a greater speech delay in children with HFA when compared to those with Aspergers. Others feel this represents a continuum and that this shouldn’t be enough to establish one diagnosis over another. Albert Einstein, for example, was felt to have characteristics of Aspergers, yet he didn’t speak until he was three years old.

Unfortunately, there are no specific blood tests or other diagnostic tests to differentiate between the two diagnoses. Instead the diagnosis is based on clinical judgment and observation. Some children with tentative HFA will catch up on verbal skills and will carry the same diagnostic appearance that Aspergers individuals do. Their IQ may be at least as high as other children labeled with Aspergers.

Children with Aspergers and HFA are both high functioning and, in general, they can all read, write, speak and understand. In the end, the final subtleties between the two diagnoses may just be a matter of semantics and may not represent a true difference in diagnoses. And, as stated earlier, an Aspergers diagnosis will be an HFA diagnosis starting next year.

Raising Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Parents' Grief and Guilt

Some parents grieve for the loss of the youngster they   imagined  they had. Moms and dads have their own particular way of dealing with the...