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Asperger's Syndrome Message Board
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:27 AM   #1
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difference between asperger's and high functioning autism

Does anyone know the difference between aspergers and high functioning autism? I just left the psychologist with my son - it was his second visit. My son was being himself today - not holding back like the first visit. At his first session the doctor said he believed he had aspergers, but today he said he feels he may be autistic, a high functioning autistic, I thought that is what aspergers was. This doctor came very highly recommended and works very well with my son, I'm just confused by what he said. I was running out the door to catch my son so I didn't have time to ask questions.
Thanks.

 
Old 03-21-2006, 06:16 PM   #2
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Re: difference between asperger's and high functioning autism

My son is 19 and was diagnosed at age 8 with high functioning autism. We were told to look for information on Aspergers syndrome however my son did have a severe language delay. My grandson also had a severe language delay but he appears to be more Aspergers because he seems to be very gifted in Math and has higher intelligence in both verbally and non-verbally. Both have strong sensory disturbances and social delays. I know what the DSM says but it still doesn't seem to fit everyone.

 
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:39 PM   #3
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Re: difference between asperger's and high functioning autism

Professionals and even the diagnosed have been debating this ever since AS has been carried as a diagnostic disorder.

But really, it is most down to language delay. It is said that verbal and non verbal test scores are the opposite for each criteria, but this could be debated.

For me personally, it has been a roller coaster ride between these two. One doctor will always say one, while another will say the other. And then of coarse, to make things even more interesting, you have that third party to tell you PDD NOS. I talked by age two, but I saw a speech therapist at that time to help. And when it came, I have to say I wasn't a literary scholar with verbal communication. And even with that, I had delays in the criteria of "development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other than social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood".

The thing about diagnosing, and even the thing about Autism, is that there are so many different types and subtypes. Different styles in different ways. I can't say that it isn't a big deal if you are diagnosed either HFA or AS, but the treatment and schooling plan is on the same track. And that is the most important.

SGH

PS Although you have to watch out for that PDA

Last edited by SuchGreatHeight; 03-21-2006 at 07:41 PM.

 
Old 03-21-2006, 09:52 PM   #4
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Re: difference between asperger's and high functioning autism

SuchGreatHeight;

Your post really interests me from a mother's point of view. I gather you have a diagnosis of ASD. Which diagnosis is the most recent and based on what criteria? How old are you at this point and do you experience any sensory issues? I am very curious if some of the sensory concerns become self managed or out grown as children get older. My son is diagnosed as PDD/NOS. He is three and has come a long way since he began receiving therapy. He does have some sensory issues that are more obvious at times and less noticable at others. This has been one of the biggest mysteries for me since when he is going through a sensory period this throws off everything about him. Do you ever have a sensory overload? What is/was this like for you? I just want to try and understand what he is feeling when he's having one of these periods. Thanks

p.s. What is PDA?

Last edited by jeffreys mom; 03-21-2006 at 09:54 PM.

 
Old 03-22-2006, 10:25 AM   #5
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Re: difference between asperger's and high functioning autism

Holly WA-

THank you for pointing out the differences between the two, I had been wondering about this too.

 
Old 03-22-2006, 10:25 AM   #6
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Re: difference between asperger's and high functioning autism

Holly WA-

THank you for pointing out the differences between the two, I had been wondering about this too.

 
Old 03-23-2006, 06:06 AM   #7
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Re: difference between asperger's and high functioning autism

Just remember that Asperger's is a type of high functioning autism, even though it's a diagnosis all its own...
-GatsbyLuvr1920-
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"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
-Hans Asperger

 
Old 03-23-2006, 10:57 PM   #8
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Re: difference between asperger's and high functioning autism

Hey Jeffreys Mom. I hope I can help you here, and I'll try to answer your questions to my best ability. I kind of broke apart your questions to help me a bit. If you need any other information or if I didn't answer your question clear, just let me know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreys mom
SuchGreatHeight;

Your post really interests me from a mother's point of view. I gather you have a diagnosis of ASD. Which diagnosis is the most recent and based on what criteria?
Yes, I do have a diagnosis of ASD. My most recent diagnosis is Asperger's Syndrome because I was able to talk by age two (even though I did recieve therapy at that time). That is really the only reason why I know I was diagnosed AS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreys mom
How old are you at this point and do you experience any sensory issues?
I am 18, and I also have Sensory Integration Dysfunction. My most troublesome is actually of touch and sound. I wear earplugs outside of the house and always wear long pants and sleeves to discard the feeling of anything but cotton. I also have a heightened sense of smell and taste. Smell doesn't bother me as much but with the taste (including texture) issues causes me to be the pickiest eater alive .

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreys mom
I am very curious if some of the sensory concerns become self managed or out grown as children get older.
Usually (although not all) children with sensory issues learn to cope and adapt (self manage). With that, less overloads occur. Some children do indeed out grow some sensory issues. With some, touch can be horrid at age 4 but be less bothersome at age 8. But at the same, sound can be avoided at age 6 but hard to bare at age 9.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreys mom
My son is diagnosed as PDD/NOS. He is three and has come a long way since he began receiving therapy. He does have some sensory issues that are more obvious at times and less noticable at others. This has been one of the biggest mysteries for me since when he is going through a sensory period this throws off everything about him.
Many children with sensory diffuculties alternate between over and under sensitivity. One day he might detest the feeling of of glue in his hand, but the next day he may crave the feeling.

Have you ever read the book "The Out-Of-Sync Child" by Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A? If not, I highly reccomend it. It describes what your son is going through and gives large amounts of information as well as stories you could relate to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreys mom
Do you ever have a sensory overload? What is/was this like for you? I just want to try and understand what he is feeling when he's having one of these periods.
In matter of fact, I still do have sensory overloads to this day. But considering my age and understanding of the subject, I deal with it extremely differently.

As a child I would throw tantrums, yell and scream; like most children would do. Sometimes, things would be too much and that was the only way I knew how to deal with it.

I wouldn't be surprised if your son, at times, actually had no clue why he would be uncomfortable. Of coarse he would understand if something hurt his ears, skin, etc. But other times it is just a feeling of being uncomfortable and sometimes pain.

When that happens to me, I am usually able to stop and think "what is reallly bothering me?" before I get too deep or lose control. When I am able to do that (and when you are able to do that) you can stop, lessen the sensory trouble and find another way to do the task and to outlet what is bothering me (or him).

Sometimes you can't predict what he will be feeling that day. My mother would observe me for a while in the house to see what I was over and undersensative to before we started the day. With that, she was able to bring earplugs, a jacket, or toys, to lessen the chance of an overload. But when that over load comes, the above paragraph always helps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreys mom
What is PDA?
PDA stands for Pathological Demand Avoidance. It is part of the Autism Spectrum and considered a pervasive developmental disorder. Although it is on the spectrum, it is almost the opposite of Aspergers. Children with PDA tend to be more socially manipulative than socially passive or impaired. As well, children with PDA show normal eye contact and can use symbolic and role play unlike most people with Aspergers. The most important reason to differentiate the difference between AS and PDA is that usual treatment used for AS and Classic Kanners doesn't work with individuals with PDA.

SGH

Last edited by SuchGreatHeight; 03-23-2006 at 11:15 PM.

 
Old 03-24-2006, 10:26 PM   #9
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Re: difference between asperger's and high functioning autism

suchgreatheight; Thanks for all the information. I have the book the Out of Sync child. I just need to take the time to read it. I started it a while ago and forgot about it. It's tough to find time to read with small children. I usually pass out not long after them. You are a great resource person and thanks for sharing your experience. Jeffreys mom

 
Old 03-27-2006, 07:41 PM   #10
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Re: difference between asperger's and high functioning autism

suchgreatheight,
Thank you for sharing your responses to jeffreys mom's questions. I, too, am a mom with a three year old son with autism. Your post is one of the most helpful things I have ever read. I'll look forward to reading your comments on this board. ReblB

 
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