Is there High Functioning and Low functioning Aspergers?
Joined: 15 Dec 2010
No, there isn't.
The term "high functioning Asperger's" is, I believe, a mistake that has been propagated around by a misunderstanding of the terms.
Asperger's syndrome and "High functioning Autism" are 2 very similar diagnosis. They vary only in a few fine points. And those fine points are so subtle that a great many therapists don't believe they exist or are significant enough to warrant separate diagnosis. They favor just abandoning one or the other name and using one name for all.
Asperger's effectively *is* high functioning autism. In fact, to be diagnosed with Asperger's you have to be what is considered "high functioning". If you're not, then you don't have Asperger's, you're somewhere else on the autism spectrum.
So saying someone has high functioning Asperger's, is like saying they have "high functioning high functioning Autism". It's absurd and it's redundant.
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What makes someone think they have LF AS anyway? I think my functioning is worse than most people with AS.
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Joined: 10 Jul 2010
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I don't think people really use the terms high and low functioning aspergers, but of course people all display different severity in their symptoms. When I went in for my diagnosis, the psychologist was talking to me about how there is a spectrum, with low functioning auties at one end, neurotypicals at one end, and aspergers all in between. I've been meeting more and more people with aspergers lately and it was making me question my diagnosis, but maybe we all just have fall widely across that spectrum.
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Joined: 10 Jul 2010
I think there is high- and low-functioning Asperger's, just not officially. Asperger's presents with different degrees of severity in different areas in each person who has it. Autism is a spectrum and so it makes no sense to say that Asperger's falls on one exact point with exact characteristics at exact degrees of mildness/severity. I'd say overall, I have Asperger's and am probably not any higher than moderate in my day-to-day functioning. I struggle with too many things to believe my initial diagnosis' vague statement that I'm "high-functioning". The most important thing is to know oneself and how you are affected regardless of what other people perceive. If you feel you are lower functioning than most, focus on getting the support you need, and hopefully you won't need to have an official diagnosis stating your perceived level of functioning. Even if my psychiatrist gets it wrong and decides that I look too normal or something silly like that, one must remember that they're only human too and if she doesn't believe me when I talk about my problems, there's a chance the other people who help me will believe me instead
Joined: 5 Jul 2004
Yea but i think what the op is asking if you can have aspergers and not be high functioning, which is true, ive met a person with aspergers whos lower functioning, although its not on paper as his diagnosis is aspergers, everybody around him would classify him as low functioning. Thats not entirely true about HFA have verbal iq within the normal range, theres days im cleary high functioning but verbal level is probably at a 3year old, of course theres times i can talk your head off, but basically all around i probably have a vocab of maybe 100. That doesnt mean since my verbal iq is low i can't be classified as high functioning at times, i do drive, i have a boyfriend, can seem NTish at times. Verbal iq does put me more at overall moderate status, but doesn't define what level functioning you should be at.
Yeah I actually know a woman with an Asperger diagnosis, who would be considered low functioning by virtually anyone looking at her. And I mean, they'd think of her as LFA. She can't speak anymore, and she looks and acts highly unusual, and has trouble taking care of herself, etc. I don't believe in functioning labels myself, but there are definitely people dxed with Asperger's who not only can look "low functioning" in most people's eyes for Asperger's, but for autism in general.
And of course, within people dxed with Asperger's, you can get any combination of traits, at any level of severity, so there are definitely people who look far more unusual than others. I don't really think it's as simple as high and low functioning, but for people who do, yes that can exist definitely.
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Joined: 30 Nov 2014
I was diagnosed as a 'high functioning autistic' in august of 1974, yet still recommended to have me put into an asylum.
I was non verbal, they perceived i was mostly deaf and mute, and a low IQ... I had next to no communications.. outwardly i appeared to be on the spectrum with savant abilities... otherwise around a 70IQ... Ive had IQ tests since then and tested 144(1975/6), then 169 (1992) as a polymath.
i didn't have meds growing up and didn't go to the doctors either. I became my own psychologist and sociologist... modified my own behaviors and altered my outward and obvious autistic things (flapping and rocking, stemming, ext) and have balance in which i don't address what I am as having to fix a band aid and be co-dependent on drugs and pharmaceuticals, but instead, learn and adapt to be myself for whom I am and yet still maintain being autistic, maximizing the strengths and minimizing the weaknesses (actually there are very few).
what is considered high or low functioning is actually a matter of perspective and interpretation and frame of reference.
according to some of these doctors i should be committed to a ward, others, I'm some high level genius... i do not let a label or diagnosis determine who I am, but rather use this information to become a stronger, better person and learn more about myself...
I still have communication issues, but i have developed an extremely complex system to communicate... i would not be considered an aspie, but an autistic polymath.
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From what I know, the clinical difference in HFA or LFA is IQ level. The cutoff is an IQ of 70. But in conversation we use LFA and HFA very differently, as we tend to use it in regards to what a person is able to accomplish in what is commonly thought to be day to day normal functioning.
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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Location: Long Island, New York
High Function and Low Functioning are now and have always been colloquial terms. It has nver been an official diagnosis. The terms and the 70 IQ as a demarcation point is just something most in the community have come to a consensus about. Take a person and put her in a low sensory merit based environment then switch him or her to an environment with massive sensory and social demands and their ability to function will be radically different.
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DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity
Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Location: Queens, NYC
It seems to me that you've come a long way, Harvey, by making use of your own cognition.
I was diagnosed with autism around 1964, and it was recommended that I be institutionalized. My mother didn't believe the diagnosis, stated that she "saw something" in me, and started actively (and maybe roughly) trying to purge me of my autism. By the time I was 6, I was able to speak "normally," and presented as "Aspergian," rather than as "classic autistic."
I wouldn't say that I'm a "great success"--but I've kept a job for a long time, lived on my own since age 20, got married, got my drivers' license, and graduated college.
Joined: 24 Jul 2011
Asperger syndrome is a high functioning form of autism.
If you compare someone with Asperger to a person with moderate autism, then the aspie will be high functioning. but if you compare the same aspie to another aspie, then maybe the same aspie will have a more severe type of asperger syndrome.
Blogging about childhood and adulthood with Asperger and my own personl experience with rage attacks, shutdowns, social phobias etc. https://aspergerlifeblog.wordpress.com/
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