What's the difference between HFA and aspergers?

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patrick6
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28 Mar 2008, 2:09 pm

Could someone please tell me what the difference is between high functioning autism and aspergers? And could you also possibly tell me which one would be more preferable to have.



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28 Mar 2008, 2:17 pm

Not much, except aspergers usually has no language delay and HFA did. Also people with HFA usually have more problems with self help skills then people with aspergers. People with aspergers usually have an average to above average IQ, HFA usually have below average-average IQ.


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Jeyradan
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28 Mar 2008, 2:32 pm

"More preferable to have" depends on why you are seeking diagnosis and what you hope to get out of it. Obviously, the most preferable label is the one that fits you most closely, regardless of which one that is.
However, if you're seeking services, insurance, assistance, that sort of thing... it could be that one label gets you more of what you need than the other, or gets you a different kind of support. So you might want to look into that as well. Because the line is so fine, it's hard to say.

Edit: I don't think there's an upper limit for IQ in HFA... but I have read that people with HFA tend to score better on visual and worse on verbal, whereas people with AS tend to score better on verbal and not quite as well on visual. I've only read this - I don't speak from any experience or definitive evidence.



Last edited by Jeyradan on 28 Mar 2008, 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tortuga
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28 Mar 2008, 2:34 pm

I don't think HFAs have lower IQs, but they don't do as well on IQ tests that rely heavily on verbal ability.



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28 Mar 2008, 2:44 pm

Actually, the main official definition of "HFA" has an IQ cutoff identical with official "AS".

Although, what that cutoff is seems to vary, I've seen everything between 60 and 85. And of course some people consider some stuff to be MFA.

What they do with people whose IQ never tests in remotely the same range twice, I don't know.


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silentchaos
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28 Mar 2008, 2:50 pm

I thought LFA and HFA were both classic autism and AS was considered separate from classic. I have been wondering about this myself. I thought you were Dxed with classic autism if you experienced significant verbal impairment while young, if you didn't then you were Dxed with AS.

/confused :?



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28 Mar 2008, 2:57 pm

I was asking that recently right after I was told that my IQ test was used to decide between classical super HFA or AS. Seemingly, that psychologists point was : average and above = AS.

So it is in use, somehow. By some. It appears that the unofficial definitions vary immensely depending on place and also on the professional in question. It's annoying.

It all comes to down to how Age1600 put it: Usually. Things are usually one way or another.

I wish there were crystal clear explanations and definitions though, added to the DSM-IV-TR and the ICD-10.


Strictly statistically speaking, there is a slight better outcome of a few percentage points with those who are diagnosed as AS as compared to those whose diagnosis is HFA in terms of independent living and employment rates. I know other users probably remember a link to this, because I don't.



patrick6
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28 Mar 2008, 3:02 pm

I had a very slight speech delay but I think there's an explanation for it. My mother is english and my dad is french. When I grew up my mother mainly spoke english, while my dad mainly spoke french. I started saying words at a normal age (as far as I know) but sentences didn't begin until I was maybe around 2 years old. I don't know if this is much of a delay or not but if it is could the french/english thing explain it?



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28 Mar 2008, 3:11 pm

Somebody put this as a defintion for classic autism, i forget where though but here haha... Classic autism — This is the most severe form of autism. People with classic autism have problems talking and relating to people. They can be hypersensitive to their environment. Certain sounds, colors and textures can upset them. They compulsively cling to rituals, such as eating the same foods or watching the same TV show every day at the same time. Changes in routine can upset them.


Which describes me to a t, that its scary lool, but yea im diagnosed just autism.


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28 Mar 2008, 3:14 pm

I have PDD NOS. I guess that would fall into HFA??

About IQ, I've been tested to have a normal, albeit somewhat skewed iq. My strongest areas are verbal and scientific and abstract reasoning to a degree, if I remember. I also scored pretty high consistently with vocabulary. I also have pretty good visual abilities, although I don't remember how visual-spatial tests panned out... I have issues with coordination.

My weakest areas were social and math. I can do math okay, but put me on a timed test or just a test, and I can't think for the life of me.

Bottom line: put me under stress and anxiety then my iq drops like a rock. Put me in a calm situation and likely test out average to above average. With my IQ tests there were areas I tested very high in, most areas I tested normal to upper normal, and a few areas very low.

I think I averaged just a little bit on the right end of the bell curve off center.



Last edited by MJIthewriter on 28 Mar 2008, 3:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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28 Mar 2008, 3:17 pm

I go back and forth on whether or not my son is HFA or aspergers, because I've heard that some people with aspergers can have a slight early language delay....just not a profound delay.

My son didn't get words on time, but he caught up very quickly with minimal language therapy from age 2 until 3. I've recently gotten the chance to spend time around nonverbal children and they haven't acquired language even with extensive therapy over a number of years.

My son has been labelled different things, by different professionals. I've heard: Autism, Aspergers, and there's nothing wrong with him.

From reading posts on WrongPlanet, I think my son sounds more like the posters who say they are more autistic, than Aspergers.



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28 Mar 2008, 3:56 pm

Tortuga wrote:
I go back and forth on whether or not my son is HFA or aspergers, because I've heard that some people with aspergers can have a slight early language delay....just not a profound delay.

My son didn't get words on time, but he caught up very quickly with minimal language therapy from age 2 until 3. I've recently gotten the chance to spend time around nonverbal children and they haven't acquired language even with extensive therapy over a number of years.

My son has been labelled different things, by different professionals. I've heard: Autism, Aspergers, and there's nothing wrong with him.

From reading posts on WrongPlanet, I think my son sounds more like the posters who say they are more autistic, than Aspergers.

speech delays and speech problems such as selective? mutism are allowed in AS.
There was a male aspie at the last home am lived at who was unable to speak to anyone unless they asked him something first,staff said he was diagnosed with 'severe aspergers'.

Although it;'s probably nothing compared to what they can do now,am had what was called speech therapy [though would be called abuse now] as a child,and it never helped with speech even a little,it eventually partly came on its own in form of echolalia,find it is a daily battle with trying to keep any speech am do have,as it stays mostly switched into NV mode.

The age speech can turn on differs on each Autie,there are different causes for the lack of speech,it can happen when toddler,infant,teen,adult or never.
Once getting some form of speech,the hardest part can be keeping it.




--Edited for Original topic.
if are significantly impaired by own ASD,including speech and self help skills,AD would probably be diagnosed,it wouldn't give much more support or benefits than AS but it would give the correct understanding.
There isn't a choice with diagnosis,so are either under aspie or autie criteria.


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28 Mar 2008, 4:10 pm

pat666rick wrote:
I had a very slight speech delay but I think there's an explanation for it. My mother is english and my dad is french. When I grew up my mother mainly spoke english, while my dad mainly spoke french. I started saying words at a normal age (as far as I know) but sentences didn't begin until I was maybe around 2 years old. I don't know if this is much of a delay or not but if it is could the french/english thing explain it?


As far as I know it's considered perfectly normal to start speaking in (short) sentences of very few words at around age 2. I think sentences of 2-4 words are considered perfectly normal between at age 2.

However, a slight delay in speech is indeed possible if a child is raised bilingually. I know only because I researched tons about bilingual people.



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28 Mar 2008, 7:39 pm

There's a clear difference between autistic disorder and Asperger's as it's written in the DSM-IV-TR:

Quote:
Asperger's Disorder must be distinguished from the other Pervasive Developmental Disorder, all of which are characterized by problems in social interaction. It differs from Autistic Disorder in several ways. In Autistic Disorder there are, by definition, significant abnormalities in the areas of social interaction, language, and play, whereas in Asperger's Disorder early cognitive and language skills are not delayed significantly. Furthermore, in Autistic Disorder, restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped interests and activities are often characterized by the presence of motor mannerisms, preoccupation with parts of objects, rituals, and marked distress in change, whereas in Asperger's Disorder these are primarily observed in the all-encompassing pursuit of a circumscribed interest involving a topic to which the individual devotes inordinate amounts of time amassing information and facts. Differentiation of the two conditions can be problematic in some cases. In Autistic Disorder, typical social interaction patterns are marked by self-isolation or markedly rigid social approaches, whereas in Asperger's Disorder there may appear to be motivation for approaching others even though this is then done in a highly eccentric, one-sided, verbose, and insensitive manner.


"HFA" is autistic disorder without an Axis-II diagnosis of mental retardation.



silentchaos
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28 Mar 2008, 8:07 pm

Thank you for that info, it was very informative. :)

I am curious what would be considered "significant abnormalities in the areas of social interaction, language, and play" and the extent of "self-isolation or markedly rigid social approaches". Those two areas appear to be very murky if you consider the problems many people hear DXed with AS seem to have. I myself have a lot of trouble actually talking to someone not just saying the right things and i think more than a few of the members here experience the same.

Where is a psych when you need one? :lol: