Difference between Asperger's and high functioning autism?

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Venerab1e1
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08 Mar 2012, 5:09 am

Sorry if there is already a similar thread out there somewhere but I was just wondering if there was a difference between the two or if they are pretty much the same thing. I think I heard somewhere the only difference is speech delay but is that really the case?



ToughDiamond
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08 Mar 2012, 5:21 am

I gather some experts maintain there's no difference.

But I did read something about a pair of twins,. one of whom had AS and the other HFA. It said that one difference was the way they tackled difficult reading material.....the HFA one would have a go but found it easy to give up if it wasn't proving productive.....the AS one would continue to the bitter end, although he might complain a lot about how hard the work was.



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08 Mar 2012, 5:27 am

Speech delay is the only diagnostic difference, but I'm sure there are other qualitative differences. ^Like the example the poster before me gave.



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08 Mar 2012, 7:27 am

HFA has a speech delay, though there may be other things


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08 Mar 2012, 7:31 am

It seems that diagnistically the main difference between AS and HFA is speech delay. However, I was told another qualitative difference is that most people with AS have a want and a need for friends and have difficulty obtaining them, while people with HFA prefer to be alone and solitary.

From what I have seen this can be true. It is for me and for my cousin with Aspergers. I very much would rather to entertain myself, while my cousin on the other hand would like to be with other people and just has a hard time.

But what do you guys think?

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08 Mar 2012, 7:44 am

A speech delay is not required for classical autism/HFA but allowed.


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OJani
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08 Mar 2012, 7:45 am

The importance of speech delay is overstated. Speech disorder, lack of pretend play and a number of other things also can differentiate the two, but in reality there is no clear boundary in the form of a solid differential diagnosis for autism / AS (and PDD-NOS, for that matter). I'd guess HFAs would have more issues with speech and/or reading in general. I'd also mention PDD-NOS because it also includes many HF people on the autism spectrum. So, how would you call them? PDD-NOS-ee people (like in Autie)? Ridiculous. I refer myself as HFA or super-HFA or simply mildly autistic (HFA is written in my dx actually, while it's officially PDD-NOS).


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08 Mar 2012, 7:47 am

Depends on how strict you want to be with definitions.

HFA usually has aloof or passive social behavior
AS usually has active but odd or overly formal and stilted social behavior

(Those four behaviors are clinical terms.)



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08 Mar 2012, 9:14 am

OJani wrote:
I'd also mention PDD-NOS because it also includes many HF people on the autism spectrum. So, how would you call them? PDD-NOS-ee people (like in Autie)? Ridiculous. I refer myself as HFA or super-HFA or simply mildly autistic (HFA is written in my dx actually, while it's officially PDD-NOS).


How about atypically autistic people? (Referring to atypical autism of the ICD)

Not at all a cute term such as Aspie or Autie but I feel that it beats PDD-NOS-ee people by a bit.

It's so much longer though... what about atypical Autie? Atypical Aspie? These might sound a little strange however.


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08 Mar 2012, 9:19 am

When I got my diagnosis in Australia the Psychiatrist made no distinction between the two. Also mentioned that those terms would essentially be removed and replaced with the generic ASD in the next DSM version.



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08 Mar 2012, 9:38 am

You know, on the road toward getting my official diagnosis according to the DSM-IV (after I had lived with a diagnosis of 'a certain autistiform disorder' ever since early elementary school), I kept thinking, having read about autism in books and here on Wrongplanet, that I had Asperger's syndrome. However, the psychiatrist diagnosed me with 'autistic disorder' (299.00).

Yet, I:
- never had speech delay.
- never had a lack of imaginative play in my childhood.
- taught myself how to rad at the age of 3 years old

However, the following does fit me to a tee:

Dillogic wrote:
Depends on how strict you want to be with definitions.

HFA usually has aloof or passive social behavior
AS usually has active but odd or overly formal and stilted social behavior

(Those four behaviors are clinical terms.)


So maybe I'm just a misdiagnosed Aspie.
Or maybe I'm an HFA with tinges of Asperger's.
Or maybe the guys behind the DSM-V are right, and the distinction between the two is unnecessary, and in need of streamlining. If they push the DSM-V through, no distinction will be made between HFA and Asperger's.

I should have asked the psychiatrist how she came to the diagnosis, but I neglected to.


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08 Mar 2012, 10:42 am

Sora wrote:
OJani wrote:
I'd also mention PDD-NOS because it also includes many HF people on the autism spectrum. So, how would you call them? PDD-NOS-ee people (like in Autie)? Ridiculous. I refer myself as HFA or super-HFA or simply mildly autistic (HFA is written in my dx actually, while it's officially PDD-NOS).


How about atypically autistic people? (Referring to atypical autism of the ICD)

Not at all a cute term such as Aspie or Autie but I feel that it beats PDD-NOS-ee people by a bit.

It's so much longer though... what about atypical Autie? Atypical Aspie? These might sound a little strange however.

Thanks Sora, but I don't see real atypicality there, and all the terms seem a bit too clumsy. I don't feel I differ that much or have atypical traits like the label would suggest. Everyone is different to a degree and there's no consistent diagnostic category today.



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08 Mar 2012, 10:57 am

Dillogic wrote:
Depends on how strict you want to be with definitions.

HFA usually has aloof or passive social behavior
AS usually has active but odd or overly formal and stilted social behavior

(Those four behaviors are clinical terms.)

I'm not sure how these terms transform into guidelines when it comes to using them in diagnosing practices without much subjectivity. Depending on how you look at it I may appear one or the other. At what age? In what situation? As an adult I can handle social interactions much better and there were stages in my life when I was quite aloof and didn't seek interactions with my peers with only a few exceptions. There were more active periods too. I never was formal or "stilted", though. My communication was (is) simply clumsy.



questor
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08 Mar 2012, 1:11 pm

According to my research, I have Asperger's Syndrome. I had no speech delay, quickly came to read way above grade level, and always engaged in imaginative play. I don't stim as obviously as others do. I do sometimes twirl utensil, pens, etc, I bounce a knee much of the time when sitting, and sometimes lift one or both feet, slowly, and repeatedly while sitting, but these are not so in people's faces, and can be taken as nerves or physical doodling--like absentmindedly making scribbled drawings, only using your body to vent feelings instead of a pen or pencil. I did often speak with a monotone voice as a child, and often had an expressionless face, but I was usually trying to be expressionless, to keep others from knowing how much I hurt, so they couldn't use that as a sign of weakness. They would have hurt me even worse then. I also wanted to socialize with other kids, but was preyed upon by them instead. I also have found contact with adults unsatisfactory, so I grew out of wanting to socialize, and now prefer to be alone. Why would I want to keep doing something that keeps biting me? Like the doctor said, "If it hurts when you do that, then don't do that." So I am now a hermit type person, by choice, and find my life a lot less stressful and more peaceful now.

The line between HFA and Asperger's does seem kind of blurry in some areas, though, so I don't think we should be making a big deal out of it.


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08 Mar 2012, 1:41 pm

Shishka wrote:
Speech delay is the only diagnostic difference, but I'm sure there are other qualitative differences. ^Like the example the poster before me gave.


Most of the time speech delay is not considered. As has been said, speech delay does not make or break the diagnosis of aspergers.


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