Difference between Asperger's and high functioning autism?

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Matt62
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08 Mar 2012, 1:47 pm

Eniterly, or at least, mostly, subjective. It depends on the mindset of the person doing the evaluation. The two are very close or the same thing..

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08 Mar 2012, 2:03 pm

This might help (it's in order of severity; people can change over their lifetime, i.e., born aloof and moves to passive as an adult):

Aloof = no, or practically no response to others; "trapped in own world"
Passive = responds to others, but doesn't initiate anything
Active and odd = the one-sided and lecturing/verbose way of interaction; starts social interaction, just doesn't know how [like "normal" people]
Formal and stilted = appears very formal and rigid (doesn't have to lecture on and on like the typical presentation of AS)

Most fall in active and odd and aloof. HFA tends to be aloof to passive, depending on severity, whereas it's the other two for AS. Formal and stilted is the mildest social deficits, but also rare (like passive).

This is from Lorna Wing and the beginnings of the "spectrum" (it hasn't changed).

It's not a coincidence that those with early verbal difficulties tend to fall into the aloof or passive categories.

Splitting hairs though when social deficits are social deficits; the outcome is the same.



Last edited by Dillogic on 08 Mar 2012, 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Uncertainty
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08 Mar 2012, 2:04 pm

I am under the impression that trying to segrogate the two from another is nearly a meaningless effort... like adding a smidgen more cheese to your already amazing macaroni and cheese... or on that note taking away the smidgen bit of cheese... at any rate i feel like AS as a whole should be taken out of the picture as a seperate diagnosis and simply be the equivalent to a rating on the autism scale 1-10 style... =] i was diagnosed with it myself compadre's and have spent much time dwelling on these thoughts...

I suppose to sum up what im trying to say as a diagnostic tool i feel it serves little to no purpose... the positive effects it has served are radiant hope filling thought's which are best served in the sensation of media, marketing, and the like.

if i were to simplify what im posting here i would say “A next to nothing diagnostic tool but a brilliant media center magnifying a brilliant radiant light on what was once incredibly overlooked”



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08 Mar 2012, 2:05 pm

Venerab1e1 wrote:
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?


You're right, they are the exact same thing. In 2013 the new DSM will get rid of the two labels entirely to avoid this confusion.



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08 Mar 2012, 5:15 pm

questor wrote:
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.


I read this and started to cry because it as much describes me but i do not like being hermit, i want to socialize but cant seem to say the right things in some ways i am a bit different but i bounce my knee too some times and other things, i am known for monotone but once father was punishing me, i was crying, he said it looked like i was laughing and i was crying and saying i didnt know how else to look and begged him to tell me, but he never did. i should say its the step father that raised me, i think the one whom gave me birth would have seen since autism spectrum disorders are in that family and 3 of my half siblings by him. Bottom line i am still trying to get official diagnosis but all that questor said is true of me too except the time of my childhood was 50s and 60s, my clumsy was treated by piano lessons, i also was reading high level, very fast, with near total recall of read, i was doing algebra in my head age 12 but those were things, not people. i was bullied and labeled nerd etc. I was and am near exprssionless because i never learned how to show, i scared some because of my stoney look. Showing ttention was also hell i was often paying close attentions but nothing showed at all and i never got answers of how to show attention. Again i feel emotions but just do not know how to show anything but sadness or occaisionally laugh.
i was desparately trying to blend in and failing badly. i miss a lot of jokes and tend to view most things entirely face value and tend to be ultra literal. And 99% of tiem assumptions made about me are wrong, and sadly its when people assume i know something i do not know.



KittyCommand0r
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08 Mar 2012, 5:54 pm

Is there a difference between speech delay and speech difficulties? For instance, when I was younger, I don't believe it took me longer to speak than a normal person, but I was in speech therapy and participating in selective muteness with people I didn't know. Is that the same as speech delay or something?



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08 Mar 2012, 9:34 pm

KittyCommand0r wrote:
Is there a difference between speech delay and speech difficulties? For instance, when I was younger, I don't believe it took me longer to speak than a normal person, but I was in speech therapy and participating in selective muteness with people I didn't know. Is that the same as speech delay or something?


I had speech therapy when I was young and was not considered as having had a speech delay. I don't know if they took my speech therapy into account in my diagnosis though. I didn't think about mentioning it.

Dillogic wrote:
This might help (it's in order of severity; people can change over their lifetime, i.e., born aloof and moves to passive as an adult):

Aloof = no, or practically no response to others; "trapped in own world"
Passive = responds to others, but doesn't initiate anything
Active and odd = the one-sided and lecturing/verbose way of interaction; starts social interaction, just doesn't know how [like "normal" people]
Formal and stilted = appears very formal and rigid (doesn't have to lecture on and on like the typical presentation of AS)

Most fall in active and odd and aloof. HFA tends to be aloof to passive, depending on severity, whereas it's the other two for AS. Formal and stilted is the mildest social deficits, but also rare (like passive).



These categories don't actually have a 1:1 correlation with how diagnoses are going at the moment though, even if you take into account a psychologist viewing a patient different than the patient viewing themselves. I'm sure that most people who fall into "Active but Odd" get the diagnosis of Asperger's, because of such a strong stereotype there, but the other categories there which diagnosis is given is dependent on other details.

I personally am one of those unusual people in the Passive category. It was noted in my diagnosis report how much I'm passive and submissive. If someone asks me about a special interest, I'll not realize when to stop talking, but usually I'm quiet and wait for others to initiate anything, and make sure not to possibly bother other people. My diagnosis is Asperger's Syndrome.

(As for the verbal difficulties, I spoke on time, but needed lots of speech therapy)



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08 Mar 2012, 9:43 pm

I recall only so briefly seeing a doctor because I did not talk much or at all in first grade.

But as we get older we learn to adapt, or act like others? Unfortunately all Aspies are different, so it is hard to make generalizations. Hi-Functioning must be able to lead a successful life which includes employment. Another way to look at it is just dumb luck doing a job that an Aspie is good at doing.

For me that is accounting. But I don't think it is inherit in that most Aspies find their niche. Hence lots of unemployment. I was lucky to find a career that just happen to play into my eccentricities.



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08 Mar 2012, 10:36 pm

I have high funtioning autism. I have trouble using more than one word at a time. the people I know with asperger can use one words easily and sentances. some times it is hard to tell the diference. but with some one like me you can tell the diference. I can sit still doing nothing all day long. Not moving from that place. I only started to be able to read at 12. I was a adult before I could read a clock or understand that sort of thing. A few years ago my inteligence was tested. there is 92 percentil differnce between my highest and lowest scores. all of my other scores are between those places. they can not give me an IQ score. but say they think my intelegence over all is with in normal ranges. that means I am high fucntioning. I am at the moment in full time care. I know people say they are the same. But I am very difernt to a person with asperger. When I am at a group with people with asperger they all talk very esily. they also act like I am very difernt from them. they say things abotu me like I can not understand them. NTs are more likly to know that I am smart and talk to me normaly than the asperger people I know.



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10 Mar 2012, 7:15 am

i was diagnosed at a very young age of 13 with AS. I feel the diagnosis is very dependent on the doctor as well. Autism or being autistic is essentially what Asperger's is comes on a variety of levels. so again i say sub-categorizing in the form of 1-10 is the best way diagnostically. I feel AS should stick around to be used as a reference term though for media purposes. This even reached a NY Times article front page!

On the next note i was considering being an accountant for a career. I now really strongly am considering being a psychiatrist and developing behavior-cognitive therapy programs for autistic individuals including AS folks as well... i feel as though i may change my mind a lot as young people often do.

On the last note here... i was much more autistic in my younger days then i am now... i feel like this is highly attributed to the medication i was on... i feel as if though autistic behavior is magnified and de-magnified through this method of treatment... i feel behavior cognitive therapy is the best way to go=] this is how i mastered the dreaded fear of eye contact ^_^ what do u folks all think? :) :P



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10 Mar 2012, 9:23 am

SkyHeart wrote:
When I am at a group with people with asperger they all talk very esily. they also act like I am very difernt from them. they say things abotu me like I can not understand them. NTs are more likly to know that I am smart and talk to me normaly than the asperger people I know.


That's awful. I am diagnosed with AS but that is the reason I don't go to meetings for people with AS and HFA.

If I'm in a group of friends even, I can participate in the conversation when somebody addresses me directly and adjusts his communication to what I'm like. (When somebody doesn't expect me to be like the others, talk like the others, so on.) However, I can't join in by myself into group conversation.

In a group of verbose, well-talking people, I stand out even when I can talk because of all the grammatical or wording mistakes (whatever it is all called) I make during spontaneous speech.

A lot of people don't seem to mind much because they're more interested in what you're saying not in how well/how fast you can say it, but some people's obnoxious idiotic reactions make me angry.


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10 Mar 2012, 11:28 am

My understanding is that HFA and Aspergers are really the same thing... But, if there is the speech delay, at a young age it could be very hard to decide where on the spectrum you sit. So it would be more useful to apply the autism label, but then slide up to HFA as the individual develops.

A lot of this is a fiddle to ensure access to support.. Maybe in some places you won't get support for aspergers, but you will with an autism diagnosis. I guess also if you are high functioning the autism label could be counter productive, an aspergers might be more suitable.

This nonsense is hopefully over with the dsm v.

Jason



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10 Mar 2012, 12:03 pm

Quote:
Difference between Asperger's and high functioning autism?


i was eventually diagnosed as having asperger syndrome (in 1996) after being thought to be HFA for most of my life before i was 24, but after being a member of this site for a few years and seeing how asperger people are, i think my diagnosis was incorrect. i think i am HFA and not asperger syndrome.

when i was a baby, it was quickly realized that i was not normal in terms of reciprocation and communication. i was more interested in flies and ants etc than i was in people. i was considered to be a medium functioning autistic.

i was not considered to be a low functioning autistic because i would pay attention briefly to, and consider scantily the efforts that people made to "get through to me", while low functioning autistics are apparently completely oblivious and it is obvious that they have no capacity to even consider what others try to convey to them.

i had 3 sisters who were much older than me (11 years older was my youngest sister), and they all tried to give me affection and engage me in simple interactions like smiling at me and saying baby talk to me, but i was not interested. i never smiled at their smiles and i always looked elsewhere to see something i found more interesting to watch when they tried to engage me.

i did not talk until i was almost 4 years old, but i remember that i knew how to talk for quite a while before that. i used to point at things that i wanted, and i was always given what i wanted, and then i again turned over onto my belly and seceded from their attention.

they were quite disgruntled and upset, but i did not care. i never felt any connection to anyone, and i preferred my private musings to the exclusion of any other influence.

i learned many things while studying the carpet and looking at window sills where flies were trying to fly through the glass. i always was transfixed at the behaviour of insects, and i used to laugh at how flies never learned they could not fly through glass, and at how they did not make the simplest calculation to realize there was an open door nearby. my family saw that i had the ability to find things funny. they never knew what made me laugh. to them i was laughing at nothing and they were perplexed and sad that i seemed to be trapped in my own "unfathomable" existence. they wished i could laugh with them.

i was told that my first words were complete sentences, and i was told the first words i ever spoke were "i want scrambled eggs" when my mother was asking my sisters what they wanted for breakfast on a sunday morning. i was told the next sentence i spoke was "with tomatoes and cheese". i do not remember that occasion, but i do remember that i knew how to speak long before i did speak.

all through school before i became institutionalized, i played by myself, and i set up elaborate little simulation games in the dirt. i had toys that were all to scale, and i had a number of airplanes that were properly to scale with respect to each other, and i spent most of my time thinking about mundane things pertaining to the game like the planes were being refueled and air traffic control was preparing a flight plan for their departure.

to an outside observer, it looked like i did not know what to do with my toys because i did not move the planes, and i watched them while imagining that they were being prepared for their departure.

other children were running around with their planes and making sounds trying to emulate the engine sounds, and they seemed to me to be completely incorrect in their scaling and execution of real plane flights. i never looked at them for long, because i wanted to be in my own imaginary world where i imagined the pilots of the planes doing pre flight checks and the ATC's planning their departure specifications.

so, when lunch ended, i was still laying on my stomach on the ground in an isolated corner of the yard, and my toys had not moved, and i was still looking at them, and to teachers it seemed like i had a poverty of imagination.

on a few occasions i refused to finish my game at the end of lunch, and since there was a sport class that was next going to be held in the vicinity of where i was, they decided to let me stay where i was.
on those occasions, i eventually got to the point where my planes were ready to take off, and so i taxied them to the runway i had prepared, but i did it at a true scale speed relative to the size of the planes. to others, it seemed like a glacial pace of procedure, but to me it looked real.

when i started my take off run, it also looked very slow to the onlooking teachers (i was moving my planes to scale), and when my planes lifted off, i walked very slowly with them while holding them close to my face so i could emulate a passenger view over the wing, and i imagined the grass as trees, and i slowly lifted them up in altitude. i wanted the grass (trees) to pass under the wing at a believable rate, and so i walked very slowly.

i was having immense fun, but i was identified by teachers as being retarded and in need of special schooling.

at the institution, i had a very nice and inquisitive doctor (female) who was studying asperger syndrome and i was given an IQ test, and a number of other tests, and she found that i was actually a lot smarter than anyone realized. she also realized that i was completely divorced from social influence, and she chose me to be her special specimen to study for 4 years.

she was working toward validating AS as a viable condition that could be included in the diagnostic manual. she was working in tandem with lorna wing and a number of other investigative psychiatrists.

she found that there was a valid reason behind all that i did, but she also found that there was no reciprocal influence that governed my behavior. she redefined me as HFA (because AS was not yet a valid definition) because of many things. i could count money, and my memory was good and i knew what things cost, and i knew what was fair or not fair.

MFA people are able to be conned and hoodwinked whereas i am not.
MFA people are not able to dictate their process through life whereas i was able to make proper decisions as to how i proceed.
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anyway, to "cut" to the present, i must say i am HFA and not asperger syndrome because most people on this site are capable of loneliness and boredom.

i have never been lonely. i prefer to be alone. when i am alone i am free to do as i please and i very much want to do as i please.

i am never bored because i always find things that engage my mind, even if they are considered trivialities by other people.

i do not really understand "love" in a way that others seem to. i am happy if someone likes me, but it is not a crucial element to my mind.

i have very few friends, and those friends that i do have i never think about when i am not with them.
my girlfriend tammy loves me and i am happy about that and i love her too, and she is happy about that, but it is not the type of love which needs to be constantly nourished.

she is more affectionate than i am, and that is a problem because i am not affectionate at all. but i can include her in my routines and she can come with me on my ride through life. she knows that no one else can be by my side when i play, but she can.

i have told her to look for normal affectionate people to satisfy her needs, but she is certain that she wants to be with me, and that is good enough for me. i will always include her in my unfolding of life and she is in the passenger seat (sometimes the drivers seat as well) of my journey through life.
when i die, she will inherit all i own. she does not live with me yet but she eventually will i guess, and that is a major hurdle.

i like very much to be alone like i am now.


i am not the same as asperger people who seem to understand and propagate innuendo and sarcasm.
i do not understand underlying meanings and i do not understand the non verbal aspects of people's posts.

there are people like vigilans and tequila and tea earl grey hot and moog and laz and many others that are far above my head, and if they have asperger syndrome , then i think i do not.

i think i have HFA and... well... there one goes.



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11 Mar 2012, 3:01 am

One has more letters than the other.


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11 Mar 2012, 5:03 am

Since labels are in the case of autism mostly given in early childhood, they don’t take the outcome into account. At least in Finland the main difference (and probably the only one) between these labels is the onset of language.

I would like to also emphasize that many other factors have to do with how you are and function than just your autism or Asperger’s. I had a similar speech delay as you b9, but I think today I pass from a person with Asperger’s or maybe even from a NT for a short while, if I really put my effort into my “acting”. As a child I was very similar to you. I was aloof and according to my mum I pointed the food I wanted, but other than that I was mainly hanging by myself. I was expressionless and “distant”, but I wasn’t disruptive in any way and didn’t seem “retarded”. At school I was lost and confused and didn’t seek others from my own initiative. My childhood outside school was pretty social, since I had siblings and in the childhood being friends meant doing things together - like building lego towns - rather than “socializing”.

On the other hand I don’t agree with you in saying that people with HFA generally wouldn’t feel loneliness or boredom. I certainly tolerate being alone better than the so called norm and don’t really feel any sort of existential loneliness you hear people talk about, but I do feel more concretely lonely and separate at times – like “detached” from others and not belonging. I am afraid of my mother dying, since I don’t have a network of my own besides my primary family. I do feel very much love towards people. But I guess my love is rather more universal in its nature than romantic and specified.

I do feel bored, empty and apathetic at times. Though I am mostly very happy just sitting in one place and listen to music and space out all day, I don’t think that doing just that is good for me or for anyone. At least I’d need somebody to push me to do other things outside my own sphere and evolve. I think I also can use humor and that in many ways has been my savior. I don’t understand others humor as well, but at least my own seems to amuse me.

So, the whole point is that, since labels are always arbitrary, the fact that some person with the same label feels differently than you or I do, is rather the norm than a surprise.