The difference between autism and Asperger’s syndrome

July 10th, 2008

Q: What’s the difference between autism and Asperger’s syndrome? What do they have in common?

Answer:

Asperger’s syndrome and autism are both on the specturm of Autism Disorder which also includes Rett’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, etc. All these types of autism disorder present at least some of those symptoms: echolalia (repeating words said by others), abnormal social behavior, restricted range of interest, poor motor coordination and self-stimulating behavior.

Asperger’s syndrome is a mild form of autism. People suffer asperger’s don’t have communication delays as people with other forms of autism have, they function relativley well in terms of intelligence and social functions, and they often manage to go to school, graduate from colleges and live independently. Asperger’s syndrome is a specific type of “high-functioning autism“(HFA), which is characterized by poor social skills, advanced and overly formal language, and extensive, pervasive interest in a specific subject. It’s said that geniuses and people with asperger’s share same characteristics, because they both have narrow interests and are more focused and persistent on what they are doing than normal people. Many geniuses showed asperger’s traits, for example, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, George Orwell and H G Wells. It is widely said that the president of United States, George W. Bush, suffered from asperger’s syndrome too.

Both Asperger’s and Autism are subgroups of a larger diagnostic category called Autistic Spectrum Disorders(ASD), people can be affected by the disorder very differently form others.

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