Differences between Autism and Asperger Disease
At first, Autism Disorder and Asperger Syndrome are two different disorders under Pervasive Developmental Disorders category. However, this classification was changed in the newest DSM-V. Due to the similarities in the characteristics and symptoms of both disorder, Autism Disorder and Asperger Syndrome is no longer two different diagnoses. Now, both disorders are diagnosed as Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is only the severity of the symptoms and characteristics that distinguishes one disorder from another. Severe Autism Spectrum Disorder is what we called Autism Disorder back in the days while the less severe case was categorized as Asperger Syndrome.
Even though officially DSM-V has group Autism Disorder and Asperger Syndrome as a same disorder, many people still prefer to use the term Autism Disorder and Asperger syndrome because it is easier to distinguish it that way. But now, there are some questions arise. What is the difference between autism and asperger disease? If there are differences between those two disorders, why does DSM-V categorize them as a same disorder and only make diagnosis based on the severity of the case? Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder is never easy especially in adults that have less severe cases. But it is important to make proper diagnosis so that the patients can get help and finally lead a normal life. Here are the main differences between Autism and Asperger Syndrome.
In DSM-V, Autism Disorder is categorized as the more severe cases of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism can be diagnosed after observation in three different aspects: socialization, communication skill and behavior range. Autism has several main symptoms and characteristics, and with proper observation, it is possible to diagnose this disorder since early childhood. Kids with autism tend to have problem communicating with people because they show delay in language and IQ development. Because of their impaired development, kids with autism often show behavioral problem. Since they are unable to tell other people what they want, they express it with anger or other bad behavior.
When it comes to socializing with other people, kids with autism also show tremendous difficulties. They are really focused on their own world and they show disinterest of other people or things except the activities they like the most. They have difficulties in expressing their feeling and even unable to maintain eye contact. Even at some point they managed to learn language skill, people with autism often speaks with zero emotion and just look detached from other people.
In DSM-V where Autism Disorder and Asperger Syndrome falls under one diagnosis, less severe Autism Spectrum Disorder is the one used to call Asperger Syndrome. Just like Autism Disorder that we have discussed above, people with Asperger Syndrome have difficulties in communicating and socializing with other people. It is very difficult for them to express their feelings and some even show no emotion when talking.
However, unlike Autism Disorder, people with Asperger Syndrome don’t show delay in language development. In fact, people with Asperger tend to be very intelligent and have remarkable language skill. They also have normal and even superior IQ. This aspect makes Asperger is more difficult to detect during childhood. Due to their excellent intelligence, some parents don’t even think that their children have Autism Spectrum Disorder, instead, they think that their children is gifted. Actually, the parents can’t be blamed if they fail to notice the symptoms because some cases of Asperger show very little behavioral symptoms. This is why the parents need to pay close attention to their children and watch how they behave during other people because the socializing skill can be the most noticeable symptoms of Asperger.
People with Asperger tend to be very socially awkward. They have good language skill so they don’t have any problem talking to people. However, they are not able to sense other people’s emotion and understand the subtle meaning of what people say. They have a hard time understanding sarcasm or joke so they appear very cold and distant. Because of this, they often say hurtful things to other people when the truth is they don’t know that the things they said are hurtful. Moreover, people with Asperger also tend to stick on details and do repetitive things. They find it hard to cope when something gets in the way of their routine schedule and they will do everything, even something drastic and dangerous, to make sure they can stick with their routines.
Asperger Syndrome is misdiagnosed very often, or even worse undiagnosed at all until adulthood. This is because most people tend to focus on their intelligence and talent that cover the problem they actually have. Another thing that distinguishes Asperger with Autism is the fact that people with Asperger are aware that they are different because their autism spectrum is less severe. They want to communicate and socialize well with other people, but they don’t know how. In adult, it often leads to major depression that makes life go even harder for them.
Now that you know what is the difference between autism and Asperger disease, you can observe the people around you, or even yourself, and take necessary measure if you find the symptoms and characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Spectrum Disorder can be very crippling if it is not treated. Therefore, if you have children, you must pay close attention to their development, especially in terms of communication and socialization skills.
Diagnosis can really help people with Asperger even though the diagnosis is made during adulthood. People with Asperger tend to be more intelligent than average people. Their disorder also makes them very focus and they put great attention to details. With these traits, they have a very good chance to make it big in life and to be expert in the things they love the most. The treatments and therapies will help them to perform better socially so they can cope with things they cannot control and pay more attention to things that they are good at. With proper treatment, it is not impossible for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder to live normally and independently.