Autism vs Asperger’s Syndrome: Differences Worth Knowing

  • A child with autism is one who is nonverbal and low in IQ, but this is not necessarily a case in a child with Asperger’s syndrome.
  • Though there is not a specific test to detect a child with Asperger’s, there are a lot of differences in the behavior of both. Both the syndromes also bear a lot of similarity such as,
  • Desire to self-isolate, to shut out and reject contact with the outside world and the family members, strangers, and acquaintances.
  • Resistance to change, instead, they crave sameness and predictability. Both engage themselves in repetitive activities.
  • Lack of expression of feelings and desire. Facial expressions, eye contact, and gestures are not used to approach others.
  • Fascination or attachment to objects, learning about unusual subjects, and narrow activities.
  • Lack of sense of humor and having little understanding of jokes and puns.

Autism vs Asperger’s Syndrome: Differences Worth Knowing

Autism vs Asperger’s Syndrome: Differences Based on Language Skills

  • This is one of the biggest differences between a child with autism and Asperger’s syndrome.
  • In autism, the child starts talking later while there is no delay in a speech in Asperger’s syndrome.(1)
  • Children with autism stay aloof while those with Asperger’s syndrome try to mix with others. Though, those with Asperger’s might find it difficult to communicate.
  • Asperger’s syndrome kids find it difficult in maintaining eye contact and reading facial expression. They are found speaking without emotions and are unable to recognize and express their feelings.

Autism vs Asperger’s Syndrome : Differences Based on IQ

  • Kids with autism have a below average IQ, but those with Asperger’s syndrome have above than average intelligence.
  • Kids with Asperger’s have an advanced vocabulary and might also be an expert in memorizing facts.
  • Due to the great IQ level, the Asperger’s children are described as gifted but often hold back due to the behavioral problems.(2)

Autism vs Asperger’s Syndrome : Differences Based on Diagnosis

  • Autism is diagnosed at an average age of 4 years. The language delay and low IQ level are noticed early in this case.
  • Asperger’s syndrome does not exhibit any language delay or have a low IQ, therefore the diagnosis is delayed. Sometimes it is diagnosed much later in the teens. It is often misdiagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Autism vs Asperger’s Syndrome : Differences Based on Brain shape

  • The brain pattern of the kids suffering from autism is different from those suffering from Asperger’s syndrome.
  • A study done to measure the amount of signaling occurring between the brain areas of children with Asperger’s and autism showed a difference in the pattern of brain activity. The children with Asperger have shown a stronger connection in the left hemisphere of the brain as compared to those with autism.(3)
  • Research also showed that the region of the brain which controls language has more folds in the children with autism.(4)

Autism vs Asperger’s Syndrome: Differences Based on Symptom Severity

Symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome are less severe than autism. The kids suffering from Asperger’s are able to go to mainstream schools and often excel academically. Autism kids need specialized education and support.

Understanding the difference and similarity between Autism vs Asperger’s Syndrome helps the doctor diagnose and provide the correct intervention as soon as possible. Seeking early help ensures success for the kids with special needs. Also educating the parent about the same allows them to better advocate for their children.

Make the child feel safe and comfortable in their environment. If you know about it, you will know how to deal with it.

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