One in fifty-four children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Despite its prevalence, this condition is still widely misunderstood.
There are many aspects of autism that are still not well understood in the medical world. The causes of autism are still not known, and there are many controversies circulating about it. Of course, this only makes it even more complicated for those without a medical degree to understand the disorder. For example, Asperger’s vs autism, are they the same thing?
Here, we learn about Asperger’s and autism, and what the differences and similarities are.
What is Autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder that affects social skills, causes sensory abnormalities, and is often recognizable through repetitive behaviors. It is very common for those with autism to have issues with motor skills that affect their coordination.
With the right support, those with autism can lead full lives and may even be able to live independently.
What is Asperger’s?
Asperger syndrome is a neurodevelopmental condition. It shares many of the same symptoms as general autism, like social skill deficiencies and repetitive behaviors.
Asperger’s is in fact a type of autism disorder. This is because ASD comprises a spectrum of disorders, it is not in and of itself a single condition. Since 2013, Asperger’s is no longer a standalone diagnosis and is now diagnosed as ASD.
Asperger’s can be characterized as a less severe type of autism, as often language and cognitive skills are not as impaired as with other types of autism.
Asperger’s vs Autism
In the past, Asperger’s was seen as a mild form of autism and those with it could pass as neurotypical. Even today, those who were diagnosed with Asperger’s before the diagnostic criteria changed in 2013, sometimes hang on to that diagnosis. This is because of the stigma surrounding an autism diagnosis.
The most important thing that a person can do for someone with ASD is to accept their neurodivergence and not make them feel as though something is wrong with them.
There is a big debate in the autism community about treatment for ASD. Some people believe it is not a condition that needs to be treated, but rather, something that neurotypical society needs to accommodate. This perspective concerns disability rights and visibility.
The other side is the medical model. This model does not see neurodivergence, but rather impairments and deficits. The language and attitudes of the medical model are less accepting of the person and want to “fix” their differences.
Regardless, support is beneficial for those with ASD. Things like speech therapy or social skills development classes can really help someone with ASD be more independent. Other types of therapy, like cognitive behavior therapy, can help those with ASD manage anxiety and live more comfortably.
Finding Services for ASD
Understanding Asperger’s vs autism is simple. Asperger’s is always autism, but not all autism is Asperger’s. Today, Asperger’s is no longer a separate diagnosis, although those who were diagnosed before 2013 may still use that term.
To find professional mental health services and learn how to live with ASD, do not hesitate to contact us today.