High-Functioning Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome

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High-Functioning Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome

What Is the Difference Between “High-Functioning Autism” and “Asperger’s Syndrome”?

AutismAutism in Northport is primarily characterized by delays in verbal development, problems with social skills, and behavioral abnormalities that often take the form of repetitive, restrictive “stereotypies” such as hand-flapping or spinning in circles. However, autism is a highly variable disorder that can differ considerably from person to person. Although many people with autism struggle with significant intellectual and learning disabilities, this is not always the case, and many autistic people are of normal or above-average intelligence. Two types of autism that are associated with higher intelligence, “high functioning autism” and “Asperger’s Syndrome”, are actually distinct from one another. High functioning autism involves all of the general criteria for autism spectrum disorders, including verbal developmental delays in early childhood; however, the person does not have lifelong intellectual impairment. In Asperger’s Syndrome, verbal developmental delays are not present, even though other criteria for autism are met.

High-Functioning Autism in Northport

People with high-functioning autism in Northport tend to have a normal or above-average IQ overall. However, they score lower in tests of verbal IQ than in tests of visuospatial and mathematical abilities. Although they do not suffer global deficits in overall intelligence, language development in early childhood is delayed. For example, a person with high-functioning autism may remain nonverbal until the age of three, in contrast to normal children who begin to use language much earlier. Although they do tend to exhibit restrictive and repetitive behaviors in childhood, their interests in adulthood do not always continue to be extremely specific and restricted. People with high functioning autism also struggle with nonverbal communication, and have trouble taking another person’s point of view and understanding other peoples’ emotions.

Asperger’s Syndrome in Northport

Asperger’s Syndrome is a specific disorder within the autism spectrum, and is considered distinct from “High-Functioning Autism” per se. In contrast to most other manifestations of autism, people with Asperger’s Syndrome generally do not experience early-childhood language delays. They also tend to be of normal or above-average intelligence overall. However, they display difficulties with social interaction that are typical of autism. They have trouble understanding the implicit, nonverbal components of interpersonal communication, such as eye contact and body language, and have trouble empathizing with other people’s emotions. These issues with social interaction often seem to contrast with the person’s overall high intelligence. One difference between high-functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome is the presence of highly narrow and restricted interests. Although people with high-functioning autism do often display stereotypies, especially in childhood, their intellectual interests as older children and adults do not take the same restrictive form as is seen with Asperger’s syndrome. People with Asperger’s syndrome in Northport often show a peculiar pattern of very narrow but intensive interests that tend to be very detail-oriented. For example, someone with Asperger’s. As a hypothetical example, someone with Asperger’s Syndrome may have a strong interest in learning and memorizing the astronomical catalogue names of stars, but without displaying much interest in broader aspects of astronomy such as astrophysics and star formation. Another commonly cited interest seen in multiple cases of Asperger’s is the rote memorization of train schedules. In some cases, people with Asperger’s Syndrome display prodigious abilities in STEM subjects— science, technology, engineering, or mathematics— despite their shortcomings with social interactions. They may even go on to become noted scientists or mathematicians. One notable example of a successful scientist with Asperger’s Syndrome is Temple Grandin, who is a PhD psychologist and autism activist who has made considerable contributions to scientific understanding of autism spectrum disorders.

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