Differences Between Autism and Asperger's

Children with Asperger's differ from those with Autism in several ways.  One major area of difference is verbal communication. Children with Asperger's usually exhibit normal language development. They score much higher on verbal performance intelligence tests. Among patients with Autism, non-verbal skills are generally stronger than verbal skills, while those with Asperger's exhibit stronger verbal performance than non-verbal. Even though their language skills are normal, patients with Asperger's will sometimes speak with unusual rhythm and tone of voice.

Further differences exist between patients with Autism and those with Asperger's. Patients with Asperger's usually have normal intelligence. Additionally, those with Asperger's exhibit a level of self-reliance that is appropriate for their age and generally show greater interest in the world around them. The long term outlook for patients with Asperger's Disorder is likely more favorable than that for those with Autism.

Some research shows that both Asperger's and Autism show strong genetic relationships.  Asperger's however, is marked by a much greater occurrence among first degree relatives compared to Autism. Overall Asperger's is considerably more common than Autism in the general population and usually detected later in childhood because of appropriate language development.  Research states that Asperger's average age of diagnosis is 11 years as compared with 5.5 years for Autism.

The below tips are for parents who think that they have a child with a developmental problem:

  • Seek help form a trained mental health professional with experience in developmental disorders.
  • Be sure to get a full psychological assessment that includes psychological testing with your child's strengths and weakness identified.
  • Once testing is complete sit down with the evaluator and get verbal as well as a written results and a copy of the report or summary of assessment.  This report will be helpful later if supportive assistance is needed.
  • If your child is diagnosed remember no future is set in stone.  Everyone has different aspects that make them unique along with different strengths and weakness.  
  • Utilize the information in the psychological assessment to assist with employing your child's strengths so that these strong points can help with a better prognosis.
  • Make sure the evaluator gives you a list of appropriate referrals for supportive services.