I've googled this question and read the medical answer's which were vague so I was wondering what, as parents, you feel the difference between Aspergers and autism is? Is Aspergers the same as HFA?
Thanks @A MyAutismTeam Member! That was my understanding but I hear so many comparisons sometimes that my head spins. When I tell someone my son has autism most responses are, "But is he high functioning?" Like there is some sort of hierarchy to the diagnosis. If he's HFA does that make him better? Does that make his diagnosis somehow less significant? It's become one of my many pet peeves since my son's diagnosis. Thanks for the clarification. :-)
We were told by the developmental pediatrician that the reason my DD's diagnosis is HFA rather than Asperger's is because of the speech & language delay. The diagnostic criteria for Asperger's specifically excludes having a speech or language delay. I had originally thought DD was "too social" to have autism but she wound up having 4 evals (developmental pediatrician, school district IEP team, Regional Center psychologist, and pediatric neurologist) plus later on the diagnosis was re-confirmed by the psychiatry professor running a research study DD was in. DD has a lot of strengths but she definitely is still "on the spectrum". The hope for her is that with continued treatment she will improve to the point where she presents as "quirky" as an adult rather than obviously ASD.
In the DSM-IV, there was a separate category for aspergers. These are usually kids with no speech/communication impairment. This impairment category was removed and added to social communication in DSM-V. In autism under DSM-IV, whether HFA or not, there is always speech delays or impairments at the time of diagnosis. For example, our son is HFA, not asperger even though he has worked hard to catchup on the speech part. That is my understanding of the labels which are not really relevant in any case.
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