Difference Between Aspergers and Autism

Childhood is a person’s most cherished and remembered life period. But, many children today are not able to enjoy spurts of happiness and in rare cases, they are the ones who fall prey to childhood-onset conditions like autism spectrum disorder or ASD. Sometimes people use autism and autism spectrum disorder interchangeably. But in more common terms, the autism spectrum disorder is referred to autism, Asperger's syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder. These three are very much alike and here we are going to tell you the difference between Asperger's syndrome and autism.

Difference Between Aspergers and Autism

Disorders involving our brains can be very tricky at times, especially with showing their symptoms which are almost similar in most of the cases. The chemical reactions occurring in the brain sometimes gives the same reaction to different mental condition, confusing the medical specialists as well. The same is the case with three autism spectrum disorders, but thankfully the severity of the signs and symptoms range greatly from one to another.

1. Severity

It has been found out that classic autism, or autistic disorder, is the most severe one out of the three, and takes up about 20 % of the list of people suffering from autism spectrum disorder as mentioned by the Autism Spectrum Resource Center. The difference between Aspergers and Autism can be noted by its severity as Asperger’s Syndrome, also known as high-functioning autism, falls under the milder category.

2. Speech and IQ Development

According to WebMD, the difference between Asperagers and autism is categorized under two main ones– speech and IQ. Kids with autism struggle with speech and often start speaking late. Along with that, they have a below average IQ, and hence are slow in grasping things and understanding.

In a contrast, kids suffering from Asperger’s are mostly average or above average when it comes to IQ and witness no such language delay. As a result, people with Asperger’s are able to go to normal school, take up jobs and live their lives normally to an extent.

3. Depression or Not

Another difference between Aspergers and autism is that if the sufferer is depressed or not. People with Aspergers are most likely to fall prey to other mental disorders like anxiety and depression because they are able to grasp on what they have been missing out in their real and social life. That is not the case with those diagnosed with autism because they are mostly aloof, live in their own small world and are mostly unbothered by what is happening in their social lives.

Medical Checkup and Test

Distinguishing the 2 disorders can be even more challenging when in an early stage, as has been found out by many researchers. But a thorough check up and medical and mental test evaluation can help you find out whether your child is exhibiting autism or some other mental and physical disorder. So, never delay a visit to the medical professional, if you witness a stunted growth and other behavioral changes in your child.

What Causes Autism Spectrum Disorders?

Every medical condition has a cause – sometimes easily identified and other times very confusing, even for specialists and researchers. Autism spectrum disorder, like Aspergers and autism, has no such specific cause listed but it is known to depend solely on genetic and environmental factors. There is no big difference between Aspergers and autism in terms of causes.

Genetic Causes

If we talk about the genetic problems, it has been found out that different set of genes are responsible for triggering autism spectrum disorder and they have also been associated with genetic disorders like Rett syndrome or fragile X syndrome in some children. Genetic mutation is seen to be affecting brain development on a larger scale by cutting off the communication between brain cells and is sometimes inherited.

Environment Factors

As for environmental changes, the researchers are still in dilemma about the proper reasons and are exploring the role of viral infections, pregnancy complications or any other factor in causing autism spectrum disorder. Contrary to popular belief, no links between childhood vaccine like MMR and autism spectrum disorder have been found out.

How to Deal With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Unfortunately, no specific prevention ways have been listed for autism spectrum disorder, but it is a treatable disease and with good treatment procedure, kids can improve their speech impurities as well as social skills. As to causes, there is no great difference between Aspergers and autism in line with treatment. The following 7 methods apply to both of them.

1. Learn About the Disorder

Knowing more about the situation in hand always helps. Learning about the misconceptions revolving around ASD and the truth can deepen your understanding about the troubles faced by your kid.

2. Try Behavior and Communication Therapies

Enrolling your kid in programs addressed to deal with autism spectrum disorders is the best thing. These programs specialize in behavioural and social skills development, teaching kids how to act in given set of situation thus preparing them for real life troubles. Here, the kid can learn how to communicate with different people.

3. Join Educational Therapies

Highly structured educational programs are always a win in the proper treatment of ASD as they provide planned activities for social, communication and speech skills in a school environment. 

4. Use Family Therapies

Understanding your kid is the need of the hour, especially with kids suffering from ASD. Parents can learn how to intelligently play and associate with their kid so as to improve their lacking skill-sets in family therapies.

5. Take Medications

Some medications are available for controlling the signs and symptoms but sadly none can improve the core signs related to ASD. Antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs are provided to control anxiety and behavioural troubles, along with other medicines to control other symptoms.

6. Take Time for Yourself and Other Family Members

It is okay if you are devoting your time to your kid suffering from ASD, but never forget to relax. Too much exercise or over-indulging in your hobbies can put a lot of stress on your personal relationships.

7. Seek Out Other Families of Children with ASD

Learning from others often comes in handy with your troubles. So, try taking advice from other families that are struggling with ASD and you can even join a community that offers advice regarding ASD.

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