During the previous decade, Asperger disorder and autistic disorder were two separate conditions, each one of them with different treatments and therapies. But since 2013 with the publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, both are included inside the denomination of autism spectrum disorders, so now it’s hard to define them as separate.
However, ASD can be diagnosed into three functional levels, putting the so-called Asperger into the first level, while the autistic disorder will depend on the symptoms and behavior of the individuals; but normally children will be between the second and third level. Nowadays, Asperger is considered as high functional autism, and for this and many other reasons, there are some differences to note between the two.
Differences between the functional levels on the spectrum
Besides the reasons stated above, when talking about differences we must understand that every individual presents a specific group of symptoms, those are the main cause for the creation of a “spectrum” that contain all the aspects related to these disorders. It will be really difficult to find two children with the same group of symptoms, even after the diagnosis. We will show the main differences among these three levels.
On the first level, kids won’t present any kind of problems with language; actually, they can be very talkative, especially with trusted people. On the second one, they can present a certain delay in the communication skills, while on the third level we will find nonverbal children.
The first level can present some struggles like eye contact, difficulty to start a conversation and emotionless tone. But these individuals can improve these skills and have better interactions. Very different from the second and third levels, where the communication is a hard process and it can take several years of therapy to find a correct way to communicate with them.
Separate IQ levels
On the first level, we can find people with incredible talents, some of them even can present a higher IQ, which made them gifted in an array of professional fields. They can be scientists, physics, engineers or can follow an artistic line, like a classical musician. With the second level, children tend to present some struggles with the learning process, but they have an average IQ.
While for the third level, they can have an IQ below the average, which create many difficulties with the learning process and integration to professional life. They can learn basics, but it can take twice the time of the other levels.
For the third level, the diagnosis is very accurate, and it can be made in the initial years. But for the first and second, it can take more time, because the symptoms and behavior are so different. Besides, as parents you must be observing every interaction and reaction of your child, to notice some strange attitude.
Teachers also play a huge role in the diagnosis, but the first level is the most difficult to give a straight diagnosis. It can take years to collect all the data about the behavior of the children, and later the respective therapy and treatment.
In the end, these denominations help to understand their struggles, conditions, and symptoms, but now they are all within the spectrum. ASD can bring new light and knowledge about autism and other disorders, to a better understanding of their lives and how they face it.
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