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How is Asperger’s disorder different from autism?

William Stillman
Health Education Specialist

The significant difference between autism and Asperger’s Syndrome (clinically called Asperger’s Disorder) is that, in Asperger's, there are no developmental or cognitive delays such as may be identified in a child with autism. That is, people with Asperger's are able to talk and access their own limbs freely to walk and otherwise function with mobility. (An "unofficial" term, "High-Functioning Autism," has been used to describe those individuals with Asperger's traits who also have a speech delay.) Similarities shared by individuals with autism and Asperger's may include a sense of social disconnectedness; having areas of intense special interest or passion; and acute or painful sensory sensitivities.

*Asperger syndrome, or Asperger's, is a term that is no longer used as a formal diagnosis. In current diagnostic criteria, the syndrome is included under the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.