In a world where the stigma around autism is disappearing, there are many people who don’t know what to call themselves and how they should act. The spectrum of diagnosis can vary widely throughout countries, so that means one person could be diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in Netherlands but not listed as having it anywhere else on Earth. Experts predict that by 2022 no single condition will hold more than 50% of the population under its banner. What does this mean for autistic diagnoses?
The “asperger’s test” is a diagnostic tool that diagnoses people with Asperger’s syndrome. The test was created in 2010, and it has been updated to reflect changes in the diagnosis of autism in 2022.
Asperger’s syndrome is a phrase that is no longer used, and this diagnostic is no longer given.
The signs of what was formerly known as Asperger’s syndrome are still present. The method of diagnosis hasn’t changed either. However, professionals understood that by changing the term and diagnosis, they might better assist their patients.
People may go into a doctor’s office, do testing, and leave with an Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis between 1994 and 2013. If the same individuals visited the same offices and underwent the same exams, they would be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
What went wrong?
The use of the term spectrum in ASD is intentional. There is just one sickness, yet it manifests itself in a variety of ways with varying degrees of severity.
It’s recommended not to compare Asperger’s syndrome to autism. Consider an individual’s habits, interests, and obstacles instead. The knowledge gained there might lead to successful treatments.
The Origins of Asperger’s Syndrome
People with Asperger’s syndrome have most likely always been active members of society, but it wasn’t until the 1940s that their features were given a label. People sought to modify the phrase as soon as it was used.
According to Autism Speaks, the Asperger’s timeline is as follows:
- Four individuals with low social skills, restricted interests, and clumsiness were documented by an Austrian doctor in 1944.
- Later interest: In 1981, a British psychiatrist presented case reports under the title “Asperger syndrome,” which was named after a 1940s physician.
According to the National Autistic Society in the United Kingdom, all persons with autism have similar characteristics. They have a hard time with social connections, and their hobbies are usually fairly restricted. However, some persons face more challenges than others.
When researchers compared Asperger’s syndrome to autism, they discovered several similarities. In fact, “high-functioning” autistic persons, who still have symptoms but can frequently adapt to fit in better with the environment around them, are almost indistinguishable from those with Asperger’s syndrome.
The evidence suggests that these are not two distinct illnesses. Rather, they reflect a single condition that expresses itself in a variety of ways, with variable degrees of severity. That viewpoint is reflected in the name change.
Symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome vs. Autism
Many persons with ASD exhibit a wide range of symptoms, yet they may all be classified into groups.
Symptoms of autism include:
People on the autism spectrum who are severely disabled may need round-the-clock care. They may be unable to do basic duties such as using the restroom or cooking, and their work options are limited.
Experts suggest that people with Asperger’s syndrome may frequently excel in normal occupations. Some people love jobs that are serious and intellectually difficult, such as laboratory work or computer programming. Others like to work in research environments and set up home offices to do so.
People with Asperger’s syndrome may need encouragement and help to live independently, despite their numerous skills. They could forget to do simple things like wash their clothing or go grocery shopping. They may lack a strong network of friends who can help them if they get sick or lose their employment. Informal carers may fill up the gaps, allowing these individuals to enjoy full and meaningful lives.
It’s important to remember that persons with ASD are unique individuals. They have their own routines, desires, goals, and ambitions. Lists like these might make it difficult to see the person behind the label and dilute their uniqueness.
Meeting one individual with autism does not imply that you comprehend the condition in its entirety. It’s crucial to have an open mind.
People who have Asperger’s-like characteristics are usually good at describing who they are and what they need. If given the opportunity, those who fall somewhere else on the autism spectrum may want to do the same.
Is Asperger’s Syndrome still recognized?
People with Asperger’s symptoms are now just labeled with autism since the Asperger’s diagnostic is no longer utilized.
Interviews are used by doctors to diagnose autism spectrum disorder. Your doctor will use the information to establish where you fall on the spectrum after all of the findings are in.
According to experts, an ASD screening may involve a review of your:
- Social abilities. Expect to be asked about present relationships, contacts with authoritative figures, and sentiments toward others. Outsiders, such as family members or instructors, may sometimes answer questions to help professionals get a better understanding.
- Physical well-being. Your ASD symptoms may be masked by underlying conditions. Children with substantial hearing loss, for example, may seem to be uncommunicative, but once the condition is treated, they may easily converse with their classmates. Doctors can rule out problems like these with the use of a thorough health screening.
- Mental well-being. Depression, anxiety, and hyperactivity are common symptoms of Asperger’s and other autistic disorders. These issues may hinder your ability to recuperate.
Autism may be difficult to diagnose, and physicians often conduct repeated interviews to identify the illness. People with Asperger’s-like symptoms are usually bright and outgoing. Some people hide their symptoms, making the problems more difficult to detect. Multiple interviews over a lengthy period of time may help physicians uncover concerns that might otherwise go undetected in a single fast talk.
Some persons who are suspected of having Asperger’s syndrome do not go through the diagnostic procedure. They see their habits and characteristics as inborn characteristics of their personality. They can’t picture a life without these traits, therefore they refuse to acknowledge or confront them.
This is a viable option, but it isn’t suited for everyone. Autism spectrum disorder is a legally protected impairment, and persons diagnosed with it may get crucial assistance.
They may be protected from losing their jobs, and they may be allowed to seek work adaptations so that they may succeed despite the limitations of ASD. Those safeguards aren’t accessible without a diagnosis.
Is There a Difference in Treatment for Asperger’s and Autism?
Autism treatments attempt to assist individuals in developing critical abilities that will enable them to succeed in the world. Each individual with autism is unique, with unique talents and weaknesses. Therapy is always personalized to the individual, and it differs from person to person.
Someone with severe autism who is unable to communicate clearly requires different approaches than someone with Asperger’s syndrome who is able to communicate, reason, and make most choices. The treatment of these two persons is same, despite the fact that the details are vastly different.
The major type of treatment for persons with autism is applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy. Therapists meet one-on-one with their clients to:
- Describe the procedure. Professionals explain what they’re doing to their clients as well as their clients’ families. It is vital to practice teachings outside of treatment. The better that everyone knows how the process works.
- Make a treatment plan. ABA is a time-consuming process, and most persons spend many hours each week in treatment. Many ABA practitioners work with clients in their homes, while others see them at their offices or in the community.
When ABA is first implemented, therapists and technologists break down a huge activity into smaller tasks. They next conduct exercises to assist the individual in mastering those topics. For example, a youngster with autism may need to learn how to clean his or her teeth. A youngster with Asperger’s who was previously identified may need to learn how to establish eye contact with classmates. The teachings change, but the therapeutic method is the same.
Some persons with Asperger’s syndrome, according to experts, benefit from different types of treatment, such as physical therapy to help with clumsiness or occupational therapy to help with sensory overload. Some individuals just utilize ABA.
Autism spectrum disorder is a chronic illness that lasts a lifetime. The purpose of therapy isn’t to eradicate the disease.
Professionals, on the other hand, utilize their talents to assist individuals identify their inclinations and build coping techniques. Therapy is crucial for many families affected by autism.
“How to spot asperger’s in adults” is a question that many people are asking. In 2020, it may be more difficult to diagnose Asperger’s because autism will have become the new norm. Reference: how to spot asperger’s in adults.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Aspergers now called autism?
A: Asperger syndrome is now called autism spectrum disorder.
Why did they change Aspergers to autism?
A: The word aspergers is an outdated term that was coined in the mid-1980s. Aspergers syndrome has since been rebranded as autism spectrum disorder, or ASD.
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Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.