It ‘no longer exists’: Why Asperger’s is now diagnosed as autism

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The APA reports that “autism is the most severe developmental disability. Appearing within the first three years of life, autism involves impairments in social interaction – such as being aware of other people’s feelings – and verbal and nonverbal communication.” In addition, people with autism “have limited interests, strange eating or sleeping behaviors or a tendency to do things to hurt themselves, such as banging their heads or biting their hands.”

“Asperger’s was originally conceptualized as individuals who had certain social and behavioral differences in terms of restricted or intense interests and certain communication characteristics,” but these kids retained language function and generally had good cognitive functioning, says Dr. Thomas D. Challman.

Related article:  Using stem cells to trace autism's development to earliest days of pregnancy

Strictly speaking, Asperger’s syndrome “no longer ‘exists’ as far as the APA goes,” says Luc Lecavalier, professor in the departments of psychology and psychiatry at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. “We’ve replaced the term,” which he says is not an uncommon occurrence as medical science advances and more precise definitions and diagnostic criteria for mental health disorders are developed based on new research. “…all of these subtypes of autistic disorders – Asperger’s, and PDD-NOS – have been regrouped under one umbrella term that we now called autism spectrum disorder.”

Read full, original post: What’s the Difference Between Autism and Asperger’s?

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