I want to clear up something about Autism - the stigma is wrong.
I was reading Kajira's post and many people were shocked to see that she had Autism vs Aspergers and I thought "Yep it is the stigma of autism". People naturally think Aspergers people are smarter or more "normal" than people with autism. That is absolutely not true.
Some people with autism have higher IQs than people with Aspergers. In my house that is definitely true. My younger son's IQ is higher than anyone's in the house...LOL and he has autism.
The main determining trait of getting a Aspergers dx is that the person never had a speech delay. That's it! You can be a genius but if you were speech delayed then you get an autism dx. Also if you were an early talker and get evalutated young then you would naturally get an Aspergers dx even though later in life more issues might come to light.
In my son's Aspergers teenage group there are boys ranging from 12-22 and half of them can't sit still or go out to the movies or many public places. That same half interacts very poorly with each other.
Now in my younger son's autism group, they interact better...LOL and are able to go and do many more things in public. I think this is partly because that they have gotten many more therapies because their parents took it as a more serious dx than my older son's peers with Aspergers. Another reason for this difference in the groups may be Sensory issues.
I don't think sensory issues care where you fall on the spectrum, in relation to how they affect you...LOL They are no respecter of persons :) You can be the brightest person in the world but sensory issues can completely debilitate you.
Many people with Aspergers have debilitating Sensory Issues.
If you went in blind and observed the two boy's groups, you would think the group with the autistic children, even though they are much younger, were the higher functioning. You would think the group with the Asperger teenagers was the lower functioning of the two.
Aspergers means you started with no speech delay and were higher functioning early in life, but as a child with autism becomes fully verbal and ages the line blurs. Autism then seems alot like Aspergers and the differentiating factor becomes more sensory issues.
To be honest my 3 boys are all over the spectrum but I wouldn't say Aspergers is a preferred dx. There are some things Matthew does better and some things he suffers with more, and ditto with Jonathan.
If nothing else, please understand Autism doesn't mean less than Aspergers. People with Autism can be higher funcitoning in every way over people with Aspergers. The only reason they recieved the dx Autism may be because they stuttered or where just delayed talking.
I am not saying that there are not lower functioning autistic children. Well of course there are. My son Stephen is on the lower end of the spectrum, but in some ways he does better than his brother behavior and sensory wise. What I am saying is having a certain dx does not mean you are functioning at a higher level or more intelligent or even able to behave more "normal".
It all come down to what you think makes up higher functioning. To some it is speaking, to others basic self care, to others it is being able to behave and function in the world.
I must admit I find this subject fascinating because people want the spectrum to be like a formula that should compute the same answer every time but it can not because every individual is so different. It would be like saying every NT person does this or this. No one NT or AS/ASD is the same, thinks the same, reacts the same, behaves the same, has the same intelligence, etc.