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I want to clear up something about Autism - the stigma is wrong.

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 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.

by on Jun. 15, 2012 at 2:55 PM
Replies (51-53):
by Emma on Jun. 16, 2012 at 7:58 PM
1 mom liked this

that's awesome.

too bad we live i nevada. LOL not that it really matters, we are 3-4 hours away from the nearest resources anyways that would be outside of a school district, and the school is very limited on what they offer until middle school.

LOL gotta love tiny towns in the middle of no where heheeh

Quoting Hottubgodess:

Michigan just passed a law requiring coverage for autism treatment/therapy. So people like you would now be covered. :)

Quoting kajira:

yep, our insurance doesn't cover anything autism related either.

we will at the very least probably have to apply for SSI related medical stuff specific to any autistic symptoms down the raod just in case.

Quoting Hottubgodess:

We had two IQ results for Mike -superior in nonverbal IQ and low of normal for verbal IQ. He has delay in processing and his sensory issues are debilitating. Yet at 8 he is PDD-nos. what I care about is getting him the services at school he needs

ETA: an autism dx just means less coverage for us - it is under mental health and that is only half covered where as all else is 80/20 coverage.

Quoting IheartTea:

Here's the problem with IQ tests, they only see part of the puzzle.  I can remember how happy my mom was because I tested in the genius level. But her joy was shortlived because I didn't really measure up academically. Also, testing made my teachers angry & they punished me because I was all over the map as far as skills.  Reading I was far above my age level all through my school years.  Math was my lowest, & I barely passed any tests on the subject.  Teachers just couldn't understand how I could be off the charts excellent in one subject, & completely bomb another.  They thought I was purposely fudging my tests on math.  I remember well the comments:  "Doesn't apply herself.  Could excel if only she'd try." Then they shifted their thoughts & thought I was retarded.   Kids who go through school like this get discouraged.  It's even happened to my own kids.  Schools just sweep "troubled" kids under the rug & forget about them, because they bring the school's scores down, & as we all know, those scores mean everything to all school districts.  They even told me I should just home school my kid because 1, they didn't have a program for her, & 2, she wasn't the kind of kid they wanted to teach, & no, they wouldn't have her tested.  It was insulting.

Living with Autism - The quirky kitty.

by on Jun. 17, 2012 at 1:26 AM

 I ahve known a few kids, who take speech with my son, who really are just speech delayed and do not have symptoms of autism.

However, more often than not, they do end up somewhere on the spectrum. Every once in awhile, though, I meet a child with some speech and fine motor deficits but I can tell they don't have autism by how the interact socially (to me that's the big "giveaway") and they have been evaluated and autism has indeed been ruled out.

Quoting badgermom2012:

I'm sure it happens, but I don't think it's common.  

Quoting kajira:

yes and in the same respect, you see a lot of kids who get the labels who aren't autistic, but just developmentally delayed in some fashion and do eventually outgrow it with a little bit of help over time.

THAT is a key factor in wanting to change this. Autism doesn't go away.

Quoting badgermom2012:

A lot of people with aspergers DX do in fact have autism.  I think the new criteria is to make the DX process more uniform b/c now it's all over the place.  I hate to keep beating a dead horse (part of my repetitive behavior, ha, ha) but I have seen so many kids out my way that clearly meet the criteria for autism but were given either the pdd-nos label, or if they didn't have the speech delay got the aspergers label--but should have the autism DX.  

Quoting greenmommo:

Yes, it is very confusing. But I agree, Aapergers is autism.

Quoting kajira:

Weird - that's probably why they are wanting to change specifically then to remove the aspergers label so if you qualify for autism - it's AUTISM. LOL.

Quoting greenmommo:

Repetitive behaviors are actually in the criteria.

[The following is from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM IV]

(I) Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:

(A) marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interaction

(B) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level

(C) a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interest or achievements with other people, (e.g.. by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)

(D) lack of social or emotional reciprocity

(II) Restricted repetitive & stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:

(A) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus

(B) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals

(C) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g. hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)

(D) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

(III) The disturbance causes clinically significant impairments in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

(IV) There is no clinically significant general delay in language (E.G. single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years)

(V) There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self help skills, adaptive behavior (other than in social interaction) and curiosity about the environment in childhood.

(VI) Criteria are not met for another specific Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Schizophrenia."

Quoting kajira:

that's not what the doctor told me when I specifically asked.

She said there couldn't be any sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, or cognitive delays, or it was autism.

this is why she's all for the DSM changes.

IF they have those, they are autistic. NOT aspergers. They may have been mislabled, or misdiagnosed... but if you have those other things - any delay or any sort on language, or cognitive abilities... you are autistic, not aspergers.

Quoting greenmommo:

I don't know about that. I've never seen any person with Aspergers that doesn't have sensory issues as well. Or a delay. And yes, that is autism. I think Aspergers was just code for-we didn't realize the delays until later.

Quoting kajira:


my son and I both have processing issues, we are delayed when processing information, and have trouble keeping up sometimes. We have sensory issues. We cannot transition well. we need rituals, structure, and routine to function. We are both OCD with some of our behaviors/traits BECAUSE of our sensory issues and processing delays.

If it was just social awkwardness with lack of eye contact, that would be one thing and much easier if we could keep up with peopel around us.

I shut down in public. Someone walks behind me in a public place and the floor shakes and it shuts me down and takes me 15 minutes processing the shaking of the floor, the stomping sensation and noises, figuring out why they walked mebehind, and my brain literally takes 15 minutes to figure out what just happened and categorize all the sensations, sensory data input, and make logical sense of it in my head.

That... is a congnittive delay.... someone with aspergers wouldn't have it. and if they do, they should be getting a different label.

Quoting mallowcup17:

i dont really understand the differences but found this and maybe itll help with some of this -

Unlike children with autism, individuals with Asperger’s disorder do not present with delays in language acquisition or with marked unusual behaviors and environmental responsiveness during the first years of life. Consequently parents often have no concerns about their child’s early development. A child with Asperger's may be diagnosed later than 3 years old because they are achieving their developmental milestones at a normal rate and are only referred for evaluation because parents observe that they are behaving differently from same aged peers. They may appear socially awkward, lack awareness of conventional social rules, or show limited empathy to others. Social interaction is affected because of diminished eye contact, disengagement in conversations, and inability to pick up social cues or understand the meaning of gestures

Speech patterns may be unusual and lack inflection or may be formal, but excessively loud or high pitched. Children with Asperger's may not understand the subtleties of language, such as irony and humor. Frequently, they may not recognize the give-and-take nature of a conversation and this translates into difficulty initiating and/or maintaining conversations. Their communication is sometimes described as “one way” so they appear to be “talking at” others instead of to them.

For example, a child diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder had social problems due to his restricted and circumscribed interests. In his conversations with peers, he delivered monologues on his favorite subject of planets in a slow methodical way. He was so involved in talking about the planets that he did not notice the frustration of his peers. Attempts to interject comments to initiate conversation were missed and the child continued to “lecture”. Consequently the other children eventually walked away feeling unfulfilled by the lack of connection and bored by the persistence of the same topic.

Another distinction between Asperger's syndrome and autism concerns cognitive ability. While some individuals with autism experience intellectual disability, by definition a person with Asperger's cannot possess a "clinically significant" cognitive delay, and most possess average intelligence. The outcome in Asperger’s disorder generally appears to be better than that for autism, although this may, in part, relate to better cognitive and/or verbal abilities.




by on Jul. 9, 2012 at 11:52 AM

i had no idea there was a stigma.  my son is 4 and was recently diagnosed.  he also has a rare physical syndrome so they assumed his no speech and many other issues were because of that.  the doctors outlook nis bleek, but i know he is strong and smart.  he has had 7 surgeries so far with more to come and now their saying because of autism he will never be able to be apart from me as an adult.  but i believe he can do anything!  we get looks when he yells out in public and smart remarks when he doesnt reply to someone who talks to him, but i just try to realise that pedople dont understand his situation.  you cant tell by looking at him that he has any issues because his scars are all under his clothes.  i hope he doesnt get grouped in because of a stigma i never knew existed.

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