What is High Functioning Autism (Aspergers)?

Do you or does someone you know have Asperger’s Syndrome?

Asperger’s is a form of high-functioning autism. It is a developmental disorder that affects the ability to socialize and communicate. It is similar to ADHD in that often patients with Aspergers are unresponsive to outside stimuli and face impaired social action. Characterized as a lifelong condition, Aspergers afflicts fewer than 200,000 people per year, primarily males, but females can be affected too. Unlike other forms of autism, people with Aspergers often have average to above-average IQ’s, and sometimes have delayed motor development.

In comparison to ADHD, people with Aspergers can tend to be hyper-focused rather than unfocused, tolerate waiting and do not act impulsively, but they are less social and less inclined to pick up on social cues. They tend to take communication literally. For example, the expression “Has the cat got your tongue? or“Keep your eye on the ball” confuses them. How do we determine Asperger’s?

In order to get an accurate picture of the problem, our testing has to focus on behaviors. Neither autism nor ADHD can be determined by a blood test or any kind of medical testing. Through our comprehensive neuropsychological testing, we evaluate a person’s thinking skills by measuring and identifying the cognitive, motor, behavioral and linguistic impairment and functioning.

Treatment requires communication training and behavioral therapy to help people with Aspergers or other high-functioning autism to socialize better. Once testing takes place, treatment can begin. You can also take our short Aspergers Quiz.

Did you know?

High-functioning autism used to be thought of and labeled as Aspergers, but in 2013 the term Aspergers actually became obsolete. Instead, it was placed under the umbrella of all forms of Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD), in the publication of the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) manual that year.

The Asperger’s Syndrome label may be gone, but this form of high-functioning autism is still very much in existence, with thousands being successfully tested—and treated– each year.