I think this is a brilliant post. It embarks on a conversation that needs to be had. I’ve wanted to delve into this for a long time, but hadn’t had the courage to do so, probably for fear of being labeled a “Shiny Aspie”, which applies to me insofar as I like being Aspergian/autistic, but I draw a hard line at claiming that one is better than the other (Asperger’s vs autism), because it isn’t. And that’s not where the author is going, either! Both diagnoses are equally respected (in my book), and different does not imply less. The reason I think this is an excellent topic (and what a great post to kick off the convo!) is that, conducted properly, this conversation has the potential to benefit ALL parts of the spectrum–both ends, and everything in between. The author of this post is incredibly insightful, and one of the first supporters of this blog and the story of my journey that it tells. His blog is fantastic! Lots of interesting information on there, and an extensive and fascinating archive section to boot. 🙂 ❤
On page 1 of his fundamental summary of (Classic) “Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome”, S. Baron-Cohen (2008) lists as “Key Points” the two, overlappingly different subgroups of what has come to be known as the “Autistic Spectrum”.
“Classic autism and Asperger syndrome share two key features:
-Social communication difficulties
-Narrow interests and repetitive actions.
But they differ in two key ways:
-In Asperger syndrome, IQ is at least average and there was no language delay
-In classic autism, IQ can be anywhere on the scale, and there was language delay.”
However, these key, common and differentiated features make only for a minimal area of understanding, assessing and living with either condition.
In my opinion, DSM-5 has managed with its promotion of an Autistic Spectrum “umbrella”, to both simplify, but also confusingly complicate the clear understanding of exactly those specifics which could make the lives of neurodivergents, less miserable. Luckily (I hope)…
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