Autism vs Aspergers vs Austim Spectrum

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) now affects 1 in 68 children, but many people are still confused about what the disorder looks like.1 From “classic autism” to Asperger syndrome, signs and symptoms vary by individual according to the type of autism. The more you know about the varying traits, the more equipped you will be in helping your child or perhaps helping yourself if you are an autistic individual. To find out how classic autism compares to Asperger syndrome, explore what makes these types of ASD distinct and the common traits and behaviors to look out for.  

Different Types of Autism Spectrum Disorders 

While ASD refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, we know that there is not one autism but many different types. The reason why autism is referred to as a “spectrum disorder” is because each autistic person holds a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The different autism types that exist include:2

  • Autistic Disorder (or “classic” autism): Many autistic people with the “classic” case of autism, struggle with verbal and non-verbal communication, which may cause a lack of facial expressions, aversion to eye contact, and maybe a delay in speech. They may also have sensitivity to noise, smells, or sensations. Some autistic people with this type may find it difficult to divert from routines or to relate to others. 

  • Asperger syndrome: Asperger’s is a type of autism that tends to present more subtle symptoms than those with classic autism. Most of their issues come up around social interactions, often being perceived by others as awkward, inappropriate, or sometimes rude. Asperger’s individuals often feel more comfortable speaking about themselves, but find it difficult to relate to other people.

  • Pervasive Development Disorder: Since ASD is a spectrum disorder, there are individuals who don’t fit neatly within the autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome categories. While they may have some symptoms of both or either type of autism, they may also appear high-functioning. The most noticeable signs are delays in the development of socialization and communication skills. 

Autistic Disorder vs Asperger Syndrome  

Autistic individuals and those with Asperger’s are commonly known to have difficulty in social and behavioral situations, as well as in forming and maintaining relationships. They may both struggle with picking up on social cues or reading body language. Autistic people who are higher-functioning and those with Asperger’s often excel in academics compared to those who are not considered high-functioning. The biggest difference between autism and Asperger’s is that symptoms are less severe in those with Asperger’s and there are not typically language delays.3 Asperger’s individuals also tend to have interests in particular subjects that border on obsessive.  

Behavior and Traits

Signs of autism usually appear by age two or three, though some associated development delays can appear even earlier.4 While symptoms vary across the different types of autism, the following list gives a snapshot of behaviors and traits to look out for when assessing ASD:  

Social:

  • Making little to no eye contact

  • Slow response to someone calling name

  • Difficulty with the give and take of conversation

  • Talking at length about a topic without letting others offer input or noticing when their interest wanes

  • Mismatch between facial expression and gestures and what is being said 

  • An unusual tone of voice often described as “robot-like”

  • Inappropriate language or aggressive social behavior

  • ASD individuals, specifically those with Asperger syndrome, have trouble understanding sarcasm, humor and literal statements

Motor Skills, Behaviors and Interests: 

  • Repetitive movements such as rocking, clapping, or stomping

  • Obsessive actions or thoughts, which may include fears and phobias

  • Sensitivity to sensory experiences like textures, sounds and tastes

If you or your child is autistic, you may find that taking Brillia helps to relieve some of the most common symptoms associated with this condition. This is especially true when it comes to mood regulation, expressing emotions and controlling aggression. Brillia also does not have contraindications with other supplements or medications, so it can easily be added to one’s regimen without worry.  Find out more about how Brillia works here. If you’d like additional resources for guidance and answers about autism, please visit the Autism Speaks website.

Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and a certificate in Narrative Therapy. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women's Health, and VICE.


References: 1https://www.massgeneral.org/children/autism/lurie-center/30-facts-to-know-about-autism-spectrum-disorder, 2https://www.24hrcares.com/autism/spectrum-types/, 3https://www.autism-society.org/what-is/aspergers-syndrome/, 4https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism

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