Benji wrote:So it's not necessarily milder.
Well those DSM criteria obviously indicate the current authoritative position on the matter because they are the preeminent diagnostic tool.
Here is why I wrote, based upon DSM-IV-TR, that Aspergers appears to be generally milder than Autism.
For Autism a total of 7 or more criteria need to be met from a more extensive diagnostic list of symptoms (15 possible diagnostic indicators).
For Asperger's Syndrom a total of 4 or more criteria need to be met from a less extensive diagnostic list of symptoms, (9 possible diagnostic indicators ALL already included in Autism) - plus no significant language delay.Diagnostic indicators shared by Autism and Aspergers.
1... Marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction.
2... Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level.
3... A lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest).
4... Lack of social or emotional reciprocity.
5... Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus.
6... Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals.
7... Stereotyped and repetitive motor manners (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements).
8... Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects.
9... Delays or abnormal functioning in social interaction, with onset prior to age 3 years.The only 2 diagnostic traits Asperger has that Autism doesn't share (but can contain) are both are seen as positives in the criteria...
1... 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).
2... 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.There are 6 additional diagnostic traits for Autism and ALL are seen as negatives in the criteria...
1... Delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken language (not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication such as gesture or mime).
2... In individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others.
3... Stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language.
4... Lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level.
5... Delays or abnormal functioning in language as used in social communication, with onset prior to age 3 years.
6... Delays or abnormal functioning in symbolic or imaginative play, with onset prior to age 3 years.
Thus my conclusion that, based on DSM IV-TR, Aspergers is seen as a generally milder thing that Autism... is really quite an obvious conclusion. Its clearly how DSM views the matter.
I post this, not to play Top Trumps with anybody (I couldn't be less interested in doing that) but simply because you challenged the conclusion I reached from these criteria in my previous post, with a 'because I have seen it' argument - which is quite a subjective
rather than objective
measure. I am confident that those experts behind DSM have seen many more Autistics and Aspies than the both of us put together! I'm not saying the problems faced by one individual are worth less than another individual... but I am simply reading the criteria and comparing them. The conclusion is quite plain and obvious. It isn't anything to feel threatened by. And it ain't rocket science.
The mildest Aspergers, would probably not gain an DX of Autism (Not talking about Autistic Spectrum but Autism DX).
The most severe Aspergers would be nowhere near the most severe Autism.
The mildest Autistic would be more mildly affected than the most severe Aspergers, and vice versa, because there is bound to be cross over - and that cross over, or area of overlap is quite possibly the HFAs or the bulk of them.
I appreciate there is flux in the field of Autism. But DSM is a foundational and very authoritative work. I also appreciate Autism and Aspergers will bleed together to an extent... it is a Spectrum afterall... but if things are to be labelled and differences examined scientifically a line has to be drawn somewhere.