Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

AS is not mild autism

(76 Posts)
zzzzz Tue 06-Aug-13 22:49:21

Someone said this on another thread, and it's got me thinking.

I know that the new criteria (American not ours!) has done away with Aspergers as a dx and lumped everyone together under one dx "Autism" or is it ASD?

I personally like the separation of facets of the disability, so that someone with what we would have called HFA is now described as Autistic and Language disordered (mild, moderate or severe) and presumably someone with AS would now be described as Autistic with perhaps semantic pragmatic disorder.

I don't see AS as mild Autism, but I do see it as Autism without the very real problems brought on by more extreme communication difficulties. That's not saying it is necessarily easier or harder just a different presentation.

streakybacon Sun 11-Aug-13 08:04:19

That's a great quote. Depressing but true.

zzzzz Sat 10-Aug-13 19:00:14

sad but I have to say I love those freedom fighters. grin

PolterGoose Sat 10-Aug-13 16:28:45

Just came across this quote on Aspies for Freedom website and thought I'd throw it into our discussion:

The difference between high-functioning and low-functioning is that high-functioning means your deficits are ignored, and low-functioning means your assets are ignored

I have no doubt that the general public and employers see Asperger Syndrome as 'milder' and less scary than autism. I would have no compunction in using that fact to help my DS2 if I could. Sorry if that offends anyone.

My DS2 doesn't actually have an AS DX, though, as he was non verbal until 4. He does have an average to above average IQ, but he cannot 'pass for NT' for more than a few seconds. So I won't be able to use AS with employers.

I would say that his autism, while very obvious, seems less disabling than some of the other DC I know or some of the DC of MNSN posters who have an AS DX. He's not particularly anxious, he's happy not to have friends, he doesn't seem to care about his differences. As a 6 - 13 yo he has been fairly happy to go to MS school.

I have no idea what job he could ever have, though. He's not brilliantly intelligent, he's just average with a less than average work ethic! He's going to be very borderline when it comes to adult services, I guess.

Ineedmorepatience Fri 09-Aug-13 21:08:19

Great thread zzzzz I have just come back from holiday so joined late smile

When Dd3 was assessed I was absolutely convinced she would (if anything) get a dx of Aspergers, she didnt she got Asd which is fine by me but was slightly confusing at the time. The psychiatrist said she wasnt obsessive enough to get a dx of Aspergers, I disagree she should try living with her!

Actually in the end Dd3 decided to use the term autism, she feels comfortable with it and I am happy if she is happy.

I agree that Aspergers is definitely not a mild version of autism, I personally think it is autism with additional twists and turns along the way and at the end of the day every single person with the condition is effected in different ways whatever the name of it.

PolterGoose Fri 09-Aug-13 16:16:48

Agree zzzzz I'm liking the new DSM criteria, especially the inclusion of sensory processing problems. For ds it is like he is under constant attack on his sensory system, so it's no surprise he is so rigid, anxious, angry and prone to meltdowns, how else could he be?

And whilst I can see how the stereotype of Aspergers can be advantageous as posted by Wet and Eyes and I too have had the 'he must be very clever comment', and there's been good press of late about how brilliant people with Aspergers are as employees, for a child with lots of real and current difficulties the stereotype is a million miles away from reality, and means 'people' don't understand the true extent of how hard life can be.

Me you mean? Maybe I am. Maybe I am using it because that is what the diagnosis was. In most instances where I tell people about it, it really is mild as far as it will affect them. He doesn't have sensory issues to any noticeable extent, his behaviour isn't so rigid that others will notice in the short term, he copes with unexpected events without a meltdown (although he might get a little tearful). On the other hand when I am dealing with professionals that help him, eg school, OT, SALT etc I will make it clear his needs are severe (he has issues with fine motor skills, concentration, inability to read social situations etc). I describe it as best I can to fit the situation. If it had been HFA I would say that. Maybe I should say he is autistic and let him sweep away some of the prejudices, but my main concern to date has been to give people the most accurate impression of what to expect from him.

zzzzz Fri 09-Aug-13 11:58:17

No not you Arthur, you didn't mention AS.

ArthurPewty Fri 09-Aug-13 10:25:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

amberlight Fri 09-Aug-13 10:11:42

I have so many wonderful friends who bring SO much to my life - from every part of the spectrum of autism and other disabilities, and I see them as people and am so proud and honoured to share life with them. I found the best way to counter prejudice was to be really clear that I'm autistic and let people wear themselves out trying to prove how 'awful' I am...then realise that in fact they're just fighting their own fear and insecurity and lack of knowledge. It takes a time, aye, and it would have been very easy to just hide and say I'm not autistic at all...but then if we all did that, no-one gets a world where it's Ok to be us. I don't want that for my son.

zzzzz Fri 09-Aug-13 09:30:23

So basically you are using AS to imply mild Autism. shock

FWIW I think my thinking is more in line with the new US criteria, where neither how verbal or how well you bum wipe is part of the criteria.

It never fails to amaze and depress me what extraordinary prejudice there is against individuals who cannot speak or speak badly, and individuals who are not fully continent. Can you not see the people behind these tedious disabilities? I feel really really sad to read some of this.

ArthurPewty Fri 09-Aug-13 09:22:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Strongecoffeeismydrug Fri 09-Aug-13 08:07:54

Ds has autism and toilet trained easily at 3 years old!
So he defiantly doesn't need his bum wiping for the rest of his life, but I do agree with people's pre conceived ideas of autism as even his new school automatically presumed he wore nappies after reading the reports about his lack of communication,rigid routines ect.

Well, DS (9) was diagnosed as "Aspergers Syndrome (Autistic spectrum disorder)" two years ago. I don't think I have ever actually said to anyone he has autism, in fact in day to day life I don't have to tell many people at all. The only time I generally say anything (apart from in discussion with school etc) is if he is signing up for some sort of new childcare or activity, or, as happened recently, he needed hospital treatment after an accident. It seems that most people in childcare/medical fields have a general idea of what Asperger's means and yes it does seem less alarming. Maybe I have fallen for the stereotypes myself, but I think it is a more accurate description for him, I think if I told people he had autism they might think I was mistaken or something because until you get to know him he does a very good impression of being NT.

As an aside, WRT recent hospital visits, he fell and broke his wrist on holiday in May and went to A&E out of area, so I mentioned it to them. When we got home and transferred to the local fracture clinic before I even thought to say anything they immediately told me that they had noted that he had AS and on every visit (6 or 7 in total) the nurse came up to make sure he was OK, made sure he was seen quickly, offered to let us sit in away from the main waiting area in case the noise was distressing him, etc. All very discreet too, no fuss. I was really impressed.

amberlight Fri 09-Aug-13 06:38:09

In discussion with various diagnostic professionals, many in the UK have dropped Aspergers. They tend to call it 'Autism spectrum' now. Toilet training was never a part of autism diagnosis. It was a different developmental delay that plenty even with Aspergers can also experience.

zzzzz Fri 09-Aug-13 00:34:09

A bit like pretending to be Greek or Italian rather than Pakistani? Because it might be easier to get a job? Yik.

I'm not sure if the stereotype is actually that clear cut anyway. I would have said in the mid 90s you would have had to explain what AS was to the average person and Autism would have been Rainman, so toilet trained (if that is really so identity defining for you).

Eyesunderarock Fri 09-Aug-13 00:23:11

Yes, but do you think there's truth in it?
That the uninformed have very stereotypical views of the definitions and what they mean? That the general population see Asperger's and Autism as different, with AS as 'less' 'mild' 'weird but not scary'
Appalling, but stereotypes usually are.

zzzzz Fri 09-Aug-13 00:19:13

I find that frankly appalling.

WetAugust Thu 08-Aug-13 23:54:55

It alarms people less - frankly - because they see Aspergers as 'capable autism' rather than the 'we'll have to wipe his bum for him' kind.

Eyesunderarock Thu 08-Aug-13 23:50:41

Well, DS thinks of himself as Aspie, and describes himself as such. As do his two friends. It does seem to alarm people less for some reason.

<passes familiar bucket to old and dear friend, it has a rather lovely Merlot in it>

WetAugust Thu 08-Aug-13 23:44:52

I think they should have kept Aspergers as a separate diagnostic condition. It may seem selfish but, to the general public, Aspergers has none of the 'negative' associations of 'autism'.

When I tell people DS has Aspergers their usual response is 'he must be very clever'. He is actually.

And as long as they hold they view that Aspergers are clever but a bit eccentric then DS may have the opportunity of getting a job and having a satisfying life.,

With a diagnosis of just 'autism' it fails to recognise his abilities.

ouryve Thu 08-Aug-13 23:06:11

Interestingly, I got the latest "Autism" magazine from the NAS, today (never got around to cancelling my direct debit in time for this year's renewal, even though I'm officially tired of them) and it was discussing the DSM-V changes. ICD-11 is due out in a couple of years and currently there are no plans to drop the Aspergers diagnosis from it. Given that the majority of medics here use ICD-10, that means that Aspergers may still be acknowledged as a separate entity in the UK.

seaofyou Thu 08-Aug-13 22:20:19

Oh thank you Polt. Will have a look tomorrow.

zzzz if you read a lot of USA stuff they class dyslexia as learning disability. Is wiki USA based by any chance? Easy to then get confused as one country says one thing and not another and as most stuff comes from USA it is easy to then coin the phrase from all you read from USA.

We in UK still have Aspergers. In USA Aspergers is now gone. So confusing!

It would be easier if they just labelled it all as 'Developmental Disorder/Condition/Difficultiy' as gets confused all these LDs!

PolterGoose Thu 08-Aug-13 22:02:25

Here's an interesting book chapter on racial bias and testing which raises some interesting stuff about IQ tests, I've only skimmed bits as am on phone but it seems to cite some interesting bits of research and legal stuff (though it is a US source).

zzzzz Thu 08-Aug-13 21:48:50

I don't know. Am home now so will read on something bigger than this tinsy phone. Thank you. I am so irritated that I don't know this stuff. How is it possible ds is 8 FFS!

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