It will always be very confusing for newcomers to the wonders of the ASD world if everyone expresses all of the observations of ASD behavior as separate conditions. Nature has little reverence for the learned individuals who have described these behaviors over the years and we should not view them as distinct “illnesses”. The labels that are presented are nothing more than a convenient mechanism for describing SOME of the features of an ASD individual. Their actual neurological make-up may very well share lots of aspects of what are sometimes labeled as separate entries in some medical classification system.

Developmentally it makes perfect sense for some individuals to come along with a more (or less) observable external presentation of their core differences at major neurological milestones in their life which may affect the way they interact with their environment. The events known as “Neural Pruning” re-wires the brain at different stages in life and various behavioral changes are seen, even in “NT” brain – as the child moves out of babyhood, into and out of the teenage years and perhaps even the “mid-life crisis”.

So to my mind the point of diagnosis may very well mirror these massive periods of change in the brain – any or all of them!

As to ADHD vs Aspergers: it’s not surprising that it is difficult to differentiate when they almost certainly are simply different presentations of the same neurological differences – as with all ASD.

Categories: Gary's Forum Posts

2 Responses so far.

  1. Parenting says:

    Asperger is listed as a Pervasive Developmental Disorder. This is a group of serious inborn life-long disorders which include autism (Autistic Disorder) as well as Asperger and a few other disorders. So in the diagnostic manual, Asperger is not autism but is explicitly mentioned in its own right.
    Aspergers syndrome

    • admin says:

      Well yes, and no.

      When Asperger originally defined the condition “Autistic Psychopathy” he was attempting to differentiate a type of development condition which we now generally group as “ASD”. At the same time Kanner was also defining a similar range of conditions but unfortunately used a high proportion of individuals with other forms of what we now call learning disability. It is well documented that Asperger remained unknown until Lorna Wing’s work brought it into a widely recognised but intimately related condition we now use.

      Jelibean do not differentiate between any of the diagnostic categorisations that are prevalent at any point in time. We believe that the spectrum is just that – a wide range of conditions which exhibit many different levels of what some term “impairment” – we prefer “difference”. Looking through our main site you will see that although we use the “labels” defined in the journals we use them only as signals to a type, we do not segregate any of the diagnostic terms as anything other than recognisable points on a continuum.
      Aspergers Syndrome is, as you say, explicitly mentioned in its own right. Well, that is after 1994 when the DSM IV said it was a different condition – but guess what! Next year it will no longer exist as a separate diagnosis – DSM V has redefined the symptoms as “mild autism” – go figure.

      ASD is ASD: what a group of people categorise the spectrum into has no real meaning to those experiencing it.

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