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The Difference Between Autism and Asperger Syndrome

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Learn the Qualities of Each

Today, we hear many different things about autism and Asperger syndrome, but the difference between the two can be complicated. Up until 2013, it was believed that autism and Asperger syndrome were different and that Asperger’s was a separate syndrome because it affected individuals at a different point in life and progressed differently than autism. However, it has since been determined that Asperger syndrome is a subtype of autism in a realm called “autism spectrum disorder.”

Here, our special needs care company shares some of the most common differences between the two:


Asperger’s is considered a “high-functioning” autism and while the two conditions can share similar symptoms, there are three main differences between them: IQ levels, speech, and age of detection.

IQ Levels

Those with Asperger’s tend to have IQ levels in the normal or even superior range, while those with autism tend to have lower IQ levels.


When it comes to speech, individuals with autism have trouble developing language and sounds as means of communication, but individuals with Asperger’s do not have delays or difficulties and can even exhibit exceptional vocabularies early on.

Age of Detection

The age of detection for autism and Asperger syndrome is different – autism can be detected in children by the age of two (often earlier), but Asperger’s often isn’t noticed until a child starts school and begins to notice difficulties with socialism or learning.

Behaviors often associated with Asperger’s:

  • Difficulty reading body language
  • Restricted range of interests
  • Appearing to lack empathy
  • Inability to understand sarcasm/joking
  • Extended or avoided eye contact
  • Repetitive speech
  • One-sided conversations

Behaviors often associated with autism:

  • Inability to understand others’ feelings
  • Restricted speech
  • Difficulty starting/holding conversations
  • Preoccupation with a certain topic
  • A need for routine
  • Periods of anxiety or aggression
  • Unusual interests

After looking at the differences (and the relationship) between autism and Asperger’s, we need to remember that an individual must display autistic features in order to be diagnosed with Asperger’s. Whether they’re diagnosed with one or the other, our special needs care program called Gary’s Gang is perfect for them!