The UK still recognises several subtypes of autism which are seen across a ‘spectrum’ – characteristics of the types vary in the severity and impact they have on the individual’s life.
Autistic people who may display some of the most severe symptoms and are likely to have received a diagnosis in childhood.
Their symptoms may include:
In America, ‘Asperger’s’ is no longer a separate classification, a decision made both to simplify the classification of Autism and because of the recognition that the symptoms of autism are often not clearly defined across the spectrum and there is much overlap.
The UK still uses the separate classifications, but as the manual used in the UK (ICD-10) is often led by America’s DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) we may see changes to the terminology at some stage.
Often people diagnosed with Asperger’s have milder or different autism symptoms and normal or above normal intelligence. People with Asperger’s typically did not have language delays as a child or intellectual disabilities but may have struggled with co-ordination and fine motor skills.
The triad of impairments are very commonly experienced by those with Asperger’s. Signs of Autism commonly experienced by those with Asperger’s syndrome include:
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People with PDD (NOS) often experience more severe symptoms than those with Asperger’s.
The term PDD (NOS) is often used for those people who have some, but not all, of the symptoms of autism or Asperger’s, for instance difficulties with social communication and interaction but no obsessive interests.