Difference Between Autism and Asperger Syndrome

There are certain conditions that generate considerable confusion among those who have little information on the subject or are prejudiced. In some cases, people who present these conditions may be discriminated against or misunderstood by the rest; thus causing their problems to become even greater.

Here we explain the difference between two of the conditions that most people confuse: Asperger syndrome and autism. If you have doubts about it, keep reading.


It is a spectrum of disorders that are diagnosed based on the behavior of individuals in two spheres: communication and social interaction and repetitive or restrictive patterns of behavior. In this sense, it is important to mention that although it is possible that autistic people share certain characteristics; disorder manifests itself in many different ways, which is why the word “spectrum” is used to describe the condition.

Autism is five times more common in boys than in girls and is associated with a wide variety of factors: neurological, cognitive, and psychological.


On the other hand, Asperger syndrome was considered a “high functioning” subtype of autism characterized by the absence of the key symptoms of classic autism (late development or problems with language acquisition); however, from DSM-5 (manual of psychologists and psychiatrists) autism and Asperger’s syndrome are classified differently.

The only clinical difference between Asperger syndrome and classic autism is that in the former case the acquisition of language is not postponed and there are no significant problems in cognitive development.

People with Asperger’s regularly have difficulties in the sphere of social interaction. It is common for them to feel ashamed or anxious when they are surrounded by people, they lack empathy (this aspect is under discussion), they feel concern or interest only in a particular subject, among other things. However, in some cases the cognitive abilities of people with Asperger’s are even superior to those of “normal” people.

Other typical characteristics of individuals diagnosed with Asperger’s are: they interpret language literally, they may have difficulty understanding sarcasm, different languages ​​or figurative language.

Finally, there is no “cure” for autism or Asperger syndrome; But parents often follow some treatments or routines with their children with these conditions so that both can cope better.

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