Autism SpeaksRecently, the Center for Disease Control announced an increase in autism cases in the United States, citing data from a study that looked at numerous health records from 14 states. Now, 1 in 88 children have a form of the disorder; an increase from 1 in 110 children. However, with early diagnosis and proper treatment, autism is treatable.

Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are both complex developmental disabilities that typically appear during the first three years of age. They both fall under the term Pervasive Developmental Disorder which includes five disorders that are characterized by delays in communication and socialization. Both of these disorders affect the person’s ability to interact and communicate but there are definite differences between the two disorders.

The Differences Between Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism.

Children with Asperger’s Syndrome don’t experience language delays and their symptoms are less severe than those with autism.

Children with autism typically appear uninterested in others but children with Asperger’s want to participate in social interaction but don’t know how to do it.

Unlike children with autism, children with Asperger’s typically possess average language skills but speech patterns may be unusual and they may not understand gestures, humor or irony.

People with autism may experience mental retardation, people with Asperger’s must have average or above average intelligence.

Autism and Asperger’s Symptoms to Watch For in Your Child

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a doctor should evaluate a child for a Pervasive Developmental Disorder if they exhibit the following symptoms:

●Does not babble or coo by 12 months of age
●Does not gesture (point, wave, grasp, etc.) by 12 months of age
●Does not say single words by 16 months of age
●Does not say two-word phrases on his or her own (rather than just repeating what someone says to him or her) by 24 months of age
●Has any LOSS of any language or social skill at any age

If you suspect your child has Asperger’s syndrome or autism, it is important to get a medical and an educational evaluation. The medical evaluation consists of an assessment of symptoms and tests given by your child’s pediatrician. An educational evaluation can be performed by professionals at your child’s school. A group of educators will determine if your child qualifies for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Act.

At the Pediatric Center of Round Rock, our goal is to identify red flags as early as possible. We perform tests at both the 9 month, 18 month, 2 year and 3 year visit. We will provide resources so your child can receive the best care possible.

If you are concerned in any way that your child may be showing signs of Asperger’s Syndrome or autism, please call us at (512) 733-5437 to make an appointment.

For more information on Asperger’s Syndrome and autism and additional resources visit:

Resources: www.pediatriccenterofroundrock.com/autism-asperger-disorder.php
Signs of Autism & Asperger’s Syndrom: www.autismweb.com/signs.htm
About Autism: www.autism-society.org/about-autism/

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.