Is there High Functioning and Low functioning Aspergers?



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gregc8080
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Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:34 am

No, there isn't.

The term "high functioning Asperger's" is, I believe, a mistake that has been propagated around by a misunderstanding of the terms.

Asperger's syndrome and "High functioning Autism" are 2 very similar diagnosis. They vary only in a few fine points. And those fine points are so subtle that a great many therapists don't believe they exist or are significant enough to warrant separate diagnosis. They favor just abandoning one or the other name and using one name for all.

Asperger's effectively *is* high functioning autism. In fact, to be diagnosed with Asperger's you have to be what is considered "high functioning". If you're not, then you don't have Asperger's, you're somewhere else on the autism spectrum.

So saying someone has high functioning Asperger's, is like saying they have "high functioning high functioning Autism". It's absurd and it's redundant.



ruveyn
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Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:46 am

Functioning with regard to what set of behaviors or requirements?

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Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:28 am

gregc8080 wrote:
So saying someone has high functioning Asperger's, is like saying they have "high functioning high functioning Autism". It's absurd and it's redundant.

Basically this.

What makes someone think they have LF AS anyway? I think my functioning is worse than most people with AS.


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Ariela
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Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:20 am

There is no clinical diagnosis for High functioning or low functioning Asperger Syndrome. I don't think it would be so easy to classify either since there are many factors involved and Asperger Syndrome and it is more complex than we are led to believe.



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Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:31 am

I don't think people really use the terms high and low functioning aspergers, but of course people all display different severity in their symptoms. When I went in for my diagnosis, the psychologist was talking to me about how there is a spectrum, with low functioning auties at one end, neurotypicals at one end, and aspergers all in between. I've been meeting more and more people with aspergers lately and it was making me question my diagnosis, but maybe we all just have fall widely across that spectrum.


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Niamh
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Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:36 pm

I think there is high- and low-functioning Asperger's, just not officially. Asperger's presents with different degrees of severity in different areas in each person who has it. Autism is a spectrum and so it makes no sense to say that Asperger's falls on one exact point with exact characteristics at exact degrees of mildness/severity. I'd say overall, I have Asperger's and am probably not any higher than moderate in my day-to-day functioning. I struggle with too many things to believe my initial diagnosis' vague statement that I'm "high-functioning". The most important thing is to know oneself and how you are affected regardless of what other people perceive. If you feel you are lower functioning than most, focus on getting the support you need, and hopefully you won't need to have an official diagnosis stating your perceived level of functioning. Even if my psychiatrist gets it wrong and decides that I look too normal or something silly like that, one must remember that they're only human too and if she doesn't believe me when I talk about my problems, there's a chance the other people who help me will believe me instead :-)



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Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:03 pm

Age1600 wrote:
Reodor_Felgen wrote:
Neither high-functioning autism, nor high-functioning Asperger's is a diagnosis in the DSM-IV or the ICD-10. HFA means a person with Kanner's who has a verbal IQ within the normal range. It's accompanied by a delay in speech, but people with HFA will eventually catch up and reach an adequate verbal level.


Yea but i think what the op is asking if you can have aspergers and not be high functioning, which is true, ive met a person with aspergers whos lower functioning, although its not on paper as his diagnosis is aspergers, everybody around him would classify him as low functioning. Thats not entirely true about HFA have verbal iq within the normal range, theres days im cleary high functioning but verbal level is probably at a 3year old, of course theres times i can talk your head off, but basically all around i probably have a vocab of maybe 100. That doesnt mean since my verbal iq is low i can't be classified as high functioning at times, i do drive, i have a boyfriend, can seem NTish at times. Verbal iq does put me more at overall moderate status, but doesn't define what level functioning you should be at.


Yeah I actually know a woman with an Asperger diagnosis, who would be considered low functioning by virtually anyone looking at her. And I mean, they'd think of her as LFA. She can't speak anymore, and she looks and acts highly unusual, and has trouble taking care of herself, etc. I don't believe in functioning labels myself, but there are definitely people dxed with Asperger's who not only can look "low functioning" in most people's eyes for Asperger's, but for autism in general.

And of course, within people dxed with Asperger's, you can get any combination of traits, at any level of severity, so there are definitely people who look far more unusual than others. I don't really think it's as simple as high and low functioning, but for people who do, yes that can exist definitely.


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