Difference Between Autism and Asperger’s

Both autism and Asperger’s are two conditions that have as common characteristics, serious difficulties in the use and understanding of nonverbal language patterns, difficulties in maintaining reciprocal conversations and social interrelationship problems.

On many occasions, people tend to get confused with these terms, characterizing people who present these conditions in an inadequate way, which can generate problems in the pedagogical attention and in the treatment they receive.

In this sense, it is important to know in detail the essential characteristics of each of these conditions. In this article we are going to show these characteristics and differences between autism and Asperger’s, in order to dispel any possible doubts that may arise.


Autism is a highly complex neurological disorder that consists of an uneven development of the person’s cognitive, psychosocial and motor skills. This disorder affects the communication skills, socialization and empathy of the person, who presents a pathologically folded personality.

The concept of autism encompasses a series of disorders of a greater or lesser level, hence this condition is today characterized as ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). In general, autism manifests itself in the first years of life and is maintained throughout existence, since there is no cure, although abnormal behaviors can be reduced and social interactivity can be improved when given to the person. the required psychopedagogical and neurological care.

On the other hand, autism can be diagnosed before the age of three when the child begins to present certain abnormal behaviors and, above all, a marked delay in the process of language acquisition. However, although people with autism may have an average physical development, they may show a lack of interest in developing social relationships, little interest in exploring the environment and repetitive behaviors, which generates concern in parents and teachers who take them to make the diagnosis with specialists for further treatment.

On the other hand, it is necessary to point out that not all cases present the same indicators, but in the majority, the delay in language skills and below-average IQ is always present.


Asperger’s syndrome is a brain development disorder associated with autism, in which some skills are developed more than others, so there is an unevenness or abnormal variation in the rate of brain development. This condition is characterized by the fact that the patient shows limited interests or unusual and obsessive concern with a particular object or topic, to the exclusion of other activities and topics of conversation.

People with Asperger’s syndrome often have normal or slightly above average intelligence, but show repetitive routines or rituals, as well as a tendency to speak in an overly formal or monotonous manner. Asperger’s syndrome is diagnosed late (approximately 7 years old), since it does not present delay in early detection skills such as speech.

Finally, people who suffer from this condition usually have a physical development according to their chronological age but have great difficulties in adaptive capacities and in establishing social relationships.

Due to the above, the most outstanding differences between autism and Asperger’s syndrome are:

  • Autism is early detection (approximately 3 years) while Asperger’s syndrome is later detection (approximately 7 years).
  • The patient with autism usually has an IQ below average while the patient with Asperger’s usually has an IQ above average.
  • The patient with autism is usually delayed in the acquisition and development of language skills while the patient with Asperger’s usually has a very fluid, formal and monotonous vocabulary.
  • Autism is a brain development disorder while Asperger’s is an autism spectrum disorder.

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