Should Autism and Aspergers be separate disorders?

Should Autism and Aspergers be separate disorders?

So this was brought up in an earlier post. Should Autism and Aspergers be separate disorders? There is a growing movement to make Aspergers Syndrome a separate disorder from Autism. I believe that at some point it will most likely happen. The logic behind it is that Autism and Aspergers may share similar traits they are profoundly different. I think it causes a lot of confusion and misunderstanding within the community. As a father to 3 boys across the spectrum I can honestly say that there is a HUGE difference between Autism and Aspergers. Parenting a child with Autism is so profoundly different from parenting a child with Aspergers. So we’re clear, I’m NOT saying that raising a child with Aspergers is in any way easy….because it’s NOT.

I think that the problem people have with the two being lumped together is the fact that they are so different. For example, raising Gavin (our oldest with Aspergers) in no way prepared us for Emmett (our youngest with Autism). I think there is merit to the idea of separating such vastly different disorders. Aspergers seems to be the more “public face” of the Autism Spectrum and that isn’t an accurate representation of the Autistic community. Even if they separate the two disorders, it won’t really change anything. So I’m not really sure if it’s necessary but MANY people think it is.

So what do you folks think? Should Autism and Aspergers be listed as separate disorders?


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My 15 year old son was diagnosed as being autistic and as having aspergers. I really don't know what to think about this question. Is there really a difference; I think not. My son will never play sports and cannot be mainstreamed in school. I think there are many many different levels of autism and each child has their own set of needs. Until doctors are able to differentiate and be more precise with their diagnosis's I think this question will remain unanswered. I look at it as aspergers being a sub division of autism. I came upon this site because I was looking to see if Nathan Carman (the Middletown Ct boy with Aspergers who was missing) had been found and to my delight he has. I can't imagine what that family was going through. There are many good stories to read here and I will be back many times to read. Thanks for letting me share.


You are welcome to share ANYTHING you would like to. I would love to hear your story. Thank you for stopping by. It was pleasure to meet you.

Phyllis at ATB

As a Mom of children in both camps, I feel I can say that although having an Asperger's kid is hard, it is nothing like having a kid with autism. Too often I tell someone that I have a child with autism and they tell me about a nephew or the like that has autism, too. Then I find out that they get good grades, are on the T-ball team, etc., etc. Oh, I see. Aspergers then. Nothing like my son who could never do those things. We are comparing apples to oranges.
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