It is estimated that 1 in 80 children has autism or autistic tendencies. There are several theories as to why this number is so high. One of the theories is directly connected to vaccinations while other theories are the environmental issues surrounding children with autism or autistic tendencies is what leads to the autism diagnosis. There are even other schools of thought that believes that autism is a catch phrase that is being put on children when physicians do not know what is causing a child delayed reactions. One of the misconceptions is that Asperger's and autism are one the same. The truth is that there are several distinctions between Asperger's and autism.
One of the distinctions between Asperger's and autism are the obsessive-compulsive disorders that can be seen in children with Asperger's versus those with autistic tendencies. Children with Asperger's will tend to collect categories of items or be proficient in certain categories. For example, a child may latch onto sports statistics, names, movies or particular music files. They will be able to rattle off these different statistics related to the subject that they are concentrating on. This does not mean that they do not have skills in other areas. It simply means that they have found something they focus on and they focus on that for long periods of time. They may even focus on it for a lifetime.
Speech and Motor Function
One of the biggest differences between autism and Asperger's which is also one of the most noticeable differences between the two is speech delays. A child with autism may show speech delays or motor function delays. This is normal in a child with autism. In fact, in autistic tendencies a child with the speech and motor function delays may actually grow out of those delays and it could simply be a developmental issue with that child. However, with a child who has Asperger's the speech and motor function delays are not present. In fact children with Asperger's have no speech delay patterns. They may even have a larger vocabulary. Their issues come in with the patterns themselves related to speech. They may be too loud, high-pitched, quiet to formal it all depends on the child and their particular reaction to the Asperger's syndrome within their system.
Cognitive abilities are another aspect of the differences between autism and Asperger's. For example, autistic children will show a cognitive delay. However, a child with Asperger's will not have a clinically significant delay or a noticeable delay. Children with autism will show outward examples of cognitive delays, misunderstandings, frustration related to the misunderstandings and other issues with cognitive abilities.
Overall the differences between Asperger's and autism come down to what can be seen and what can be determined. For example, as previously mentioned the speech and motor function in a child with Asperger's is not present. A child with autism will have the speech and motor function delays that are very noticeable to the naked eye. They are not simply mental issues and they are full body issues.