My son was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome in August of 2008. Since then I have been on a mission to learn all that I can about this challenge he has. I really hate using the term disability because, in my opinion, he is just different – not disabled. There has been a lot of discussion lately about whether to do away with the term Aspergers Syndrome and just use the Autism diagnosis instead. There are pros and cons to both but I am leaning towards no.
Aspergers is considered by many as high functioning Autism although they are really very different. While they both fall on the Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD) scale, they have some vast differences. Typically, Autistic people do not want to socialize while Asperger’s (Aspies) do want to be social but they just don’t have social skills. One of the other differences in the language delay, those with Autism are typically delayed in developing language skills while Aspies are not.
One of the biggest issues is the amount of aid you receive from schools and government. There is not nearly as much for Aspies as there are for those with Autism. My son’s school only recognizes the Autism diagnoses so he has all the benefits in special education that he needs. However the state I live in, AZ, separates the two diagnoses and there is not much assistance for him. Now since he has insurance it is not too big of a deal except in one area. Aspie kids really need social skills training. They can learn these skills. The problem is that there is not a lot of training or classes available for this. We have one here in Tucson that is offered by the University but it is $35 an hour and the classes are weekly and they do not take insurance. You commit to a semester at a time just like a school semester. This can be really rough for many parents. There is also a waiting list to get in anyway. I could go on but the bottom line is that there are many more options and assistance for parents of Autistic children than for parent of Asperger’s children.
So here is the question I pose. Do you think Aspies should be classified as Autistic, even though that really isn’t accurate, so that there would be more benefits and resources available to parents? I would love to hear what you think.