AARC Tip of the Month - November 2015
Asperger's vs High Functioning Autism
What's the difference between Asperger's and high functioning autism?

The scoop is... there no longer is a difference.  When the American Psychiatric Association published the DSM-5 to replace the DSM-4 last year, they removed the diagnosis of Asperger's and replaced it with the umbrella term "autism spectrum disorder."  With this umbrella term, the American Psychiatric Association recommends that providers rate the severity of the autism spectrum disorder. Severity is typically based on social communication impairments and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior. Usually, high-functioning autism is diagnosed in those patients with little to no intellectual impairments, but may have a hard time with social communication. Low-functioning autism typically refers to those patients with impairments both intellectually and socially, and commonly have a hard time using language to communicate.  

The American Psychiatric Association also notes that providers should specify if they believe the patient has an accompanying intellectual or language impairment, and if it is associated with a medical or genetic condition and/or another neurodevelopmental behavioral disorder.  This is why we are starting to see a rise in the number of comorbid diagnoses surrounding autism spectrum disorder. 

For more information about Asperger's syndrome and the change in the DSM-5, you can visit Special Education Service Agency for a video training, or you can read this article published by the American Psychiatric Association. 

Books of the Month:
The books of the month are available in the SESA Library. You may search the library on the  SESA website , or you may contact our Librarian, Anne Freitag, at  afreitag@sesa.org  or  907-334-1301

Electronic books may be accessed from anywhere in the state. If you've used our ebooks before, this link will take you to the title and log you in
If you haven't used our ebooks before, please contact Anne so she can set up a username and password for you. Click here for more information about ebooks.
For easy searching on the SESA Library site, we've added the ISBN number. Simply copy, paste, and search!
Asperger's Syndrome: A guide for parents and professionals
By: Tony Attwood
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1998.
ISBN: 9781853025778

Description: Dr. Attwood uses case examples from his practice. He explains the strengths and deficit areas that occur with Asperger syndrome (high functioning autism). He recommends specific support strategies designed to match characteristic learning styles associated with Asperger's. He also describes activities that have helped people with Asperger's to learn how to manage social skills and reduce stress and anxiety. We have this information available in print, DVD, and online ebook.
The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome
By: Tony Attwood
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008.
ISBN:  9781843106692

Description: "... handbook for anyone affected by Asperger's syndrome (AS). It brings together a wealth of information on all aspects of the syndrome for children through to adults. Drawing on case studies and personal accounts from Attwood's extensive clinical experience, and from his correspondence with individuals with AS, this book is both authoritative and extremely accessible." - publisher's website.

Sharing Information about Your Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder: What do respite or alternative caregivers need to know?
By: Beverly Vicker
Autism-Asperger Publishing Co., 2007.
ISBN: 9781931282406

Description: You may need to explain specifics about your child to someone else: "The introduction for the book comments, "An attempt has been made to keep the information on these pages short, easy-to-read and within the reading level of the typical respite worker (high school reading level)" (p. 4). The book is successful at that task, but as a consequence may have limited audience appeal. The brilliance of this book is its everyday application and the easy to use worksheets. In this day of suits on [copyright] infringement, it is rare to find a book that so clearly encourages the reader to make copies of its pages. In fact, to assist in this endeavor, a CD is attached to the back of the book."

Understanding Autism for Dummies
By: Stephen M. Shore and Linda G. Rastelli
Wiley, 2006.
ISBN: 9780764525476

Description: "... provides help-and hope-by explaining the differences between various types of autism and delivering the lowdown on behavioral, educational, medical, other interventions. Featuring inspiring autism success stories as well as a list of organizations where people who support those with autism can go for additional help, it offers practical advice on how to educate children as well as insights on helping people with autism use their strengths to maximize their potential in life. "- publisher's website.

Worlds of Autism: Across the spectrum of neurological difference
Joyce Davidson and Michael Orsini, editors
University of Minnesota Press, 2013
ISBN:  9780816688883

Description: "Since first being identified as a distinct psychiatric disorder in 1943, autism has been steeped in contestation and controversy. Present-day skirmishes over the potential causes of autism, how or even if it should be treated, and the place of Asperger's syndrome on the autism spectrum are the subjects of intense debate in the research community, in the media, and among those with autism and their families. Bringing together innovative work on autism by international scholars in the social sciences and humanities, Worlds of Autism boldly challenges the deficit narrative prevalent in both popular and scientific accounts of autism spectrum disorders, instead situating autism within an abilities framework that respects the complex personhood of individuals with autism. A major contribution to the emerging, interdisciplinary field of critical autism studies, this book is methodologically and conceptually broad. Its authors explore the philosophical questions raised by autism, such as how it complicates neurotypical understandings of personhood; grapple with the politics that inform autism research, treatment, and care; investigate the diagnosis of autism and the recognition of difference; and assess representations of autism and stories told by and about those with autism. From empathy, social circles, and Internet communities to biopolitics, genetics, and diagnoses, Worlds of Autism features a range of perspectives on autistic subjectivities and the politics of cognitive difference, confronting society's assumptions about those with autism and the characterization of autism as a disability."- 

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