ZocdocAnswersCan someone with autism develop Asperger's as they get older?

Question

Can someone with autism develop Asperger's as they get older?

My baby has had autism for eight years. One of the mother's in my group has a child with Asperger's disorder. Myq uestion is this: is it possible for my child to develop Asperger as he ages?

Answer

Autism and Asperger disorder are both on the same spectrum of diseases, and many people wonder whether or not they are different manifestations of the same disease. Asperger disorder patients generally will be higher functioning, and not manifest the cognitive deficits or have as severe of complaints with regards to social interactions and difficulties. For that reason, for your child to go from a diagnosis of autism to then being diagnosed as having Asperger Syndrome would actually be a progression and improvement in many ways, depending of course on the symptoms and what is occurring. All of the autistic spectrum disorders will involve difficulty communicating and avoidance with certain social situations, and many will also have repetitive movements that help to clarify the diagnosis. For these reasons, it is important to have a strong support group, including a pediatrician that is comfortable working with you and your son to make sure that he develops appropriately and reaches his full potential. As more information becomes available due to the large amounts of research currently being performed, the hope is that there will eventually be better treatment options. Please discuss your concerns and questions with your pediatrician during your routine follow up appointments, or sooner if you feel it necessary.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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