I know many who get confused, or just don't know. I will tell you the difference, either way is my opinion that each child is special in their own way, it doesn't matter what spectrum they are on, or if they are not in any.
- To have Autism, a child struggles with social delays, language delays, and repetitive or obsessive behaviors.
- To have Asperger Syndrome, a child has social delays, later delays in communication and language usuage (without early language delays), average or above intelligence and obsessive behaviors.
- To have PDD-NOS, means a child has social and communications issues, but does not fully meet the criteria for either of the other two diagnoses.
Now, I gave this definitions because there is a new evaluation being done by the American Psychiatric Association that will re-define the diagnosis in the Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is used to determine treatment, insurance coverage and access to services for a variety of mental illnesses.
Basically what the "Experts" will do is exclude Asperger's and PDD-NOS from the Autism Spectrum. They believe that this changes will probably lower the amount of Autistic diagnosis, which has been rising sharply in recent years.
So the so called "Experts" are going to set stricter set of criteria's when diagnosing, the person would have to show three deficits in Social Interaction and Communication and Two Repetitive behaviors.
What bothers me about this, is that a lot of children will no longer get as much therapies, nor as much help because they will not "fit" the criteria. Read the definitions and you will see and understand that no matter what this kids NEED speech therapies, behavior therapy, IP therapies, all of this kids need groups so they can socially interact, so they can learn how to interact, because unlike regular kids, these kids need to be trained, and educated in social interaction. We naturally learn how to act in public, what to say in front of people, these kids DON'T, they just don't know, they don't learn like we do. (Perfect example, watch The Big Bank Theory, and see how Shelton acts, see what he says and the things he does and you will understand)
Also, a huge issue is Communication problems, just because two of this two can speak doesn't mean they actually know how to communicate, in fact, most regular adults can't freaking communicate LOL what makes you think they CAN. Some of these kids you have to say what you actually mean, you can't be sarcastic because they can take it literal sense, those are communication issues that this so called "Experts" are overseeing.