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Asperger's Syndrome

The term "Asperger syndrome" (often shortened to Asperger's) is outdated in diagnosis. It's considered inappropriate because of the person it was named after.

receptionist sitting at a PC screen with a think bubble showing she doesn't understand

The term "Asperger syndrome" also just called Asperger's is not a term used by doctors anymore

A man holding up a letter with a tick on it and another picture of the same man holding up a letter with a red cross on it

Some people might still choose to use the term Asperger's or Asperger Syndrome if they have been diagnosed as this in the past. This is a personal choice

Asperger's and Asperger syndrome

In the past, Asperger's identified autistic people without learning disabilities. Today, it's understood that this falls under the broader umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

It's considered controversial because of who it was named after, Hans Asperger, whose history with the Nazi party has been discovered.

Some people diagnosed with Asperger's still use that term. This might be due to personal preference or because the diagnosis is no longer officially recognised. Other people may choose a different term due to the negative aspects of Hans Asperger's past.

When did the Diagnosis change?

In the early 1990s, Asperger syndrome gained recognition as a formal diagnosis with its inclusion in major medical manuals. However, this term was later retired between 2013 - 2019 and folded into the broader category of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

What is Autism

Autism, often referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), isn't a one-size-fits-all term. It's a spectrum, meaning experiences can vary greatly. Hear from Jack about what it means to him in this video.

Autism

Like a learning disability , autism is a lifelong condition. Autism is sometimes referred to as a spectrum, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Find out more
Questions and answers about Asperger syndrome

In the past, Asperger's identified autistic people without learning disabilities. Today, it's understood that this falls under the broader umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

No, Asperger syndrome (Asperger's) is no longer something that medical professionals give as a diagnosis

The term was later retired between 2013 - 2019 and folded into the broader category of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

This is a personal choice. Some people diagnosed with Asperger's still use that term. This might be due to personal preference or because the diagnosis is no longer officially recognised. Other people may choose a different term due to the negative aspects of Hans Asperger's past.

In the 1980s, Dr. Lorna Wing, a co-founder of the National Autistic Society (NAS) and a longtime consultant to their Lorna Wing Centre, introduced the term "Asperger syndrome" to autism research. 

Dr. Wing championed the idea of autism as a spectrum condition, drawing on the earlier work of Hans Asperger. 

While Hans Asperger's observations of autistic differences were used in this work, his association with the Nazi regime during World War II makes referencing his work problematic today.

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