Before 2013, the American Psychiatric Association considered Asperger syndrome to be separate from Autism. This changed with the latest revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and now the condition is included in the larger continuum of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Before the change in classification, it was held that individuals with Asperger syndrome did not manifest the language difficulties seen in individuals with Autistic Disorder.
One aim of the professionals overseeing the classification change was to protect individuals who would be “switching” categories; one of the goals was to ensure that individuals with Asperger syndrome, or related diagnoses, would continue to qualify as having a disorder under the new criteria.
Some professionals consider these individuals to be “high functioning” relative to others on the autism spectrum; these individuals may exhibit some pronounced strengths (e.g., strengths in intelligence or technical knowledge) in comparison to others with ASD. Still, it is important to recognize that any individual who qualifies for Autism Spectrum Disorder can face significant barriers in their daily life.