After a long-publicized discussion on the newly released Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychological Association (DSM-5), Asperger syndrome and Autism were combined to form a new category of ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder’.
Turns out, there are fundamental brain differences between individuals with Autism and those with Asperger syndrome. While both individuals may have restricted interests and stereotypical behaviors, children with Asperger syndrome tend to demonstrate language development that is more consistent with that of their neurotypical peers. Research study was completed through Boston Children’s Hospital, and while it may only be a first step, it represents an important one. The study analyzed brain connectivity using EEG readings of 400 children with Autism diagnoses, 550 ‘control’ children (identified as neurotypical), and 26 children with Asperger syndrome.
Findings will need to be replicated, but the results are an exciting first step to clarify the diagnosis process and ensure that children with special needs, whatever those needs may be, are identified and served appropriately.