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Asperger’s Autism and Nonverbal Learning Disorder

September 18, 2008

The term autism spectrum is still an inexact term. It is not used consistently.

The problem is that Asperger’s and NLD were developed within separate clinical communities. Eventually, people began to realize that the two diagnoses were extremely similar (if not the same neurodivergent condition viewed from different perspectives).

If I wanted to nitpick, I could probably say that I am closer to NLD in some ways and closer to Asperger’s autism in others. “Special interests,” which have always dominated my life, is a part of the Asperger’s diagnosis, but not of the NLD diagnosis. On the other hand, I am much more of a verbal than a visual thinker, which would place me closer to NLD than to Asperger’s.

I really tend to agree with David Dinklage that distinguishing between the two conditions is splitting hairs. For instance, one could list the symptoms which both categories have in common and then refer to the (very few) differences as optional.

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