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    #220102 - 07/25/15 06:04 PM Gifted or Aspergers?
    Flapperfeet Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 05/23/14
    Posts: 8
    Loc: Canada
    Hello,

    Where is the line drawn between Aspergers and exceptional(profound?) giftedness? Why are they so seemingly similar to me? Can anyone clearly outline the differences? Maybe it becomes more apparent when these children grow out of the preschool years. Any information on this subject would be Greatly appreciated. smile

    Ps- if anyone has had the same thoughts as me, feel free to list the reasons/ traits that have caused your suspician... (Eg. Echolalia, sensory processing issues....)

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    #220104 - 07/25/15 06:25 PM Re: Gifted or Aspergers? [Re: Flapperfeet]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3959
    Aspergers is on the autistic spectrum, for which the key elements are social communication deficits and repetitive behaviors. Neither one of these are essential elements of giftedness. (In fact, data suggests that GT individuals, on the average, have stronger social communication skills than NT individuals, and are no more prone to repetitive behaviors than those of average intelligence.)

    Some of the overlap comes from Aspergers being defined as requiring average to above average intelligence, which tends to enrich the population diagnosed with Aspergers with higher-cognitive individuals, and from the difficulty some NT social groups have in assimilating some GT individuals. It is no more surprising that a GT child whose cognition is comparable to a fifteen-year-old would have difficulty relating socially to five-year-olds than it is that an NT fifteen-year-old would. This is often due to her more sophisticated social skills, rather than impairments.
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    #220105 - 07/25/15 06:48 PM Re: Gifted or Aspergers? [Re: Flapperfeet]
    Flapperfeet Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 05/23/14
    Posts: 8
    Loc: Canada
    Wow, thank you for that! That really helps me understand the differences.
    Can you give some specific examples of what the repetitive behaviours might be? Is it playing with the same things at playtime, or playing with them in the same way every time without being flexible? Or is it weird obscure things that they repetively do like a ritual?

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    #220106 - 07/25/15 07:38 PM Re: Gifted or Aspergers? [Re: Flapperfeet]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3959
    Repetitive behaviors can include obsessive fascination with certain topics (e.g., trains, or baseball stats), rituals (having to do everything in the bedtime routine in exactly the same sequence every night, and getting disproportionately upset if anything chances to change), rigidity/resistance to change, or more classic stereotypies, like hand flapping or rocking.

    Some level of rigidity and fascination with specific topics or activities is normal for toddlers and preschoolers, and plunging deeply and obsessively into certain topics is not uncommon among GT individuals. This is probably another source of confusion about ASD and giftedness.

    If you are concerned about a specific child, you may consider introducing the idea of having Early Intervention take a look at him/her. There are many developmental delays that present similarly in early childhood; there is also a wide range of normal development. A team experienced with young children may be able to provide the child's guardians with some perspective on what is in the range, questionable, or concerning.
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    #220107 - 07/25/15 07:55 PM Re: Gifted or Aspergers? [Re: Flapperfeet]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4883
    You've received great info from aeh. I'll just add that an individual may be both gifted and on the Autism Spectrum.

    If you're looking for links to more resources here are a few:
    1) Article on Davidson Database
    2) CDC summary of diagnostic criteria for ASD
    3) DSM-5 factsheet on ASD
    4) SENG article on misdiagnosis and dual diagnoses of gifted children
    5) 2e newsletter
    6) Hoagies Gifted Education Page

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    #220117 - 07/26/15 01:01 PM Re: Gifted or Aspergers? [Re: Flapperfeet]
    DeeDee Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    Despite the stereotype, it is very important to note that *most* people with Asperger's have average or near-average intelligence.

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    #220118 - 07/26/15 01:10 PM Re: Gifted or Aspergers? [Re: DeeDee]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: DeeDee
    Despite the stereotype, it is very important to note that *most* people with Asperger's have average or near-average intelligence.


    I thought the definition (before the DSM-V) was that intelligence had to be above average.

    I could be wrong and I only have a DSM-V on me here in the office.

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    #220119 - 07/26/15 01:14 PM Re: Gifted or Aspergers? [Re: Flapperfeet]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics

    Isn't there also an issue with ADHD-hyperfocus vs. autism obsessive fascination?

    I'm just throwing that out as an issue here.

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    #220123 - 07/26/15 04:46 PM Re: Gifted or Aspergers? [Re: JonLaw]
    DeeDee Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    Originally Posted By: JonLaw
    Originally Posted By: DeeDee
    Despite the stereotype, it is very important to note that *most* people with Asperger's have average or near-average intelligence.


    I thought the definition (before the DSM-V) was that intelligence had to be above average.


    DSM-IV: "There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self help skills, adaptive behavior (other than in social interaction) and curiosity about the environment in childhood."

    That is, no significant cognitive impairment. People with Asperger's could be average or above average. (There is still a bell curve in play; we are just slicing off the leftmost portion of it.) If cognition as measured by IQ was significantly below average, they were more likely to be diagnosed with Autism (Kanner autism) instead. Of course, this all changed with DSM-V.

    The idea that all people with Asperger's are "geniuses" is misguided and fairly unhelpful in practice.

    Sometimes they appear more intelligent than they are because of their tendency to master large bodies of factual material that interests them.

    Sometimes they are EG or PG; but it's a small percentage of the population.

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    #220132 - 07/26/15 10:24 PM Re: Gifted or Aspergers? [Re: Flapperfeet]
    Gwen Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/07/14
    Posts: 10
    In my DH's case (who has recently been diagnosed with ASD - old Asperger's diagnosis) while he is quite bright (gifted not sure as he's never been tested) he has no clue about social rules (what's appropriate or not etc) and really suffers from Echolalia.

    Ive had close watch on this issue since we have a son (and the heritability of ASD as DH's father also has it). PG/EG runs in my family and DS has been assessed as being PG. He's completely fine so far in social situations as long as he has a connection and doesn't have Echolalia at all.

    I did a lot of reading when he was younger as he started to read at 2.5yrs old and came across some research that mentioned 1/3 of kids who read that early would exhibit ASD-like symptoms but they would disappear around the time of starting school.

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