Asperger Syndrome and high functioning autism (HFA) are often referred to as the same diagnosis. There has been great debate as to whether that diagnosis is necessary and recently the term “Asperger Syndrome” has been phased out. It all falls under the greater umbrella of Autism and is just acknowledged as varying levels of autism spectrum disorder. Individuals with HFA and AS have average or above average intelligence but may struggle with issues related to social interaction and communication. The diagnosis of either High Functioning Autism or Asperger Syndrome can oftentimes feel frustrating to a parent and the child as it may seem that the terms are not clearly defined. It is more important to focus on the specific challenges rather than the terminology.
One other thing that is important to acknowledge is that many parents are afraid of the diagnosis of autism which is completely understandable. No one wants their child to have a deficit. I will say though that if your child does have autism, getting the official diagnosis is not something to fear. It can help your child to receive all of the therapies and services that can help to create better outcomes for them in the future. Some parents also feel relief in getting the diagnosis which is completely normal in that you finally have an answer.