The Orange County Asperger's Support Group
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© The Orange County Asperger's Support Group, 2011. All rights reserved.
OCASG provides support for Orange County adults, children and their families who are dealing with the three high-functioning autism spectrum disorders: Asperger’s Syndrome (AS), High-Functioning Autism (HFA) and PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified). According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), these are all Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). (See CDC at ASDs are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communicative and behavioral challenges. People with ASDs handle information in their brain differently than other people. 

ASDs are “spectrum disorders.” That means ASDs affect each person in different ways, and can range from very mild to severe. People with ASDs share some similar symptoms, such as problems with social interaction. But there are differences in when the symptoms start, how severe they are and the exact nature of the symptoms. 

There are three different types of ASDs:

Autistic Disorder
This is what most people think of when hearing the word “autism.” People with autistic disorder usually have significant language delays, social and communication challenges, and unusual behaviors and interests. Many people with autistic disorder also have intellectual disability. High Functioning Autism (HFA) is a term applied to autistic people who are deemed to be "higher functioning" than other autistic people, by one or more metrics. The amount of overlap between HFA and Asperger Syndrome is disputed. Some researchers argue that the two are distinct diagnostic entities, others argue that they are indistinguishable.

Asperger's Syndrome
People with Asperger syndrome usually have some milder symptoms of autistic disorder. They might have social challenges and unusual behaviors and interests. However, they typically do not have problems with language or intellectual disability.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS; also called “atypical autism”)
People who meet some of the criteria for autistic disorder or Asperger's syndrome, but not all, may be diagnosed with PDD-NOS. People with PDD-NOS usually have fewer and milder symptoms than those with autistic disorder. The symptoms might cause only social and communication challenges.

There are many good web sites with information about Asperger’s, HFA and PDD-NOS. The web provides a wealth of information.

For general ASD signs and symptoms, please click here:

For information about Orange County resources, visit the FAN website, Family Autism Network:   You'll find educational and support opportunities on the OC Autism Event Calendar, and links to local and national resources. FAN also provides help locating local Orange County programs or services and volunteer opportunities.  

The Regional Center of Orange County (RCOC) is a private, nonprofit organization contracted by the State of California to coordinate lifelong services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. 

For Living with Autism information and resources, visit National Autism Society
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Copyright 2015-2016, The Orange County Asperger's Support Group

What are Asperger's Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism?
The Orange County Asperger’s Support Group (OCASG) provides possible resources for parents and adults that have been recommended to us. . The information comes from a variety of sources in the community and OCASG does not independently verify any of it. It is not endorsed by OCASG, nor does it necessarily reflect the opinions of OCASG. We welcome your comments and encourage you to contribute by forwarding your resources to OCASG.
Suggested Reading List:

The Ultimate Autism Resource Guide was newly released by Amy Tobik, editor of Autism Parenting Magazine; a free copy may be obtained here:

Parallel Play: Growing Up with Undiagnosed Asperger’s, by Tim Page
An affecting memoir of life as a boy who didn’t know he had Asperger’s syndrome until he became a man. Pulitzer Prize-winning music critic at The Washington Post, Tim Page was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of 45.

The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome, by Tony Attwood
Essential reading for families and individuals affected by Asperger's Syndrome as well as teachers.

Social Skills and Adaptive Behavior in Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder, by Peter Gerhardt
First-hand insights from individuals on the autism spectrum and their family members and service providers, who provide balanced perspectives on today's research trends and practices. This book will help readers understand what really advances the social skills and behavior of students with autism.

A Consumer’s Guide to the Lanterman Act (52 pgs.) – The Lanterman Act is a California law passed in 1977 that gives people with developmental disabilities (including autism) the right to services and supports that enable them to live a more independent and normal life. 

Free online self-diagnosis of Aspergers using the Autism Spectrum Quotient “AQ Test” developed by Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen at the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University. Website also provides a free course on all aspects of Aspergers, plus additional resource information. 

Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen also developed the Empathy Quotient “EQ Test” that is often taken together with the “AQ Test”.