Since Hans Asperger’s first description (Arch Psych Nervenkrankh 117:76–136, 1944), through Lorna Wing’s translation and definition (Psychol Med 11:115–129, 1981), to its introduction in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM, 1994), Asperger Syndrome has always aroused huge interest and debate, until vanishing in the DSM fifth edition (2013). The debate regarded its diagnostic validity and its differentiation from high functioning autism (HFA). The present study aimed to examine whether AS differed from HFA in clinical profiles and to analyze the impact of DSM-5’s innovation. Differences in cognitive, language, school functioning and comorbidities, were revealed when 80 AS and 70 HFA patients (3–18 years) were compared. Results suggested that an AS empirical distinction within autism spectrum disorder should be clinically useful.
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