We tend to talk about ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) because Autism, Asperger's, PDD-NOS are considered to be part of the larger Autism Spectrum and they share a body of symptoms.
My son has been dx'ed mild PDD-NOS and he is very high functioning, but we have been able to help him a great deal. I have found that the most important thing is knowing the specifics about my particular child and how to treat the symptoms he has. In his case, he is profoundly oversensitive in both touch and hearing, and so Occupational Therapy has been invaluable for him, plus just knowing that he needs earplugs for loud sporting events, soft clothing, etc. etc. He has trouble with knowing what others are thinking, so he has been in therapy both one-on-one and in small groups of children to work on understanding others and he has made terrific progress. He has also had trouble with behavior, mostly because he gets confused by social cues, and his school has implemented a behavioral plan that breaks things down for him and spells out expectations so that he feels more in control. And we have also been able to find some medication that has helped with some of his symptoms as well. These are just a few of the many ways a child with Asperger's can be helped.
Many parents on this board have children with Asperger's, and if you would like to write more specifically about what concerns you have about your child, we would be glad to respond with BTDT advice. This is a great board for asking questions, getting and giving support and just venting.
hmmmm well Aspergers is a developmental "disability" on the autism spectrum. In fact the next version of the manual may take out Aspergers and lump it in with autism spectrum disorders because that is what it is.
My feeling on the matter is this. If a person is having significant autism symptoms that is affecting at least one life funtion (school, social activities, family living, etc) and they need supports and services to help with that then they need a diagnosis and the supports it can provide then you should seek diagnosis. Basically this is the definition of a disability.
On the other hand if a person is quirky, a bit different or awkward but is it not affecting their daily living (ie they can attend school, social group activities, family functions without needing extra support) they they do not need a diagnosis and it is not then a disability because it does not disable them from various life activities. A diagnosis isn't neccessary unless these symptoms start to affect life activities.
Does that make sense?