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Encyclopedia > High Functioning Autism

High-functioning autism (HFA) is the condition of individuals who display symptoms of autism and are able to function close to a normal level in society. Generally, the social difficulties created by their autism do not adversely impact their ability to interact with others on a day-to-day basis. They may simultaneously benefit from some of the more positive aspects of autism. For example, they may have the ability to focus intensely and for long periods on a difficult problem. Asperger's syndrome is sometimes used in the same thought as HFA, and the exact difference between autism, Asperger's syndrome, and HFA varies from person to person. Autism is classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests itself in markedly abnormal social interaction, communication ability, patterns of interests, and patterns of behavior. ... Asperger described his patients as little professors. Aspergers syndrome (AS, or the more common shorthand Aspergers), is characterized as one of the five pervasive developmental disorders, and is commonly referred to as a form of high functioning autism. ...

In general, people with HFA tend to make fairly frequent social faux pas involving an inability to predict another party's thoughts, feelings or reactions to something possibly said, much like someone with autism might do. However, these difficulties do not manifest to the extent of full autism or Asperger's syndrome. People with HFA are sometimes articulate, intelligent, gifted, and hard workers when interested in a task, and excellent problem solvers - although people with HFA can be extreme procrastinators. Furthermore, they may appear somewhat removed or disconnected at times, especially in situations of sensory overload, or extreme perceived social pressure such as a party. A faux pas, (IPA , plural: faux pas ) (French for false step) is a violation of accepted, although unwritten, social rules. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Sensory overload (sometimes abbreviated to SO) is when one or more of the five senses are strained and it becomes difficult to focus on the task at hand. ...

See also

There are many controversies about functioning labels in the autism spectrum. ...


  • Autism Research Center: The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) — A self-administered test for High-Functioning Autism (HFA): S. Baron-Cohen, S. Wheelwright, R. Skinner, J. Martin and E. Clubley, (2001), The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) : Evidence from Asperger Syndrome/High Functioning Autism, Males and Females, Scientists and Mathematicians. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 31:5-17.



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