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High Function Autism or HFA as well as Asperger’s Syndrome are the two forms of autism that are really considered as mild and there is no real official method to diagnose High Function Autism or HFA so far. A child with HFA will probably develop many symptoms of Autism and maybe even all the symptoms of autism but they are to be displayed in a really mild form and thus the child with HFA is able to function perfectly well under most circumstances except for just a few.
There are many symptoms that can be seen in a victim of HFA in particular like people who have HFA do not understand the perspective of a speaker most of the times i.e. they fail to get the humor or irony or mockery in the tone of the speaker and thus have a difficulty in understanding others language at times. Some of these people, especially the adults may have a great vocabulary of words but they speak in a very monotonous way or in a high-pitched voice which will appear to be very awkward.
Those that have HFA find it very difficult to keep eye contact with another person and at the same time have trouble getting body postures and various communicative gestures. Such a person might be extremely sensitive to smells, sounds, textures, colors, lighting and various other forms of sensory stimuli which appear to be not a bother for most people and this causes the victims pain and distress. Whereas some of those with HFA will be unable to feel heat or cold or any sort of pain which can be a very dangerous aspect as this might lead to self-injury.
Children and adults with High Function Autism will tend to follow strict routines and a change in that will often cause violent outbursts or at least a lot of anxiety. But even doing a routine job can make them extremely panicky which is very hard to understand for the other people that surround him or her. Some adults with HFA will show interest just in one particular subject and will thus have a very narrow interest zone. They would like to talk just about this topic and will be repetitive.
There are many similarities to be found between those that have HFA and the ones having Asperger’s Syndrome. Both the groups respond to therapy better than the other groups of autistic people and they sometimes tend to have a higher or average intelligence level which is not be seen in the other groups as autism causes mental retardation is most cases.
A person is diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified or PDD-NOS when the person or rather the child displays some of the symptoms of autism but not all the autistic symptoms and when the symptoms can not be enlisted in any other category of disorders. Often times PDD-NOS is thought of as being the same as HFA but the symptoms of this can not really correlate with autistic symptoms. Even though HFA is a form of autism PDD-NOS can not be called so.