Asperger’s syndrome and autism cannot be clearly distinguished from one another.
All of the people diagnosed with autism (early childhood autism, Asperger’s syndrome, high-functioning autism, atypical autism …) are far too different to be divided into two (or three or four) categories could. Or more precisely: You can do it. Any criterion can be used, e.g. the number of points on an IQ test. A person with 80 IQ points is considered high-functioning, one with 79 points is considered low-functioning. Or language: a child who speaks at age two is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, and one who speaks at age three is diagnosed with early childhood autism. (See also: “Asperger’s Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism: Is There a Difference?”.)
But what relevance do these criteria have? Today autism is mostly viewed as a seamless continuum, and in a few years the different categories in the diagnostic manuals may be replaced by an Autism Spectrum Diagnosis.
Autism is not the result of emotional neglect, emotional stress, abuse, trauma, or refrigerator mothers.
The theory that autism is caused by cold, unemotional mothers originated in the 1950s when mothers were by default blamed for when their children were not what society wanted them to be. Today we know: You can raise a non-autistic child as well as you want, it will never become autistic