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What is Asperger's syndrome?

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According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Asperger's syndrome is a form of autism that is expressed through speech and language difficulties and repeated behavior patterns. It is a neurological disease that can be diagnosed during early childhood development, usually by age 2 if testing is done, although many children are not diagnosed until they begin to socialize with other children.

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NINDS states that many children with Asperger's are very active when they are young, but they can have problems with motor skills development. They tend to focus on a few specific topics of interest and can become obsessed with these topics, wanting to talk about them constantly and learn as much about them as possible.

Scientists believe that Asperger's syndrome causes neurological differences within the brain. Studies have shown brain activity is different in certain areas in children with Asperger's than in children who don't have the diagnosis, states NINDS.

According to Asperger Autism Spectrum Education Network, typical behaviors seen in children with Asperger's include having superior intellectual recall, environmental sensitivities to things such as loud music or clothing, inappropriate social behavior and difficulty socializing with children their own age. They may also have quite a large vocabulary as reading skills can develop quite early.

Asperger's syndrome was first diagnosed by Dr. Hans Asperger, a Vietnamese physician, in the 1940s, states Autism Society. He noticed that boys of normal intelligence displayed communication and social integration problems even though they had normal language skills.

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