What Is Asperger Syndrome?


Quick Answer

According to WebMD, Asperger's syndrome is a mild developmental disorder similar to autism. Asperger's syndrome is less debilitating than autism, and individuals who suffer from Asperger's syndrome are better able to function in society. Both Asperger's syndrome and autism belong to a group of disorders called pervasive developmental disorders.

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What Is Asperger Syndrome?
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Full Answer

People with Asperger's syndrome often show symptoms such as maladaptive social skills, repetitive or odd behavior, coordination problems, strange rituals, limited interests, communication difficulties and savantism. Persons who suffer from Asperger's syndrome often speak in strictly literal terms. There is some evidence that suggests genetic factors are involved in the development of Asperger's syndrome.

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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