The diagnostic criteria for Asperger's disorder include significant and ongoing social impairment, repetitive or restricted behavior or activity patterns, and significant impairment in important areas of functioning, such as work, according to Psych Central. Patients with Asperger's experience no significant delay in cognitive or language development.
To receive a diagnosis for Asperger’s, an adult or child must demonstrate at least two symptoms of impairment in social interactions, as stated by Psych Central. These include significant difficulty with nonverbal communication such as posture and eye contact; the inability to develop friendships in the same age range; the inability to express appropriate social and emotional reactions; and the failure to spontaneously share interests and enjoyment with others. The individual must also experience at least one symptom involving restricted or repetitive patterns. These symptoms include inflexible adherence to seemingly purposeless routines, repetitive motor mannerisms, an obsession with a few restricted topics and an occupation with object parts.
The set of symptoms the individual expresses must cause significant occupational, social or other type of impairment, according to Psych Central. Early signs of Asperger's in children include a preoccupation with letters or numbers, inappropriate interactions and relationships with non-family members, and early development of speaking skills.