Adults who show a repetitive, limited pattern of activities and behaviors, along with a significant, chronic difficulty engaging socially with other people, are exhibiting symptoms of Asperger's disorder. The disorder begins in childhood but often goes undiagnosed until adulthood, notes Psych Central.
Diagnosticians look for at least two of the following when identifying difficulty with social interactions: failure to develop peer friendships; a failure to show appropriate emotional and social reactions, such as when talking to or playing with other people; difficulty in using multiple nonverbal engagement behaviors simultaneously, such as eye contact, facial expressions and gestures; and a lack of spontaneous desire to share achievements or interests with others, as stated by Psych Central.
In the case of repetitive, limited patterns of behavior, adults with Asperger's disorder generally have at least one of these symptoms: a persistent interest in the parts of objects; repetitive motor movements such as finger or hand twisting or flapping, or movements involving the whole body; inflexible fidelity to specific routines or rituals that seem meaningless; and an important and ongoing obsession with a limited topic, such as basketball statistics or hurricanes. Unlike other forms of autism, people with Asperger's do not show a significant delay in speech or cognitive development, although it does cause impaired functioning in the workplace and in social relationships, according to Psych Central.