Asperger Syndrome

Head | Neurology | Asperger Syndrome (Disease)


Asperger syndrome (AS), is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with major difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It’s different from other autism spectrum disorders by maintaining linguistic and cognitive development.

Causes and Risk factors

The exact cause is unknown. There is a possible connection to autism, and genetic factors may play a role. The condition appears to be more common in boys than in girls. People with Asperger do not withdraw from the world in the way that people with autism do.

They will often approach other people. However, their problems with speech and language in a social setting often lead to isolation. Their body language may be off, they may speak in a monotone, and may not respond to other peoples comments or emotions, may not understand sarcasm or humor, or they may take a figure of speech literally. They do not recognize the need to change the volume of their voice in different settings. They have problems with eye contact, facial expressions, body postures, or gestures (nonverbal communication).

Children with Asperger syndrome may show delays in motor development, and unusual physical behaviors, such as: delays in being able to ride a bicycle, catch a ball, or climb play equipment; clumsiness when walking or doing other activities; repetitive behaviors, in which they sometimes injure themselves; repetitive finger flapping, twisting, or whole body movements.

Anxiety or depression may develop during adolescence and young adulthood. Physical, emotional, and mental tests are done to rule out other causes and look more closely for signs of this syndrome.

Diagnosis and Treatment

There is no single best treatment for all children with Asperger syndrome. Most experts feel that the earlier treatment is started, the better.

Children with Aspergers syndrome may be able to learn the unwritten rules of socialization and communication when taught in an explicit and rote fashion, much like the way students learn foreign languages. Children with Aspergers syndrome may also learn how to speak in a more natural rhythm, as well as how to interpret communication techniques, such as gestures, eye contact, tone of voice, humor and sarcasm. ...