Advertisement

What is Asperger's syndrome?

Asperger's syndrome, a mild autism spectrum disorder, causes developmental problems in affected children. It is grouped as an autistic spectrum disorder due to the child's difficulty in social interaction with others. Because of this grouping, the term Asperger syndrome, or Asperger's, is a term that is no longer used as a formal diagnosis.

Asperger syndrome (AS) is considered a pervasive developmental disorder at the higher functioning end of the autism spectrum. It is characterized by sustained impairment in social interaction and the development of restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests and activities. In contrast to autism, there are no obvious delays in language or cognitive development, or in age-appropriate self-help skills and adaptive behaviors though there are subtle impairments.

Source: Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD)

*Asperger syndrome, or Asperger's, is a term that is no longer used as a formal diagnosis. In current diagnostic criteria, the syndrome is included under the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders.

Asperger’s syndrome is sometimes referred to as “mild autism,” meaning it’s on the higher-functioning end of the spectrum. Still, impairments and symptoms may range from mild to severe. Children with Asperger’s syndrome primarily have trouble with social and communication skills, but their intelligence levels are generally average to superior. As adults, many have satisfying careers and successful relationships; some have written books about their disorder. It’s often rumored that Albert Einstein had Asperger’s, and there are compelling arguments for this, but diagnosing long-gone figures is notoriously difficult.

From The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

More About this Book

The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do! "Moms and dads need expert guidelines, especially when it comes to their kids' health. This book reveals the inside strategies I use myself-I'm a parent,...
Dr. Michael J. Mufson, MD
Psychiatrist (Therapist)

Asperger's syndrome is at the high end of a spectrum of neurointegrative disorders that also includes autism. The condition is characterized by difficulty with communication and social interaction, as well as inflexible or repetitive behavior. Because of these traits, children with Asperger's syndrome can become extremely anxious, especially when the disorder is not recognized early and treated appropriately.

Continue Learning about Autism

Do You Know the Earliest Signs of Autism?
Do You Know the Earliest Signs of Autism?
While many children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) don't show signs until well into toddlerhood, there's good evidence some clues may be observ...
Read More
How do medications help to treat Asperger's syndrome?
Sigma NursingSigma Nursing
Medication can help to reduce the symptoms like anxiety in a child with Asperger's syndrome. Selecti...
More Answers
Autism and Food Aversion: How to Help Your Picky Eater
Autism and Food Aversion: How to Help Your Picky EaterAutism and Food Aversion: How to Help Your Picky EaterAutism and Food Aversion: How to Help Your Picky EaterAutism and Food Aversion: How to Help Your Picky Eater
Our tips can help you cope with your picky eater and avoid mealtime meltdowns.
Start Slideshow
What Is the Neurobiology of Autism?
What Is the Neurobiology of Autism?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.