What are/were the symptoms associated with Asperger's syndrome in you or a relative?
Share your story with others:
MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.
What are the signs and symptoms of Asperger's syndrome?
Social-behavioral symptoms can begin as early as infancy. Characteristic
differences are seen in social development, but these changes are hard to
identify in toddlers and may be attributed to another condition or not perceived
as abnormal. Most cases of Asperger's syndrome are identified when the child is
school-aged or older; studies have shown an average age at diagnosis of 11
years. Some of the symptoms that may be present are:
lack of social awareness;
lack of interest in socializing/making friends;
difficulty making and sustaining friendships;
inability to infer the thoughts, feelings, or emotions of others;
either gazing too intently or avoiding eye contact;
lack of changing facial expression, or use of exaggerated facial
lack of use or comprehension of gestures;
inability to perceive nonverbal cues or communications;
failure to respect interpersonal boundaries;
unusually sensitive to noises, touch, odors, tastes, or visual stimuli;
inflexibility and over-adherence to or dependence on routines; and
stereotypical and repetitive motor patterns such as hand flapping or arm
Another defining characteristic of Asperger's syndrome is the presence of
perseverative and obsessive interests in special topics (such as cars or trains,
or even more narrow topics such as vacuum cleaners), which may be of little
interest to others.
These interests are unusually repetitive and intense when compared to other
Specific or narrow interests remain the focus of the child's interest and
conversation in spite of efforts to redirect the child's attention.
Language development in children with Asperger's syndrome is generally normal,
in contrast to other autistic conditions. Children with Asperger's syndrome have
normal scores on tests for language function involving vocabulary, syntax, and
grammar. In fact, some experts believe the presence of normal language
development distinguishes Asperger's syndrome from high-functioning autism.
However, the use or application of language skills is altered in people with
Their speech may be disorganized or not relevant to the discussion, or they
may focus too intently on their defined area of interest (see above) in
conversations. The child may switch topics for no apparent reason in conversation, often in an attempt to steer the conversation toward his or her area of interest.
Changes in voice and speaking (for example, speaking too loudly or dramatically,
using an invariant tone or incorrect intonation, loud pitch, or speaking too rapidly or too slowly) can also
Language may be interpreted literally, and difficulties can arise with
interpreting language in a specific context.
There are difficulties with understanding the subtle use of language, such as irony or
In school, children with Asperger's syndrome tend to excel with the rote
learning often required in the early grades. As they get older, they may have
more difficulties in school due to the nature of reading comprehension and
written assignments. Special education support is sometimes, but not always,
Sometimes, people with Asperger disorder have other associated psychiatric
conditions or may show behaviors that are typical for other conditions. Some
common associated conditions include the following (but these are not always
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Oppositional defiant disorder or other disruptive behavior disorders