Can You Fix Asperger’s?

  • Medical Reviewer: Dany Paul Baby, MD
Medically Reviewed on 5/16/2022

What is Asperger’s syndrome? 

Asperger's syndrome is a developmental disability that affects a person's behavior and way of communicating. While there isn't a cure for Asperger's or any other Autism Spectrum Disorder, there are ways to manage it.
Asperger's syndrome is a developmental disability that affects a person's behavior and way of communicating. While there isn't a cure for Asperger's or any other Autism Spectrum Disorder, there are ways to manage it.

People with Asperger’s have normal intelligence and language development levels, but they often find it challenging to socialize and communicate. You may be left wanting to know what is the best treatment for Asperger’s. 

Many professionals began using the phrase “high-functioning autism” to describe Asperger’s. In 2013, Asperger’s was placed under the larger umbrella of diagnoses that we know today as  Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Asperger’s syndrome is a developmental disability that affects a person’s behavior and way of communicating. The name comes from that of pediatrician Hans Asperger, who was the first to describe the disorder in the 1940s. Asperger noticed that many of the signs were similar to the ones generally first seen in children with autism, only milder. 

What are the common signs of Asperger’s?

As mentioned, people with Asperger’s generally have a harder time communicating and socializing. They may find it difficult to understand certain social situations. For example, people with Asperger’s may themselves make a joke or be sarcastic but may not always pick up your humor or sarcasm. Those with Asperger’s tend to become fixated on certain interests to the point of obsession, which could interfere with their daily life.  

  • Other more specific behavior signs can include:
  • Odd speech patterns
  • Minimal facial expressions and lack of emotional understanding 
  • Unusual mannerisms 
  • Inappropriate or infrequent social interactions 
  • Inability to understand nonverbal ways of communicating (i.e., gestures or body language)
  • Hypersensitivity to sounds and light
  • Clumsiness or lack of coordination 
  • Hyperfixation on one or two specific subjects
  • Difficulty controlling emotions, which can lead to outbursts (verbal, physical, tantrums, or self-harm)
  • Easily memorizing certain information or facts
  • Dislike of change in routine

You may see different signs of Asperger’s, and they vary from person to person. One child with Asperger’s may have certain behaviors, while another may not and vice versa. The signs vary in level of severity for each person.  

What causes Asperger’s?

While there isn’t a single known cause for Asperger’s, studies have shown that genetics and environmental factors may play roles. 

Genetic disorders, such as Rett syndrome or  Fragile X syndrome, could link to Asperger’s and other Autism-Spectrum Disorders in some children. For others, it could be a genetic mutation that increases a child’s risk. Some genetic mutations are inherited, while others happen randomly.

Scientists are still trying to determine whether environmental factors like air pollutants, viruses, medications, and pregnancy complications are causes of Asperger’s. Extensive research has concluded, however, that Asperger’s is in no way linked to childhood vaccines.

Are there risk factors that contribute to Asperger’s?

Asperger’s can affect anyone and lasts throughout a person’s life. A professional can diagnose Asperger’s in your child as young as two years old, but a confirmed diagnosis often happens a few years later. 

Some risk factors include:

  • A child’s gender — Boys are three to four times more likely than girls to have it. 
  • Family history — Families that have one child with Asperger’s or another ASD are more likely to have another child with it.
  • Premature babies — Very premature infants (before 26 weeks of gestation) are at an increased risk.
  • Parents’ ages — Though not as well researched, some studies show that children with older parents are more likely to have Asperger’s or another ASD.  

According to the CDC, around one out of 44 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with Autism-Spectrum Disorder. A notable British psychologist who's known for his study of Asperger’s, Dr. Tony Atwood estimates that as many as 50% of people have undiagnosed Asperger’s.

How is Asperger’s diagnosed?

Asperger’s diagnosis has increased in recent years either because the disorder is widespread or because professionals can pinpoint it more definitively. The first step in diagnosis is to have a medical professional familiar with Asperger’s and other ASDs assess your child or family member. This often includes an overview of the person’s developmental history along with observation.  

The earlier, the better when it comes to diagnoses. A child with Asperger’s can receive treatment early and is likely to have an easier time managing it with age. Not only will they be more likely to succeed in school, but they may be able to live independently during their adult years.


Autism is a developmental disability. See Answer

What are some of the challenges of having Asperger’s? 

People with Asperger’s don’t always understand what others expect of them in a conversation. Therefore, they may repeat certain words or parts of what the other person has just said (also known as echolalia). This behavior is associated with trying to reduce stressful feelings when contributing to a conversation. Furthermore, they may need more time to process the information you're giving them in that conversation.

People with Asperger’s and other forms of autism have difficulty reading your feelings and emotions. Expressing their own feelings can be challenging, and you might think they lack empathy. However, the truth is people with Asperger’s are often more emotionally aware than non-autistic people — it’s just hard for them to show it.

People with Asperger’s sometimes go through sensory overload where they isolate themselves from others to cope. They may not go to you for comfort or guidance and may act in ways that you might find socially inappropriate. For this reason, children with Asperger’s may be victims of bullying. As adults, they may have trouble in the workplace if they haven’t found a way to manage their behaviors.

People with Asperger’s generally want to fit in and have everyday interactions. However, they just may feel too socially awkward or don’t understand how to go about it.

Do people with Asperger’s display any strengths?

While living with Asperger’s can be challenging, living a full and happy life is far from impossible. People with Asperger’s are known for being highly gifted in certain areas. They can learn to overcome their challenges and utilize them as strengths. 

Children with Asperger’s can have conversations in their school classes with peers and teachers. They tend to do well in their studies as they usually focus on one or two specific subjects. They can put a lot of dedication to their passions, making them more likely to succeed. 

Some other strengths of people with Asperger’s include:

  • Their honesty
  • Being fair and just
  • Having good memories 
  • Their attention to detail
  • Their unique sense of humor

What is the best treatment for Asperger's?

While there isn’t a cure for Asperger’s or any other Autism Spectrum Disorder, there are ways to manage it. The earlier your child or family member is diagnosed, the easier it is to intervene with supportive measures. 

Treatment options include:

  • Behavioral and communication therapy teaches children new skills and ways to communicate.
  • Educational therapy, as children with Asperger’s usually thrive in structured settings.
  • Family therapy so parents and other family members can learn to effectively interact with their loved ones and address their unique behaviors.
  • Medications can help control certain symptoms like hyperactivity or anxiety.

Final thoughts

Despite the challenges Asperger’s may bring, it’s important to recognize that living with it does not negatively affect life. People with Asperger’s are unique and bright people who, more often than not, learn how to manage their behaviors. They use these skills to their benefit, thrive in society, and accomplish great things. 

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Medically Reviewed on 5/16/2022

Asperger/Autism Network: "Asperger Profiles: Prevalence," "Looking Through an Asperger Profile Lens: Possible Strengths"

Autism Society: "Asperger's Syndrome"

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Autism and Vaccines," "Autism Spectrum Disorder, Family Health History, and Genetics," "Data & Statistics on Autism Spectrum Disorder," "What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?"

National Autistic Society: "Asperger syndrome and other terms"

Nationwide Children’s Hospital: "Asperger's Syndrome"