Autism Home > Asperger's Syndrome

Asperger's syndrome is one of a distinct group of neurological conditions known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Asperger's syndrome is most easily distinguished by a child's obsessive interest in a single object or topic to the exclusion of any other. Children with Asperger's syndrome usually have a history of developmental delays in motor skills such as climbing outdoor play equipment, pedaling a bike, or catching a ball. Unlike children with autism, those with Asperger's syndrome retain their early language skills.

What Is Asperger's Syndrome?

Asperger's syndrome -- also known as Asperger syndrome -- is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), one of a distinct group of neurological conditions characterized by impairments in language and communication skills, as well as repetitive or restrictive patterns of thought and behavior.
 
Other autism spectrum disorders include:
 
Children with Asperger's syndrome retain their early language skills, unlike children with autism.
 

Asperger's Syndrome Symptoms

The most distinguishing symptom of Asperger's syndrome is a child's obsessive interest in a single object or topic to the exclusion of any other. Children with Asperger's syndrome want to know everything about their topic of interest and their conversations with others will be about little else.
 
Children with Asperger's syndrome may display expertise, advanced vocabulary, and formal speech patterns make them seem like little professors. Other characteristics of Asperger's syndrome include:
 
  • Problems with nonverbal communication
  • Clumsy and uncoordinated motor movements
  • Repetitive routines or rituals
  • Peculiarities in speech and language
  • Socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior and the inability to interact successfully with peers.
     
Children with Asperger's syndrome may become isolated as a result of their poor social skills and narrow interests. They may engage in inappropriate or eccentric behavior, or only want to talk about their singular interest. Children with Asperger's syndrome usually have a history of developmental delays in motor skills such as climbing outdoor play equipment, pedaling a bike, or catching a ball. They are often awkward and poorly coordinated, with a walk that can appear either stilted or bouncy.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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