Asperger syndrome is a term that is sometimes used to describe a developmental disorder that is part of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). People with this type of RAS tend to have difficulty interacting socially with others. They tend to have very specific routines, have a narrow range of interests, and act in repetitive ways, such as clapping their hands.
Doctors sometimes refer to Asperger’s syndrome as a ‘high-functioning’ type of RAS, meaning that its symptoms are usually not as severe as other types of autism spectrum disorder
History of Asperger’s syndrome
Asperger’s syndrome was named after Hans Asperger, a physician from Vienna during the Nazi Party’s reign. In the 1940s, Asperger was the first to draw attention to the pattern of social problems in some children under his care that now defines the disorder. Much of the information that experts know today about Asperger’s syndrome comes from the writings of Hans Asperger.
Some argue that Asperger created language to describe children with higher levels of autism to save them from Nazi policies. But new research shows a much more complex picture of how the label has harmed people and even led to the deaths of some children.
Symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome
Asperger’s symptoms show up at an early age. Most are diagnosed between the ages of 5 and 9, although some people become adults before they are diagnosed. No two people have the same symptoms. But they are usually related to emotional, communication, and behavioral skills.
People with the disorder may:
- Experience difficulty with eye contact
- Feel and behave awkwardly on social networks
- Experience difficulty responding to people in conversation
- Overlook social cues that other people think are obvious
- Not understanding what facial expressions mean
- Show little emotion
- Speaking in a flat, robotic tone.
- Talk a lot about one topic, such as rocks or soccer statistics.
- Repeat words, phrases or movements
- Dislike change
Symptoms of Asperger’s in adults
No symptoms are specific to adults, although some are more common, including:
- Weak speech skills
- Obsession with a single topic
- Social difficulties, difficulty adapting socially