Asperger’s Syndrome

Asperger’s Syndrome is a form of autism, a life-long disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to other people.

A number of traits of autism are common to people with Asperger’s Syndrome although they have less difficulty with language and do not have accompanying learning disabilities, having average or above average intelligence.

Because of this many children with Asperger’s Syndrome enter mainstream school and with the correct level of support and encouragement can make good progress and go on to further education and employment.  Some adults don’t even get a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome until later in life, commonly this is due to the fact they have been employing coping mechanisms to disguise the deficits they have and have played to their strengths to get by.

Above all it must be remembered that each person with Asperger’s Syndrome is an individual and the following characteristics will vary greatly and some may be more apparent than others.

 

Key Characteristics

Difficulty with social relationships

Unlike ‘classic’ autism many people with Asperger’s Syndrome try hard to be sociable and do not dislike human contact. However, they still find it hard to understand non-verbal signs, tones of voice and facial expressions.

Difficulty with communication

People with Asperger’s Syndrome are often fluent speakers but may not take much notice of the reaction of people listening to them. They may sound over-precise or interpret literally. As a result jokes, idiomatic language and metaphors can cause problems.

Lack of Imagination

While they can often excel at learning facts and figures, people with Asperger’s Syndrome find it hard to think in abstract ways.

Special Interest/ Love of Routines

People with Asperger’s Syndrome often develop obsessional interests. This usually involves arranging or memorising facts about a specialist subject. Unexpected changes in routine can be upsetting and can make them anxious or upset.

Recommended Reading

Martian in the Playground: Understanding the Schoolchild with Asperger’s by Clare Sainsbury  ISBN: 978-1849200004

Parenting a Child with Asperger Syndrome: 200 Tips and Strategies by Brenda Boyd  ISBN: 978-1843101376

The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome by Tony Attwood  ISBN: 978-1843106692

All Cats Have Asperger’s Syndrome by Kathy Hoopmann  ISBN: 978-1935543237

Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence by Tony Attwood and Luke Jackson  ISBN: 978-1843100980

Useful Links

What is the difference between Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism?

What is Asperger’s Syndrome?

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