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Signs and Symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome

Asperger’s Syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that was first identified by physician Hans Asperger in 1944, but was only added to the DSM IV in 1994. As a result, many children have been misdiagnosed with Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and even Schizophrenia.

Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome can exhibit a variety of characteristics and the disorder can range from mild to severe. The most distinguishing characteristics are limited interests and an intense preoccupation with a particular subject to the exclusion of other activities. For instance, some children with Asperger’s Syndrome have become experts on trains, airplanes, garbage trucks, models of cars, even types of revolving doors and other odd topics.  We have put together a list of signs and symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome below.

The Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome include:

Unlike children with autism, children with Asperger’s have an extremely good command of language and a very rich vocabulary. This often makes them seem like “little professors”. However, children with Asperger’s Syndrome can become isolated because of their poor social skills and narrow interests.

Other markers for Asperger’s include a history of developmetal delays in motor skills such as climbing playground equipment, holding a pencil, or riding a bike. Many also have anxieties, fears, and phobias, and in the teenage years they can be prone to depression.


Diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome

Diagnostic Criteria for Asperger’s Disorder (DSM IV-TR)

A. Qualitive impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:

  1. Marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction
  2. Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental levels
  3. A lack of spontaneity in seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (ie. by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
  4. Lack of social or emotional reciprocity

B. Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:

  1. Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
  2. Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
  3. Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (ie. hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
  4. Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

C. The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning

D. There is no clinically significant general delay in language (ie. single words used by age 2 years, communicative phases used by age 3 years)

E. There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other than social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood

F. Criteria are not met for another Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Schizophrenia


Books for People or Children with Asperger’s Signs and Symptoms:

The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome
Tony Attwood\
Can I Tell You About Asperger Syndrome?: A Guide for Friends and Family
Jude Welton


Parenting a Child With Asperger Syndrome: 200 Tips and Strategies
Brenda Boyd
Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals
Tony Attwood

Asperger’s Syndrome Resources

General Patient Resources

  • OASIS & MAAP

The Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support (OASIS) center has joined with MAAP Services for Autism and Asperger Syndrome to create a single resource for families, individuals, and medical professionals who deal with the challenges of Asperger Syndrome, Autism, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder / Not Otherwise Specified (PDD/NOS).

http://www.aspergersyndrome.org/

  • Asperger’s Disorder Homepage

Discover the secrets to parenting your child with Asperger’s by R. Kaan Ozbayrak, MD.

http://www.aspergers.com/

  • Kids Health . org

A web site for parents, children and teens.

http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/brain/asperger.html

  • Med Help

MedHelp’s Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Help Forum. This forum is for help, questions and support regarding Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Autism–Aspergers-Syndrome/show/187

  • Psych Forums . com

Asperger’s Syndrome Forum : Asperger’s Syndrome message board, open discussion, and online support group.

http://www.psychforums.com/asperger-syndrome/



Medical Resources

  • Mayo Clinic

Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, treatment for this disorder affecting communication, social skills.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/aspergers-syndrome/DS00551

  • Web MD

Learn more about Asperger’s syndrome, a disorder that’s part of the autism spectrum which affects development in children.

http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/mental-health-aspergers-syndrome

  • Medline Plus

A service of the US National Library of Medicine.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001549.htm