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Asperger's Syndrome (AS) has many characteristics in common with autism and is thus viewed as a variant of it. It is a neurological condition. If a person has an IQ under 70, it is typically labeled as autism. If a person has average or above average IQ, it is typically labeled as AS. Asperger's Syndrome is also known as high-functioning autism, although there is some disagreement about whether they truly are the same. Some people describe AS as a mild version of autism, but actually it is just as severe. (The conditions are similar but have differences, and both autism and AS can range from mild to severe.) One difference is that the people with Asperger's Syndrome have better language abilities and typically have higher intelligence; thus, they might be more able to compensate to function in society.

Here is a list of some of the possible signs or symptoms in those who have AS (many of which are also common to autism), compiled from several sources. No person with AS has all these traits, and they do not have them at the same levels. Some traits are opposites, but stem from the same underlying issue. Although neuro-typical people (ones without an autism spectrum disorder) might experience some of these characteristics, the problems are usually tenfold to a hundredfold worse for the person with AS or autism. These characteristics are based on observation of males with AS; it is thought that females could exhibit AS in different ways because they might react to the same difficulty in a different manner. In adults, some of these traits only occur in specific situations or when under stress. Compensating for some traits and learning ways to do some things can be accomplished with explicit instructions. Some of these characteristics usually occur only in children because adults have learned to compensate through trial and error or observation of other people. Some of these characteristics are comparisons to the development of neuro-typical children.

Social interactions

- seems content when left alone

- does not understand social cues and thus might act inappropriately, appearing rude, uncaring, and tactless

- might be able to function in one-to-one interactions but not with multiple people

- has strong sense of loyalty; very loyal to friends

- has strong sense of social justice; tends to defend others and causes

- achieves social success by intellectual analysis rather than intuition

- often has a sense of humor as an adult that is not frequently understood by others, often a very dry sense of humor

- might or might not desire friendships; most seem to desire friendships but the stress involved makes them decide it is not worth it

Child development:

- does not play turn-taking games

- is more likely to play by him- or herself, or next to other children, than with them

- uses adult's hand as a tool

- does not interact socially with same age group; indifference to peer contacts; difficulties interacting with peers

Verbal communication

- rarely initiates communication; might speak only when discussing favorite subjects (special interests)

- when trying to participate in conversations, it might seem odd or awkward; does not know how to keep a conversation going

- understands and uses words literally, resulting in misinterpretations; might not understand idiomatic expressions and metaphors; might not pick up double meanings; might not understand subtle satire and irony; might not understand when exaggeration is being used; is often the last person to understand the point of a joke

- discusses objects and facts, not feelings

- might sound overly formal or excessively technical; pedantic; includes too much detail

- is more comfortable writing than speaking; more comfortable in situations where body language is not an issue, such as in the dark or back-to-back

Child development:

- fails to imitate actions or sounds

- might have echolalia - repeats or echoes words and phrases just heard

- might have delayed language acquisition; might have precocious language acquisition

Nonverbal communication

- eye contact is limited/fleeting, staring, or otherwise seems atypical; might make appropriate eye contact when talking but look away when listening or processing an answer; more likely to look at mouth than eyes

- has atypical body language; does not accurately express intents, thoughts, and feelings via nonverbal language

- might not use gestures; gestures might seem stilted or clumsy; gestures might be exaggerated

Child development:

- has a deficit in joint attention; does not point at object to share interest and does not realize that gaze should be directed where other person is pointing

Relating to surroundings (including change)

- is upset by or resists changes; inflexible; desires predictability; should be warned about changes to environment and routines

- develops rigid routines; prefers to know rules for all situations; seemingly simple activities that are not part of the routine, such as going out to eat, can be extraordinarily stressful

- might be reluctant to enter unknown places or visit friends' homes because of not knowing the "rules" for that place

- has a tendency to collect objects or information / facts

- tends to notice patterns; tends to notice license plates numbers; often notices details that other people do not

- might refuse to eat foods that are touching other foods on the plate

Child development:

- play is repetitive

Responses to sensory stimuli

- usually has sensory integration disorder - unusual perception of sensory input, sensory processing abnormalities

- might be oversensitive to sound, hearing sounds most people do not or panicking at certain sounds, or undersensitive to sound, appearing deaf at times

- might be oversensitive to sight, preferring dimly lit rooms or certain colors, or undersensitive to sight, desiring lots of colors and interested in flashing lights

- might be oversensitive or undersensitive to taste, preferring either extra spicy or very bland foods, or preferring sourness such as lemon slices

- might be oversensitive or undersensitive to touch; might become very stressed by light touches, but less stressed by firm ones; might feel calmer in Temple Grandin's "hugging machine"

- might be oversensitive or undersensitive to smell

- might be under or oversensitive to balance (vestibular stimulation); might frequently twirl or might easily become dizzy

- might have proprioceptive dysfunction - insufficient processing of information from muscles and joints so is unaware of where body is in space; might hit, kick, or bang head against objects intentionally to gain awareness of where one's body parts are in space; might watch one's feet or hands to be aware of where they are

- might prefer to wear the same clothing day after day (because of how it feels, as well as preferring the same routines)

- might prefer to sleep under many blankets for the pressure of the weight or similarly to wear heavy clothes for the comforting pressure

- might be oversensitive or undersensitive to pain

- is often very inactive or very active

Child development:

- plays with light and reflections

- flicks fingers before eyes

Motor clumsiness

- has a lack of coordination in physical activities; cannot synchronize leg and arm movement; might be described as clumsy or accident-prone

- might have problems with both fine and gross motor control; might have fine motor control but not gross motor control or vice versa

Child development:

- is behind age group performance on neurodevelopmental examination

Special interests

- are all-absorbing, narrow interests done to the exclusion of other activities, done with repetitive adherence, or done with more rote than meaning (as a child)

- often include a fascination with facts or numbers, science, or something related to transportation

- often involve a couple lifelong primary special interests; might include short-term, but very intense, secondary special interests; might acquire more primary interests over time so adults might have 4 or more

- are calming and reduce stress (as opposed to an obsession), but might give appearance of obsessive-compulsive disorder

Thinking and memory

- has excellent long-term memory for facts and routines; often have an excellent memory for dialogue

- might have difficulty with short-term memory

- is logical and detail-oriented; easily able to identify errors

- can focus on tasks intensely; persistent; difficulty leaving tasks unfinished

- often has poor imagination as a young child; might have extraordinary imaginative abilities as a teenager and adult

Brain differences

- the amygdala (the brain's social and emotional control center) is enlarged during early childhood and then shrinks; resulting in an amygdala that appears the same as the amygdala in children who were subjected to physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect; a person with a "damaged" amygdala might sense danger when there is none

- researchers believe that children with autism related disorders suffer chronic stress from fear of people that results in the atypical development of the amygdala

Child development:

- larger than normal head circumference is common

Other characteristics

- often only minimally affected by peer pressure, so does what is comfortable for him or her; or, tries to fit in by doing anything peers suggest without realizing peers' true intentions

- has an aversion to being interrupted; compulsion for completion

- is often very spiritual, but not necessarily religious

- is a perfectionist

- has an impaired fight or flight response - possibly because fight or flight is already activate in almost all situations; often does not recognize dangerous situations

- has difficulty making friends; often might misinterpret kindness as friendship; might never form long-term intimate relationships due to lack of social skills and ability; might invent imaginary friends, worlds, or scenarios due to social difficulties

- unusual attachment to objects; is attached to one particular object; might be preoccupied with parts of objects

- might be especially sensitive to mind-affecting medicines, such as anti-anxiety and anti-depressant ones; might have atypical side effects from medicines, such as codeine causing insomnia

- might have nicknames such as "little professor" and "encyclopedia" (more often male) or "little philosopher" (more often female)

- the combination of misunderstandings due to taking words literally, possessiveness and intense loyalty to perceived friends, and socially odd or inappropriate behavior can make others feel as if they might be being stalked

- often has family members with a smaller number of these traits or learning disabilities; has a genetic factor to autism related disorders which is probably then triggered by environmental factors

Other conditions that might occur with Asperger's Syndrome

- might suffer anxiety disorder and panic attacks due to effects of Asperger's

- might suffer depression and have suicidal tendencies due to effects of Asperger's

- might suffer post-traumatic stress disorder due to victimization which is due to effects of Asperger's

- might have prosopagnosia (face blindness) - difficulty with facial recognition

- might have learning disabilities

- might have dyspraxia, also known as sensory integration disorder (difficulty planning and performing complex movements such as drawing, writing, buttoning, or other fine motor skill tasks)

- might have sleep problems

- might have dietary intolerances, such as gluten, casein, or lactose intolerance; greater risk of immune system disorders related to digestion, such as Crohn's disease or celiac disease; food allergies

- might not process B6 vitamins efficiently; a study on children with autism showed that they seem to benefit from what are normally toxic doses of B6, but this is not something to try at home

- might have chronic diarrhea or chronic constipation for years

- other co-existing conditions include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), oppositional defiance disorder (ODD), antisocial personality disorder (APD or ASPD), and Tourette's Syndrome (TS) and other tic disorders

- has a slightly greater incidence of epilepsy

- has a greater incidence of tuberous sclerosis (benign tumors in the brain and other vital organs)

- has 10 times greater incidence of savantism, often in the form of mental calculation or fast computer programming skills

Sources include, among others:

  • The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome by Tony Attwood
  • The Oasis Guide to Asperger Syndrome: Advice, Support, Insights, and Inspiration by Patricia Romanowski Bashe and Barbara L. Kirby
  • Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Volumes I and II, 3rd Edition edited by Fred R. Volkmar
  • Understanding the Nature of Autism: A Guide to the Autism Spectrum, Second Edition by Janice E. Janzen
  • Asperger's and Girls by Tony Attwood et. al.
  • Asperger's Syndrome and Sensory Issues: Practical Solutions for Making Sense of the World by Brenda Smith Myles et. al.
  • Asperger Syndrome & Your Child: A Parent's Guide by Michael D. Powers and Janet Poland
  • Mindblindness: An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind by Simon Baron-Cohen
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Q: What are signs or symptoms of Aspergers Syndrome?
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What if your you suspect Asperger's Syndrome in your husband but he refuses to read about it?

You could talk to a psychologist and tell them the signs of Aspergers that your husband is showing. That way if your husband does have Aspergers he can get medicine for his symptoms, but not all people with Aspergers need medicine

What Symptoms does an Older Adult in her 60s with Aspergers syndrome display?


Does Annie Lennox have Aspergers Syndrome?

No, Annie Lennox doesn't have Asperger Syndrome. Annie Lennox doesn't show any outward signs of Autism - although women on the spectrum often hide their symptoms.

What are the most common symptoms of Aspergers Syndrome?

There are many symptoms of Asperger Syndrome. For example, sufferers tend to struggle with social interactions, repetition of behavior and clumsiness.

What are the symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome in females?

The word symptoms would suggest that Aspergers is an illness, it is a condition. The signs that somebody has Aspergers are the same in both men and women. Here are some of the signs that a person has Aspergers; No, or limited eye contact, the person may develop an obsession or area of knowledge that takes over their life, the person's social skills may be poor, and the person may become distressed if their routine is changed.

Is it true that a syndrome can be observed only by the patient and not by others?

A syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms. Those signs and symptoms can be observed by the patient or an outside observer.

What is the medical term meaning Signs and symptoms that occur together?

syndromeA syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms.

How many children have aspergers syndrome in the UK?

It is estimate that around 700,000 children have Aspergers Syndrome.

Can people with Aspergers Syndrome also have symptoms of Tourette Syndrome?

Yes they can. People with Asperger's shockingly and usu. have a combination such as having Aspergers and OCD, or ADD, depression, anxiety, and Tourettes. In some cases developing schizophrenia can occur.

What is aspi?

Aspie = Person with Aspergers Syndrome. It's friendly slang that those with Aspergers Syndrome use to refer to themselves. People without Aspergers Syndrome are referred to as NTs - Neurotypicals.

In medicine the combination of signs and symptoms indicative of a disease?


Is aspergers syndrome and asburgers syndrome the same thing?


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