Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Asperger's syndrome, also known as Asperger disorder, Asperger syndrome, or AS, was formerly felt to be a distinct disorder related to autism, one of the pervasive developmental disorders (a spectrum of behavioral disorders including autism). Asperger's syndrome was characterized as one of the autism spectrum disorders (which also include autistic disorder, Rett disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified [PDD-NOS]). In the revised
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) published in May 2013, Asperger's syndrome and autistic disorder have been combined into one condition for diagnostic purposes, known as autism spectrum disorder. However, many experts still believe that Asperger's syndrome should be preserved as a separate diagnostic entity to represent a condition related to, but not the same as, autism. Unlike persons with autistic disorder, those with Asperger's syndrome do not show a marked delay in language development or cognitive development. Asperger's syndrome is commonly recognized in children after the age of 3 years and is more frequently diagnosed in boys.
Individuals with Asperger's syndrome have serious impairments in their social and communication skills, including poor nonverbal communication. However, many individuals have good cognitive and verbal skills, and
those with Asperger's syndrome typically have normal to superior intelligence. Many have excellent rote memory and become intensely interested in one or two subjects.
Children with Asperger's syndrome are typically educated in the mainstream setting but sometimes require education accommodations or special education services. These children often have difficulty making friends and are often ostracized, teased, or bullied by their peers.
Asperger's syndrome is named for Dr. Hans Asperger, an Austrian pediatrician, who first described the condition in 1944. The condition was first recognized as a diagnostic entity by the American Psychiatric Association in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV) in 1994
but was combined with autistic disorder in the DSM-V issued in 2013.