Asperger's disorder, also called Asperger's syndrome, is a type of pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) as defined by the American Psychiatric Association.1 Asperger's disorder is similar to high-functioning autism in how it affects a child's mannerisms and socialization traits.
A distinction between Asperger's disorder and autism is that young children with Asperger's have normal language development, although the rhythm, pitch, and emphasis are irregular. Unlike autism, Asperger's disorder does not delay other aspects of development. A child usually has age-appropriate self-reliance and an interest in the world around him or her. But as with autism, children with Asperger's disorder have abnormal social interactions, facial expressions, and gestures.
Asperger's disorder affects males 4 to 5 times more than females.2 Its cause is unknown. More research is needed to confirm whether Asperger's disorder is a condition that is genetically related to autism.
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