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Asperger Syndrome (cont.)

Asperger's Syndrome Symptoms

Patient Comments

An individual's symptoms and level of functioning can range from mild to severe. An individual may have all or only some of the described characteristics. They may exhibit more problems in unstructured social settings or new situations that involve social problem-solving skills.

Social problems

  • Although these children may express an interest in friendships, they have difficulty in making and keeping friends and may be rejected by peers; often these children are loving and affectionate with their immediate family
  • Socially inappropriate behavior for their age
  • Lack of understanding of age appropriate social cues including gestures and nonverbal communication
  • Difficulty judging personal space
  • Difficulty understanding others' feelings or showing empathy
  • Rigid social behavior due to an inability to spontaneously adapt to variations in social situations

Abnormal communication patterns

  • Awkward or inappropriate body language, including limited use of gestures and absent or inappropriate facial expressions
  • Unusual, formal style of speaking
  • Difficulty understanding nonliteral and implied communication
  • Impairments in the modulation of volume, intonation, inflection, rate, and rhythm of speech
  • Speech may be tangential (consisting of unconnected topics) and circumstantial (giving significantly excessive detail about a topic), often including irrelevant comments
  • Conversation style characterized by marked wordiness
  • Difficulty with "give and take" of conversation
  • Lack of sensitivity about interrupting others


  • Intense interest in a particular, often very restricted, or immature subject that dominates the individual's attention
  • Inflexible adherence to routines; has repetitive routines or rituals
  • Apprehensive about change, may have difficulty transitioning from one activity to another

Sensory sensitivity in some individuals with Asperger's syndrome

  • Excessive sensitivity to sound, touch, taste, light, sight, smell, pain, and/or temperature
  • Excessive sensitivity to the texture of foods

Motor skill delays in some individuals with Asperger's syndrome

  • History of delayed development of motor skills
  • Visible clumsiness and poor coordination
  • Deficits in visual-motor and visual-perceptual skills, including problems with balance, manual dexterity, handwriting, rapid movements, rhythm, and imitation of movements

People with Asperger's syndrome can have other associated psychiatric conditions or may show behaviors that are typical for other conditions. Some common associated conditions include the following (but these are not always present in everyone with Asperger's):

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/28/2016

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Pervasive Developmental Disorder: Asperger Syndrome »

Asperger disorder is a form of pervasive developmental disorder characterized by persistent impairment in social interactions, repetitive behavior patterns, and restricted interests.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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