Symptoms and Signs of Asperger's Syndrome (Asperger Syndrome, Asperger Disorder)

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 11/12/2021

Doctor's Notes on Asperger's Syndrome
(Asperger Syndrome, Asperger Disorder)

Asperger's syndrome (Asperger syndrome, Asperger disorder, or AD) is considered by many researchers to be a form of autism (problems with social interactions, impaired verbal and non-verbal communication, repetitive behaviors, delay in language or cognitive development, and restricted interests). However, patients with Asperger's do not show a marked delay in language or cognitive development. Asperger's is usually first recognized in young children. Signs and symptoms of Asperger's may include

  • social problems (making or keeping friends, socially inappropriate behavior, difficulty understanding others' feelings, for example),
  • abnormal communication patterns (awkward body language and facial expressions, unusual or formal speech style, difficulties with conversations),
  • restricted activities such as rigid adherence to routines,
  • apprehension toward change, and
  • intense interest in restricted or immature subjects.

Other possible signs and symptoms may include excessive sensitivity to sound, touch, taste, food texture, light, pain and/or temperature. Some show

  • motor skill delays,
  • exhibit clumsiness,
  • balance problems, and
  • defects in handwriting, rapid movements, and rhythm.

The cause(s) of Asperger's syndrome is unknown. However, a genetic component is likely involved because the disorder runs in families, and it is about five times more common in boys.

What Is the Treatment for Asperger's Syndrome?

Some individuals with Asperger's can function well without taking any medications. For others, a flexible treatment plan depends on age and symptoms. There are no medications specifically for Asperger's syndrome. Some medications that can help manage symptoms include

The above (and other) drugs that may be used, especially in children, need careful use because of potential side effects. The drug choices can be modified by your doctor. There are therapists who may help to maintain a less-symptomatic life for both children and adults with ASD as follows:

  • Physical: strength, coordination
  • Occupational: job skills
  • Speech: volume control, speaking ability
  • Relationship: personal, family, and others

Your doctors may recommend one or more therapists.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.