What is Asperger’s Syndrome?
According to NINDS, Asperger syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized be an impairment in language and communication skills and repetitive behavior with typically an IQ of 70 and above.
Other Known Names
- High Functioning Autism
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Eating Disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Difficulty in forming friendships
- A preference for playing alone or with older children or adults
- May be socially awkward
- May not understand conventional social rules
- Limited eye contact
- May not understand the use of gestures or sarcasm
- Obsessive preoccupation with objects
- Normal physical growth and development
- Need for sameness.
- 1.5:1 to 16:1 per 1,000
- Males more likely to have Asperger’s syndrome than females
- Females with Autism Spectrum Disorder (high functioning may be underdiagnosed
- All racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups are impacted.
- Leo Kanner, an Austrian-American psychiatrist in 1943 published a paper entitled, Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact, which described 11 children who were highly intelligent but displayed an ‘obsessive insistence on persistent sameness.’ He later named the condition- “early infantile autism.”
- Hans Asperger’s, a Viennese child psychologist published the first definition of Asperger’s syndrome in 1944. He noted in four boys, a pattern f behavior and abilities including a lack of empathy, little ability to form friendships and clumsy movement.
Online Community Support
Wrong Planet– A web community designed for individuals (and parents/professionals) with autism, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, PDD and other neurological differences. The website provides a discussion forum, articles, how-to-guides and therapy services.
Teaching Strategies – The following articles are for teachers and service providers on techniques and strategies when teaching or providing services to a child with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Asperger/Autism Network (AANE). Founded in 1996 by a small group of concerned parents and professionals. AANE works with individuals, families and professionals and provides information, education, community support and advocacy.
Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association (AHA). AHA helps families and individuals become more informed self-advocates.
Selected Articles on Asperger’s Syndrome
A powerful identity, a vanishing diagnosis (New York Times)
Autism and Asperger’s not easily understood (Fort Madison Daily Democrat)
My lifelong struggle with Asperger’s (Policy.Mic)
Navigating life with Asperger’s (Voice of Muscatine)
Unmasking Asperger’s syndrome (Business Standard)
What It’s like to live with autism as an adult (Good Housekeeping)