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What is Asperger Syndrome?

Asperger syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) considered to be on the “high functioning” end of the spectrum. Affected children and adults have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviors. Motor development may be delayed, leading to clumsiness or uncoordinated motor movements. Compared with those affected by other forms of ASD, however, those with Asperger syndrome do not have significant delays or difficulties in language or cognitive development. Some even demonstrate precocious vocabulary – often in a highly specialized field of interest.

The following behaviors are often associated with Asperger syndrome. However, they are seldom all present in any one individual and vary widely in degree:

• limited or inappropriate social interactions

• "robotic" or repetitive speech

• challenges with nonverbal communication (gestures, facial expression, etc.) coupled with average to above average verbal skills

• tendency to discuss self rather than others

• inability to understand social/emotional issues or nonliteral phrases

• lack of eye contact or reciprocal conversation

• obsession with specific, often unusual, topics

• one-sided conversations

• awkward movements and/or mannerisms