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Asperger’s Syndrome - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnoses, Treatments

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Asperger’s Syndrome - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnoses, Treatments

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Asperger's syndrome (AS) is a type of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which is a group of neurodevelopmental disorders. To know more read the article below.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Suresh Kumar G D

Published At October 1, 2019
Reviewed AtApril 4, 2024

What Is Asperger’s Syndrome?

Asperger's syndrome (AS) belongs to the group of neurodevelopmental disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). ASDs include autism, Asperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and other pervasive developmental disorders. Asperger's Syndrome can be considered as a mild form of autistic spectrum disorder and people with this condition generally have higher functioning. People with AS can have difficulties with social interaction, engage in repetitive behavior, can be adamant and tend to be obsessed with rules. People with AS can be socially awkward but they generally have average or above-average IQ, they can do well academically and professionally.

Asperger's Syndrome tends to persist throughout life. It cannot be cured but difficulties related to the condition can be managed with appropriate support. In order to improve the child's social interaction and communication, early detection and intervention are necessary.

What Is the History of Asperger's Syndrome?

In honor of Hans Asperger, a physician in Vienna under the Nazi party's rule, Asperger's syndrome was named. Asperger was the initial person to identify the series of social problems that currently characterize autism disorder in some of the youngsters in his care in the 1940s. Hans Asperger's work is largely responsible for the knowledge that professionals currently possess regarding Asperger's.

What Are the Symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome?

AS causes different symptoms in every patient. But it most commonly results in the following symptoms:

  • Social communication and interaction difficulties

  • Preference for routine like doing the same thing every day, repetitive behavior like switching the lights on and off a certain number of times, and knocking on a door a certain way.

  • Difficulty to interpret emotional issues if they are not expressed explicitly.

  • Hypersensitivity to sounds, lights, etc.

  • Difficulty in viewing a situation from another person’s perspective.

  • Getting into a conflict with others over relatively minor issues.

  • Emotional outbursts relate to difficulties in coping with emotional situations.

  • Repetitive way of talking, formal use of language, etc.

  • Difficulty in maintaining appropriate eye contact while talking.

  • Difficulty in understanding gestures and body language.

  • Difficulties with fine motor skills like tying shoelaces, etc.

  • Clumsy with uncoordinated movements.

  • More susceptible to anxiety and depression.

Some people with AS can have an excellent vocabulary, extensive knowledge about things and topics that interest them. Some have the ability to focus on tiny details and patterns which are not readily apparent to others. These strengths can make them excellent problem solvers and do well in their chosen fields.

What Causes Asperger’s Syndrome?

The exact cause of AS is still not known. Hereditary factors and environmental factors like toxins, chemicals, and viruses have also been found to increase the risk of this disease. It is known to run in families. Boys are more susceptible than girls.

How Is Asperger’s Syndrome Diagnosed?

There is no specific investigation like a blood test or brain scan to diagnose AS. Diagnosis is made by a detailed interview with the person, developmental history from parents (in younger patients) and clinical observation. Specific questionnaires and observation tools aid in confirming the diagnosis.

ASDs are increasingly diagnosed during childhood. Pediatrician or Child Psychiatrist usually are involved. The doctor will take a complete history which will include a child’s behavior when the symptoms started, what was the first symptom noticed, developmental history including social and language milestones.

If one feel that the child show features of AS, it is best to consult a psychiatrist for appropriate assessment.

After assessing how one interact socially and other symptoms, the doctor will understand how these symptoms are affecting individuals day to day life. Doctor will also rule out any underlying health condition that can cause similar symptoms. AS can commonly be mistaken for anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or hyperactivity, so a proper diagnosis is crucial.

How Is Asperger's Syndrome Treated?

As this syndrome causes different symptoms in all patients, there is no fixed treatment. The doctor will try various therapies until he or she finds the one that helps the patient. The treatment options include:

  • Social Skills Training - This helps the child by teaching them how to interact with others and express themselves more appropriately.

  • Speech-Language Therapy - It teaches the child how to talk in a normal tone rather than a flat or robotic manner. It will also teach ways to understand hand gestures and body language.

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) - This therapy helps control emotional outbursts and repetitive behavior by changing his or her way of thinking.

  • Parent Counseling - It helps parents take care of their child’s special needs, and ways to deal with the challenges that come with having a child with AS.

  • Applied Behavior Analysis - This technique discourages harmful and bad behaviors, and encourages positive social skills in the child.

The child will be able to manage and overcome both social and communication challenges with the right treatment. Most adults with Asperger’s syndrome are smarter than most and live an almost normal life if proper management. For more information on ways to manage the symptoms, consult a professionally trained and experienced psychiatrist online now.

Does Asperger's Syndrome Have a Cure?

For now, ASD has no known treatment. Furthermore, no herbal supplements or home cures are effective for Asperger's syndrome or any comparable disorders. However, there are several non-surgical therapies available to assist control a number of the symptoms of the illness, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety, and depression. Another excellent option for looking into ways to enhance the quality of life for patients is therapy, which includes cognitive behavioral therapy for grownups and speech therapy for younger kids. Many Asperger's syndrome sufferers report that therapy helped address their symptoms and other issues.

What Distinguishes Autism From Asperger's Syndrome?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) includes both autism and Asperger's syndrome (AS). Although social contact can be difficult for those with either illness, linguistic and cognitive difficulties are not often experienced by those with AS. A person's conduct, relationships, and social interactions can all be impacted by AS and autism. Depending on the specifics of their illness, an AS sufferer could need less assistance than an autistic individual.

What Are the Alternative Methods of Treatment for Asperger's Syndrome?

While the benefits of alternative treatments for individuals with Asperger's syndrome are not well-supported by research, this does not preclude their usefulness.

  • Melatonin: Sleep issues can exacerbate anxiety, despair, and anger in children with Asperger's syndrome, which is frequent in this population.

  • Art Therapy Combined With Music: Art therapy and music therapy, sometimes known as sound healing therapy, may be able to assist with the social, emotional, and communicative difficulties that come with Asperger's syndrome.

  • Massage Treatment. If an autistic person is comfortable with touch, massage treatment may help some people with their anxiety or symptoms related to their senses in the short term.

  • Acupuncture: It helps to enhance sleep and social adaptation.

  • Support Network: Making connections with people who are on the spectrum may be beneficial for Asperger's children and adults as well as their families.

What Are the Complications of Asperger's Syndrome?

A few complications arise from Asperger's syndrome. It can be an underlying illness that exacerbates other functional issues, or some AS symptoms could be the cause of the complications. Among the possible issues are:

  • Sensory Challenges: Some individuals may experience either an underdeveloped or distorted sense of sensitivity. This may have an impact on the person's perception of substances, loud noises, bright lights, strong odors, and the texture of food.

  • Social Difficulties: Problems understanding others' body language, emotions, and speech patterns might result in difficulties relating to them.

  • Other Conditions: Other illnesses may emerge in addition to AS, such as anxiety or depression brought on by social isolation or other difficulties.


Asperger's syndrome cannot be tested for specifically. To make well-informed clinical decisions, however, professionals who have received diagnostic training occasionally combine questionnaires and interviews. If someone has the symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome, it is always best to visit a physician and get proper treatment to prevent or delay the further progress of the disease.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can a person with Asperger’s feel love?

People with Asperger’s do feel love and can love but in their own way. It might not be the conventional way of loving someone. They tend to choose partners that possess the qualities that they do not, such as people who can handle the social world. They might be focused on their own interests, but they do love.


What are the signs of Asperger’s in adults?

The signs of Asperger’s in adults include:
- Emotional and behavioral signs - Inability to interpret other’s emotions and feelings, emotional outbursts.
- Communication problems - Robotic or repetitive speech, higher vocabulary skills, lack of facial expressions and eye contact.


What does high-functioning ASD mean?

Asperger’s syndrome is considered to be a form of autism and belongs to the broader category called autism spectrum disorder (ASD). As people with this syndrome might have high intelligence and higher vocabulary skills than other kinds of ASD, it is often referred to as high-functioning ASD.


Is Asperger’s syndrome considered a disability?

Yes, it is. As people with this syndrome struggle with social interactions, have emotional outbursts, and have difficulties with nonverbal communication, it is considered a disability.


What does Asperger’s do?

This syndrome affects a person’s socialization and communication skills. It can result in obsessive interests, social isolation, lack of imagination, and delayed development of motor skills.


Are autism and Asperger’s syndrome different?

It was considered to be two different conditions earlier. But now, they come under the broad classification of autism spectrum disorder, which is a group of neurological and developmental disorders that starts during early childhood.


Does Asperger’s go away on its own?

No, the conditions in the ASD (autism spectrum disorder) never go away on their own, as these disorders result due to differences in how the person’s brain is wired and the way he or she processes various information.


Is there a test for Asperger’s syndrome?

As of now, there is no specific test or diagnostic criteria for Asperger’s syndrome. The diagnosis is based on the signs and symptoms during early childhood.


Can someone have mild Asperger’s?

The signs and symptoms of this syndrome vary depending on the person. Some might show severe issues, while others just exhibit mild signs.


How does Asperger's affect the brain?

The brains of people with Asperger’s syndrome are wired differently than others.
Dr. Suresh Kumar G D
Dr. Suresh Kumar G D



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