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Asperger Syndrome

Asperger syndrome (AS) is an autism spectrum disorder. Autism spectrum disorders are developmental disorders that affect how a person behaves, interacts with others, communicates, and learns. Asperger syndrome is milder than autism but shares some of its symptoms.

The cause of Asperger syndrome is not known. It is more common in boys than girls.

Signs and symptoms of Asperger syndrome show up by the time children are 3 years old. A major symptom is an obsessive interest in a single subject. They want to know everything about the topic and often talk about little else. They may have an excellent vocabulary but have very formal speech patterns.

Other symptoms include

  • Trouble reading social cues and recognizing other people's feelings
  • Having strange movements or mannerisms
  • Problems with motor skills
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Having rituals
  • Being sensitive to certain lights, sounds, textures, or tastes

All of these make it difficult for them to make friends.

Treatment focuses on the three main symptoms: poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, and physical clumsiness. Treatments may also include behavior therapy and medicines.

NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

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