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Asperger’s Syndrome: Signs, Symptoms and Causes

Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

Asperger’s syndrome is a mental disorder characterized by communication difficulties. The patient has difficulty interacting with society, and their thinking is stereotypical. The set of interests, in this case, does not change with age. The International Classification of Diseases classifies Asperger’s syndrome as an autistic-spectrum disorder. The disorder belongs to this phenotype based on features like high-functioning autism. 

According to statistics, the pathology occurs in 23-24 out of 10,000 children. From 2005 to 2015, Asperger’s syndrome affected 37.2 million people worldwide. People who identify with this syndrome can refer to themselves colloquially as Aspies. The manifestation of the disease is more susceptible to men than to women.

This article will inform you of the causes and signs of this disease. The article is for informational purposes, so we do not recommend self-diagnosis. 

 

What is Asperger’s Syndrome?

aspergers autism

This syndrome is a latent autistic disorder. It means there are no external manifestations. This syndrome is classified as a general developmental disorder. It has been established that Newton and Einstein had Asperger’s syndrome. Also, the genius filmmaker of our time, Steven Spielberg, had such a disorder. If a child has Asperger’s syndrome, signs show up in three aspects of impairment: 

  • social communication;
  • social interaction;
  • social imagination. 

Undoubtedly, children with Asperger’s syndrome are very different from other children. Sooner or later, a child will notice that they are unlike other children. With a problem like Asperger’s syndrome, the symptoms are not expressed outwardly. They lie much deeper and become noticeable when observing the person’s behavior.

 

Social Communication

First, it manifests itself in difficulties in understanding: 

  • gestures;
  • intonation;
  • facial expressions.

 Asperger’s syndrome in children fails them to distinguish emotional shades of speech. They are also unable to use them independently. The child appears indifferent and unemotional. And this becomes a problem in the process of making friendships. 

They can not understand or accept social laws that are not public. For these reasons, it is difficult for them to build a career and relationships in society. Because they often do not understand those around them. And those who are around people with this syndrome do not understand them.

 

Social Interaction or Cooperation

It is challenging for people with this syndrome to interact with others. Kids with Asperger’s:

  • can not understand human values;
  • can be tactless;
  • can be incorrect, discouraging others. 

Often such people strongly offend those around them without realizing it. They do not get jokes and can not understand what is right or wrong. They can say everything they think, not realizing whether it is acceptable. Of course, this doesn’t have the best effect on their relationships with others.

 

Social Imagination

Quite often, Asperger’s syndrome in children has a rich imagination and fantasy. They can grow up to be famous writers, scientists, and musicians. There is only one difference between them and other people. It is that they have difficulty imagining and predicting other options. They don’t understand other people’s opinions well. Mainly if it differs from their opinion. Kids with Asperger’s also have difficulty understanding:

  • feelings;
  • thoughts;
  • other people’s intonations.

Because non-verbal means of expression are an incomprehensible science for them. Asperger’s syndrome sufferers cannot play creative role-playing games. Because they find it difficult to imagine themselves in the image or role of another person. They can be pretty good at using logic and clear sequencing of thoughts.

 

Early Signs of Asperger’s Syndrome

It is a developmental disorder characterized by:

  • severe difficulties in social interaction;
  • difficulties in nonverbal communication;
  • limited and repetitive behaviors and interests. 

 

This disorder differs from other autism spectrum disorders by:

  • relatively normal speech;
  • intelligence.

 

This disorder is named after the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger. In 1944, he described four children from his medical practice. The children lacked nonverbal communication skills. 

These children with Asperger syndrome had limited understanding of other people’s feelings. They showed no empathy for their peers and were clumsy. These characteristics made it difficult for children to integrate into society. 

 

Asperger called this condition “autistic psychopathy”. He also described it primarily as social isolation. Asperger’s syndrome results:

  • low level of contact;
  • self-directedness;
  • pronounced isolation from the outside world; 
  • concentration on own interests; 
  • fixation on one task;
  • lack of understanding of the motives of other people;
  • impairment of fine motor skills, which can normalize with age. But also it can become fixed in the form of eccentric movements.

At the same time, mental abilities are normal. Sometimes such patients are intellectually superior to their peers. This gives a very unusual clinical picture. 

 

Common Asperger’s Symptoms in Children

As a pervasive developmental disorder, Asperger’s symptoms include:

 

  • deficiency in nonverbal communicative behaviors that are necessary for social interaction;
  • poorly integrated verbal and nonverbal communication;
  • abnormal eye contact and body language;
  • deficit in understanding and use of gestures;
  • сomplete absence of facial expressions and nonverbal communication;
  • stereotyped and repetitive movements, lining up toys;
  • flipping objects or aligning them according to a pattern;
  • idiosyncratic phrases;
  • echolalia (uncontrolled repetition of words heard).

 

It can be a love for a particular order. You can also notice a persistent desire for sameness. 

aspergers symptoms in children

Inflexible adherence to routines or patterns are also signs of Asperger’s in children. For example, you can see:

  • extreme dissatisfaction with small changes;
  • difficulty with transitions;
  • rigid thought patterns;
  • greeting rituals;
  • the need to follow the same path; 
  • eating the same foods every day. 

 

Difficulties with social imagination. Kids with Asperger’s can have difficulty understanding and representing other people’s point of view. They also have difficulty interpreting:

  • thoughts;
  • feelings;
  • the actions of another person;
  • sensory difficulties;
  • physical clumsiness;
  • delayed motor skills.

No clinically significant cognitive delay or general speech delay.

 

What Causes Asperger’s Syndrome?

At the moment there is no consensus on the causes of this symptom. However, there are several theories: 

asperger's syndrome

In more detail about theories of the origin of Asperger’s Syndrome you can read:

 

  • One of them is the mirror neuron theory. It suggests that the onset of the disorder is due to a malfunction in the mirror neurons of the brain. These are responsible for recognizing what other people are feeling. Functional magnetic resonance imaging provides some evidence for this theory.

 

  • Asperger’s on the autism spectrum results from developmental factors. They affect many or all of the functional systems of the brain. Neuroanatomical studies and associations with teratogens strongly suggest that the mechanism of the disorder relates to altered brain development soon after conception. Abnormal migration of fetal cells during intrauterine development can affect the final structure and connections of the brain. This leads to changes in neural circuits. They control thinking and behavior.

 

It is worth noting that all autism spectrum disorders relate to teratogen exposure. As a rule, it happens during the first eight weeks after conception. It does not exclude the possibility that signs of Asperger’s in children can be initiated later.

 

Many hypotheses exist that environmental factors can cause these disorders even after birth. But scientific studies have not confirmed any of them.

 

  • Another theory is the theory of weak central coherence. It suggests that there is a deficit in central coherence. It means an intrinsic ability to link many details together. As a result, children with Asperger syndrome can’t see the general picture.
  • A related theory is Enhanced Perceptual Functioning (perception of objective reality). The child focuses on the superiority of locally oriented and perceptual operations.

 

A Word from Lone Star Neurology Doctors  

Adults and kids with Asperger’s, while retaining intellect, sometimes have outstanding abilities. Some are even talented. The earlier the doctor diagnoses, the sooner remedial therapy can begin. This means that the chances of a favorable prognosis increase. 

After all, a socially adapted person is always more successful and happier. That is why we recommend contacting our Lone Star Neurology for quality neurological care. 

 

FAQs 

  • How do you tell if someone has Aspergers?

The disorder affects a person’s perception and behavior when communicating with others. With this disease, the person has difficulty understanding facial expressions, intonation, postures, and gestures. It affects interaction with other people as well as the expression of emotions.

  • Can you live a normal life with Aspergers?

Yes, if you receive timely medical care and psychological correction, you can live a full life. The sooner treatment begins, the better the results will be.

  • What is Asperger’s syndrome called now?

You can use the name “Autism spectrum disorder.” DSM has removed the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome from the new version of the publication. The journal published it in May 2013. The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder replaced it.

  • What is the difference between autism and Asperger’s syndrome?

Unlike autism, there is no significant delay in speech or cognitive development with Asperger’s syndrome. Intelligence is most often normal or above normal. The overall IQ is at least 70. At the same time, verbal intelligence is better and non-verbal intelligence is worse.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been prepared.read more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well together.read more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your business.read more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any cookies.read more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going there.read more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my treatment.read more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to finish.read more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 stars.read more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his staff.read more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best treatment.read more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my doctor.read more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding solutions.read more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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