By medical definition, Asperger Autism is a disorder of the Autism “spectrum” which is characterized by repetitive and restrictive behavior and interest patterns as well as significant difficulties with the ability to interact socially. According to Wikipedia, “it differs from other Autism spectrum disorders by [virtue of] its relative preservation of cognitive and linguistic development.” The atypical use of language and physical clumsiness are oftentimes reported as characteristics although they are not required for diagnosis.
A child may display numerous symptoms of Asperger Autism, or they may only exhibit a few. Additionally, the severity of these symptoms may range from mild to extremely severe in nature. However, the key characteristic of this form of Autism is that the child will have a significant amount of difficulty when it comes to interacting with others in social situations. As a result of this unpredictable variance, no two children who are suffering with Asperger Autism are ever alike.
Typically, a parent will first notice the following signs of Asperger Autism when the child first enters preschool and starts interacting with other children:
- changes in their routines appear to upset them
- lights, loud noises, or strong tastes and textures tend to over-stimulate them due to a heightened sensitivities
- preoccupation with only a single or a limited number of interests but they have considerable knowledge of the subject(s)
- the ability to pick up on certain social clues inborn social skills are lacking
- the inability to distinguish minor or subtle differences in others’ accent, pitch, and tone of speech which can alter its meaning
- their motor development is oftentimes delayed
- their style of speech is well advanced for their age
- they display unusual body posture or facial expressions
- they lack the ability to be empathetic
- they sometimes avoid eye contact while at other times stare endlessly at others
- they will hold one-sided conversations, talk a lot about a favorite subject, or verbalize their most internal thoughts
Despite the above and the numerous similarities to Autism, Asperger syndrome is normally characterized intellectual development and normal language.
Adolescent and teen year’s symptoms
The symptoms of Asperger Autism typically linger well into the child’s teen years they may begin learning those social skills they are lacking in. However, the ability to communicate effectively remains difficult. Additionally, the difficulty encountered with reading the behavior patterns of others remains a significant issue as well. Teens suffering with the disorder want to make friends but they may feel intimidated or shy when approaching other teens because they feel “different” from other individuals.
Symptoms evident during adulthood
The adult with the disorder typically has a much better realization and understanding of their personal flaws including their strengths and weaknesses. They are more capable of learning social skills and reading the social cues of those around them. In fact, many individuals with Asperger Autism get married and eventually have children. Despite the fact that improvements are occasionally seen and the disorder tends to stabilize over time, Asperger Autism is a condition that lasts a lifetime.