What is Aspergers?

Asperger's syndrome, a developmental disorder, is an ASD (autism spectrum disorder). It impacts on the individual's ability to communicate and socialize, among other things.
When humans meet they make judgments about each other. People's body language, facial expressions and tone of voice give out information regarding whether they are happy, sad, angry or in a hurry. How we respond depends on how we process these signals.

For a person with Asperger's syndrome, reading these signals instinctively is more difficult. Consequently, they find it more difficult to communicate and interact with others. According to the National Autistic Society2 in the UK, this can lead to anxiety and confusion.

Asperger's syndrome differs from other ASDs in that the symptoms are less severe and there is no language delay. A child with AS generally has good language and cognitive (thinking, intelligence) skills. They tend to have average or above-average vocabularies and reach speech milestones at the same time as children in the general population

The Autism Society3 in Maryland, USA, says that most people who are unfamiliar with AS may just think that the individual is behaving differently.

A child with autism is usually perceived as aloof and not interested in mixing in with others. Children with AS, however, generally want to interact with others. The problem is that they find it hard.

The individual with AS may find it hard to understand conventional social rules and may come over as lacking empathy. Their usage of gestures may appear either lacking or inappropriate, and eye contact may be very limited.

Unlike other children (and adults) with an ASD, those with AS (Asperger's syndrome) have average IQs and are pretty much just as likely to have learning disabilities as those without AS. However, their learning requirements may be different from other childrens'.
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