Facebook Pixel

Recognizing Asperger's Syndrome in Children

By HERWriter
Rate This

Asperger's Syndrome (AS) was largely unknown until just a few years ago. Recently, we are hearing more and more about Asperger's Syndrome in the news and the media. It was first researched in 1940 by Hans Asperger, a pediatrician in Vienna. He'd noticed behaviors in some of his patients which caught his attention. These patients were mostly boys, who though intelligent and quite verbal, had inadequate social skills and communication abilities, and were uncoordinated and rigid physically.

This distinctive profile was named after Dr. Asperger. It also goes by Aspergers (or Asperger) Syndrome, Asperger's (or Asperger) Disorder or more briefly, Asperger's. It is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). That means it's a neurological condition whose signature is impaired use and grasp of language and communication, and repetitive behavior and thinking.

Most research to date has centered on Asperger's children, or Aspies. They can be identified by some particular traits.

They will become engrossed in a very few topics, or hobbies, or objects, to the exclusion of others. They're intensely focused on their obsession, and want to talk about nothing else. They are usually very intelligent, but have serious problems with non-verbal communication, body language, reading others' facial expressions. They're confused by, or oblivious to, social conventions that most of us are familiar with and consider a part of life.

They are very literal-minded and may have unusual speech patterns and expressions that they use frequently. Their speech may sound stilted and repetitive. Conversation tends to be one-sided, with the AS child going on at great length about their one interest. They are not aware of the non-verbal clues of their listeners, willing or otherwise.

Asperger children are generally stiff and awkward, with poor motor ability and coordination. They may be uncomfortably sensitive to light and sound, or the feel of various fabrics and materials. They can be rigid in their habits, with little flexibility for a change in plans or new experiences. They may become quite anxious and upset when alterations in their schedules or their habits is required.

Asperger's Syndrome is not caused by abuse, or bad child rearing. Its root is neurological, and while much needs to be learned, research is making headway. Parents of children with Asperger's should not despair. Many Aspies do very well in life. Information and treatments are available for parents to help their children deal with their special needs and the world around them.


About.com: Asperger Syndrome

Aspergers Society of Ontario

High Functioning Aspergers Syndrome in Children

KidsHealth: Asperger Syndrome

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: Asperger Syndrome

Neurology Channel: Asperger's Syndrome

Visit Jody's website and blog at http://www.ncubator.ca and http://ncubator.ca/blogger

Add a Comment7 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Aspergers symptoms is a less severe form of autism that may affect children and grow into adulthood. It is sometimes also referred to as high functioning autism. Here, the problems with social interaction and communication are lesser than those with the classic autistic disorder.

March 16, 2011 - 11:45pm
EmpowHER Guest

As much as I agree that the symptoms of aspergers needs to be studied, somewhere in the back of my mind I also think it's being used as an excuse for ones actions. I really think we need to do a lot more in schools teaching Aspies Life Skills including social skills. Sometimes in our school systems don't use enough repitition. I've olso never met someone who is Normal. Are we all to be diagnosed with something to explain for our exentricities?

July 1, 2010 - 10:19pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I do not feel that it is appropriate to say that children with aspergers use the disability to there advantage. Who are you to judge. I have an amazing son that is extremely smart and does perfectly well in school but can be very emotional at times and has to excuse himself from class to pull himself together. It doesnt mean that he is trying to disrupt his class mates or get himself out of class.

October 28, 2013 - 12:30am

Thank you for your post Jody. It is important that people learn to recognize other's that look the same as them but with certain incapabilities. Many unfortunate times Aspie children are seen as lazy when in fact they are not. If we could characterize them before judging them then that would eliminate unnecessary hurt feelings for both the child and the parent.

Thanks again.

October 5, 2009 - 5:28am


Thanks for all this information. Your experience with your granddaughter, and your obvious love and involvement with her has made you a great source.

I hope many people who are looking for answers will find your comments here.

Thanks for this.

October 4, 2009 - 6:50pm
(reply to Jody Smith)

i think that the less ignorant people are, the better. any questions, anyone can email me at [email protected] you're very welcome, jody.

have a great monday. linda bowman

October 4, 2009 - 8:52pm
EmpowHER Guest

my granddaughter is an asperg'er's child. when she was living with us for awhile and only about two, we built a brand new house, and she promptly painted and colored on the walls, causing much damage. each time my daughter badly punished her, only to have minette do it again. we were at our wit's end, not knowing what to do. i went online and looked up certain symptoms and found the term autistic matched alittle but not perfectly. slowly i found aspberger's symdrome.

there is no easy solution. really, medical personnel refused to even try to diagnose until older. so we had to slowly and patiently deal with her and be straight with her. now, at age 8, where before i would ask her what she did at school and she would say worriedly, "i don't remember", because we have made her aware that her brain acts differently like a person with dyxlexia, she makes an effort or writes down names and things or asks us to write it down. there is still not enough school participation even with the testing for learning disabilities, so you really have to insist on separate tutoring to teach them to read. they will be behind and be impatient with learning because it is so slow. the school now has decided to put her back one year and they have improvised her homework so that she is not completely out of her depth. each school is kindof at a loss with asperber's and you need to do alot of work to help them understand.

as they grow older, they are the brightest and alert to many things we are not. we call her "the finder" because she will think things out and find things we lost. people love to play with her, she has days of going off and we reel her in. you can make them aware that they need to tone it down, they are definitely single minded, and they will say things that they know that they are supposed to say but you are not sure they are really sinking them in. have them repeat them back and sometimes you will have to clap your hands to break a tangent. they mostly understand there is something wrong by this age and you need to speak to them honestly. maybe not all will sink in but explain it often when they look confused as to why they are not understanding.

as to when they get older, we are trying disability for her for a third time, they do not get the proper medical records for disability to be approved until later, and hopefully it will be all right so her medical needs and schooling and life in general will be provided for her. i hope this helps because this is what we have learned through wading through much ignorance and lack of knowledge in the medical profession even now. minette is harder to be realized as asperber because she is high functioning and she does not appear on the surface to have anything wrong. find a group support and a dr. who is an asperger background and possibly an asperger child. sometimes a dr. will go into this field to help his own child, i saw this in tn. min. also had herpes palsy and this was a problem because the state would not allow rehabilitation. you need to find this kind of a dr. also and collect all medical records from an expert. get ready right away to apply for disability at a later age, collecting all records, and start early. this will give them a future under disability to have some kind of a life.

linda bowman 919 537 8971 hm cell 919 259 2465

October 4, 2009 - 6:32pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Asperger's Syndrome

Get Email Updates

Related Topics

Asperger's Syndrome Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!