It is not clear if Asperger’s is a separate disorder or a form of autism occurring in individuals with normal or high intelligence. Individuals with Asperger’s have:
- Impaired social skills
- A narrow range of interests
- Repetitive routines
- Speech and language peculiarities
- Problems with non-verbal communication
- Motor clumsiness
Children with Asperger’s have been described as “too bright and articulate to qualify easily for supportive services, too impaired to function well without support.”
Impaired social skills
- Children with Asperger’s tend to be loners who have no close friends, who avoid other children of the same age, and have no interest in making friends.
- During playtime or lunchtime at school, they may be alone on the playground or in the library reading about a special interest.
- They may play with children who are much older or much younger than themselves, rather than with children of the same age.
- They lack the ability to respond with empathy to another person. If, for example, another child points out an interesting object, the child with Asperger’s simply do not understand that they are expected to share this interest.
- They don’t sense the feelings or emotions of others.
- They usually have little interest in playing competitive sports or games.
- They don’t understand that there are unwritten rules governing behaviour and interactions with other people. A child with Asperger’s may point out that “That lady is very fat” and not understand why you say “Shush.” After all, his observation was correct