Understanding Aspergers Syndrome

Aspergers syndrome is a developmental disorder on the autism spectrum (ASD).  It can differ from autism in that children with Aspergers usually have normal speech development, talk by age two and have few if any delays in developmental milestones. They often have excellent auditory and visual perception and possess a average to above average IQ.  


  • Poor social skills, have a hard time relating to others, lack the instinct and skills needed to express thoughts and feelings, and have the inability to empathize or return emotion. 
  • May not recognize verbal or non-verbal cues or understand social norms like eye contact, sarcasm, jokes or personal space.
  • May have flat speech patterns that lack pitch, tone and accent or may have high-pitched, loud or robotic speech.
  • Might lack coordination, have unusual facial expressions, body postures, poor handwriting, poor balance, and difficultly with motor skills. Some may flap their hands.
  • May only have a few interests or focus intensely on a specific topic or subject.
  • Crave routine, schedules, and rigidity or feel that the world is out of control.
  • Have sleep problems, nocturnal awakenings, or early morning awakenings. 
  • Inappropriate or minimal social interactions
  • Becoming upset at any small changes in routines
  • Memorizing preferred information and facts easily
  • Clumsy, uncoordinated movements, including difficulty with handwriting
  • Difficulty managing emotions, sometimes leading to verbal or behavioral outbursts, self-injurious behaviors or tantrums
  • Not understanding other peoples’ feelings or perspectives
  • Hypersensitivity to lights, sounds and textures.


Because children with Aspergers Syndrome usually speak on time and have no significant delays in developmental milestones, a diagnosis is sometimes often delayed until the child is between the ages of 4-11. Usually, parents notice symptoms and bring them to the attention of their pediatrician. If the disorder is suspected, your doctor may refer you to a specialist to assess your child’s speech and language abilities, IQ, social skills level and motor abilities.


Treatment usually includes a variety of interventions including speech and language therapy, behavior modification, social skills training and educational interventions. Because children with Asperger's can have other conditions like ADHD, depression, anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder, medications may also be prescribed.


Specialized services can help a child with Asperger's Syndrome by assisting them with social and behavioral difficulties, issues with organization, and social relationships. Sometimes, children experience anxiety if their schedule is disrupted or can become agitated if they are placed in situations that don’t have a clear expectations so IEP goals that address these items can be helpful.


Children with Asperger's Syndrome can have behavioral goals in place of academic goals in their individual education plan (IEP) if the child is not experiencing academic difficulties. Or, a combination of both behavioral and academic goals may be needed.

If your child has been recently diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, you should contact your school and request a special education evaluation. Treatment recommendations from your doctor should be shared with the IEP team when determining your child’s goals and modifications.

Other Learning Disabilities
Speech and Language Disorders
More on ADHD
More on Autism
More on Dyslexia

 To obtain more information about Aspergers I'd also recommend visiting the site Asperger's Syndrome Parent. 

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