Asperger Syndrome (AS)

People with Asperger Syndrome (AS) present with a group of symptoms caused by their having neurological differences from the non-AS population. In other words people with AS see and feel things differently than people without AS because their brains work differently. Males are three or four times more likely to be diagnosed with the disorder than females. The symptoms occur within a range causing mild to severe impairment. Also, most importantly, people with AS are people, they have their own personality, and a life history that has a large influence on how they behave. Just as everyone is different, everyone with AS is different as well.

People with the syndrome have striking social deficits. For example, they may not use or understand nonverbal behaviors such as: making and maintaining eye-contact; reading other people’s facial expressions or body language; maintaining a comfortable (for others) distance when speaking, or failing to pick-up on what someone is saying by the tone in their voice. Social deficits may also result in a fewer, or age inappropriate friendships; failure to share in the joys or interests of others, and or a failure to respond to other’s emotions. They are likely to prefer routine and predictability. In addition to social deficits, people with the syndrome have behaviors and interests that stand out as odd which typically results in teasing and ostracism when they were growing up.

Just because people with AS behave in ways that lower their chances of being able to connect with others, this does not mean that they don’t want to. People with AS have the same desire for friendships as everyone. Also just because people with AS seem to repeat social blunders and not pick up on social cues, even when the cues are explained by others, this does not mean they lack intelligence. People must nave normal intelligence to be diagnosed with AS.

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