What Is Asperger's Syndrome?

Asperger's syndrome colloquially refers to a high functioning form of autism.  People with Asperger's often lack social skills and sometimes have problems with motor regulation. However, their language and cognitive skills are largely intact. Those with Asperger's may lack the ability to understand the perspectives and feelings of others to varying degrees.

People with Asperger's often have an orientation toward detail and an interest in systemizing, which can look like obsessiveness. Some may show remarkable facility in a narrowly focused and usually non-social area, such as baseball statistics or train schedules.

Asperger’s is no longer an official diagnosis, though it was once formally classified as separate from other forms of autism in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The behavior ascribed to Asperger’s is now encompassed under the umbrella diagnosis “Autism Spectrum Disorder” in the latest edition, DSM-5.

Recent posts on Asperger's Syndrome

Gray & White Matter MRI Opposite in Autistics vs. Psychotics

Brain-imaging reveals white and gray matter in autistic brains vary oppositely to schizophrenic brains, suggesting a new diagnostic tool only explained by the diametric model.

When Autism Parents Are Hesitant to Share the Diagnosis

By Darren Sush Psy.D., BCBA-D on December 05, 2016 in All the Pieces
How inappropriate speculation related to Donald Trump’s son, highlights the concerns of many parents of children with autism about how and when to share their child’s diagnosis.

Special-Needs Parenting and the Lowerarchy: Part Two

By Barb Cohen on December 04, 2016 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
The lowerarchy is more than a boundary; it is an edifice of alternating comfort and despair, always at the expense of other people and their children.
Looking downward/Barb Cohen

The Lowerarchy of Special-Needs Parenting

By Barb Cohen on November 27, 2016 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
Instead of using the rhetoric of “better than,” we shift to “not as bad-off as,” as in “my kid is not as bad-off as yours. "We’ve created a lowerarchy.
"Copenhagen broken bike"/Jens Cramer/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

"Mom, Am I Disabled?"

By Barb Cohen on November 18, 2016 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
Identifying a person as disabled entails locking that person into a world of very limited expectations. Having a disability describes all of us.

Autism Employment: The Importance of Mentors

By Chantal Sicile-Kira on November 17, 2016 in The Autism Advocate
If your child appears to have skills or a real interest in a specific area, someone who works in that field can help the child realize the application of his interests.
Reading bedtime stories with Sean-bear/ktbuffy/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

When May We Change the Topic From the Election?

By Barb Cohen on November 13, 2016 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
We will want the predictability of our routines. Even the meltdowns will reassure us that our own small corner of the world is recognizable—and still needs tending.
Maggie Bartlett/NHGRI

"No Thanks" to This Line of Autism Research

By Barb Cohen on November 04, 2016 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
My family’s DNA is a coveted commodity. Our older daughter is autistic, and researchers want our blood and saliva. Once upon a time I would have happily donated. Not now.

DSM-5 Diagnoses in Kids Should Always Be Written in Pencil

By Allen J Frances M.D. on October 31, 2016 in Saving Normal
Accurate diagnosis in kids is tough and time consuming. Misdiagnosis in kids is easy and fast- but the harms can last a lifetime.

Martial Arts Training Can Help Autism

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on October 29, 2016 in Black Belt Brain
Evidence shows that martial arts training--and activities like horseback riding--focused on physical and mental integration can be effective in improving communication in autism.

How Do You Tell a Teenager That He Has Autism?

By Ugo Uche on September 24, 2016 in Promoting Empathy With Your Teen
Apparently, most teens who have not been educated on autism, view autism as a form of intellectual impairment which they have come to associate with social stigma.

Being Autistic at the Bottom of the World

By John Elder Robison on September 10, 2016 in My Life With Asperger's
Attitudes about autism vary greatly around the world.

The 8-Ball from Hell of ASD: Perfectionism

Perfectionism is a dilemma with two prongs: the self-imposed need to get things exactly right, and self-inflicted criticism in the face of inevitable failure.

Autistics as Undomesticated Humans

To the extent that humans are a self-domesticated species, autistics can be seen as less domesticated than others.

Back to School, Back to Stress: 5 Tips for Autism Parents

For many parents of children with autism and special needs, the days and weeks leading to “Back to School” can be extremely nerve-wracking.

Teens With Autism: Looking at Strengths for Employment

By Chantal Sicile-Kira on August 02, 2016 in The Autism Advocate
Are you thinking about your teen with autism and possible employment? Consider his interests, strengths, and obsessions.

Dissecting Sheldon Cooper

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on July 13, 2016 in Media Spotlight
If you've seen even a single episode of the hit sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, then you're familiar with Dr. Sheldon Cooper. Understanding the antics of an eccentric genius.
James Coplan, MD

Autism: Epidemic or Explosion? (And Why It Matters)

Are we truly living in the age of autism? Making sense of the numbers.

A Fresh Take on Asperger's

Whether Asperger's is a disorder is a matter of context. Disorder is relational and situational, not absolute and irrevocable, as terminology and everyday assumption suggest.

A (Metaphorical) Bridge Between Semantic Order and Chaos

Walt Whitman once asked, “Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?” Research on the neural networks involved in metaphor processing justifies that feeling of pride.
Chantal Sicile-Kira

Preparing Teens With Autism for Work: Self Employment

Looking at self-employment as an option sometimes leads to an actual job. The process of discovering a person’s strengths and weaknesses can lead to traditional employment.

Do Vitamins Cause Autism?

By Mark Borigini M.D. on May 13, 2016 in Overcoming Pain
Most striking were the 21 mothers who had “excess” levels of both vitamins. In this group, 10 had children who were diagnosed with autism. In other words, almost one-half.

It's Autism Awareness Month

By Kimberly Stephens and Joanne Ruthsatz Ph.D. on April 26, 2016 in The Prodigy's Cousin
Autism is even more complex than most people realize. Here's what more than 20 members of the autism community wish were better understood about autism.

Sometimes Evolutionary Mismatch is a Good Thing

Often, modern environments mismatch ancestral environments to our detriment. But sometimes, unnatural technologies can be beneficial. Here’s an example - that relates to autism.

The Unhappy Intellectually Gifted Child

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 10, 2016 in How To Do Life
An interview with Edward Amend

Did Einstein Show Asperger's Traits?

Psychological traits of Einstein and 11 others including Lincoln, Howard Hughes, Warhol, and Darwin, and how they coped with inner adversity are examined in this new book.

The Autism of Rodin’s Thinker

Autistic deficits in quick, intuitive social responses are balanced by strengths in more deliberative, objective, and unbiased reasoning, just as the diametric model implies.

Don’t Miss the Rainbow Searching for a Pot of Gold

A St. Patrick’s Day reminder that all victories are lucky charms

Sex, Aspergers & Autism

By Paul Joannides Psy.D. on March 01, 2016 in As You Like It
This is an exhaustive list of resources on sex and autism-spectrum disorders. It is for parents, educators, individuals with autism, and their partners.

Reading Asperger in the 'Reading the Mind in the Eyes' Test

An important precedent for our understanding of autism and its history is set by the finding that only a minority of autistics show an impairment on reading the mind in the eyes.