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

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

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.

Preparing the Teen With Autism - What Do Employers Look For?

By Chantal Sicile-Kira on February 16, 2016 in The Autism Advocate
Instead of focusing on the skills your child or student does not have, look at the top ten attributes employers search for. Your child or student probably has a few of those.

Were the Timekeepers of the Ancient World Autistic?

By John Elder Robison on February 13, 2016 in My Life With Asperger's
Were the ancient calendars a product of early autistic thinkers? If so, is that one more example of their place in the early churches, guiding humanity?

What Can We Do to Prepare Youths with Autism for Employment?

By Chantal Sicile-Kira on February 05, 2016 in The Autism Advocate
Preparing a child or student with autism for life as a productive adult? Planning ahead and teaching life skills needed for employment are two important steps.

Does Mom Know Best, or Do We Presume Autistic Competence?

In the autism community, parents often think they know best. But increasing numbers of young adult autistics challenge that notion.

Designer Genes

By Diane Tober Ph.D. on January 21, 2016 in The Age of Biotech
Rejecting sperm and egg providers because of ADHD and Dyslexia? Cultural myths abound surrounding "disability" and genetics.

3 New Books That Get Psychology Right

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on January 18, 2016 in Creating in Flow
Books are best when they do more than one thing well. The ones reviewed here show that their authors understand human nature and can handle plot and setting with aplomb.

Autism Parents: You Didn’t Win Powerball but That’s OK

By Darren Sush Psy.D., BCBA-D on January 14, 2016 in All the Pieces
You might not be a new billionaire, but you wouldn’t want to spend $1.5b on new autism therapy options anyway.

Was the Father of Asperger Syndrome an Accomplice to Murder?

Many identify with Asperger's syndrome, a part of the Autism Spectrum. New revelations that Dr. Asperger may have participated in murder in WWII cast doubt on his legacy.

Treat Your New Year’s Resolution Like Your Child's IEP Goals

By Darren Sush Psy.D., BCBA-D on January 03, 2016 in All the Pieces
Keeping the same standards from your child’s IEP goals can help you set realistic and attainable new year’s resolutions.

Mentalizing, Ontological Confusions, and Religious Belief

New research findings from Finland suggest that facility with theory of mind may be less important for religious belief than most cognitive scientists of religion have assumed.

Autism and Religion: Finding a Spiritual Home

By Chantal Sicile-Kira on December 16, 2015 in The Autism Advocate
When you have a child with autism, finding a place of worship that is inclusive can be difficult. For my son, Jeremy, it was not easy, but there is happy ending to our story.

The Aliens Have Landed!

Many autistics feel like visitors from another planet, and the metaphor is a good one.

What Multiple Sclerosis Can Teach Us About Defeating ISIS

By Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. on December 05, 2015 in Just Listen
Can an analogy be made between the myelination of the brain to become psychologically fixated and the radicalization of the brain to commit jihad?

How Can We Support Asperger's Students In Their Schools?

When do we stop blaming students with Asperger's and start helping them find their own way!?
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Married to a Man With Asperger’s Syndrome?

By Eva A. Mendes LMHC on November 04, 2015 in The Heart of Autism
Being in a relationship with an undiagnosed Asperger or autistic husband can be challenging in some marriages. The wife can sometimes experience mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, Affective Deprivation Disorder, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of their husband's low emotional reciprocity, communication struggles and anger issues.

Narcissism or Aspergers: How Would You Diagnose These Cases?

These two cases were written as Comments by readers of an earlier article that I have posted on this blog. What do you think: narcissism, Aspergers, both or neither?

Music Therapy and Autism: An Ethical Dilemma

By Dean Olsher M.A., MT-BC on November 01, 2015 in A Sound Mind
Music therapists are effective at treating autism. Autistic people think it is wrong of us to try.

Beyond the "Selfie" Self: the Diametric View

Robert Trivers’ neo-Freudian view of the self-deceiving self is self-contradictory, but the diametric model suggests a more honest alternative.

Is Autism a Mental Illness?

The recent tragedy in Oregon has renewed controversy about what autism really is or isn’t. While often well intentioned, this debate is based on shaky scientific ground and may actually be making stigma worse.