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 typically 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.

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Recent Posts on Asperger's Syndrome

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

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 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 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

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

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

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

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!?

Married to a Man With Asperger’s Syndrome?

By Eva A. Mendes LMHC on November 04, 2015 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 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.

Inside the Mind of a School Shooter, Part 2

My very smart and astute friend, Peter Winick, founder of Thought Leadership Leverage shared with me a conversation he had with a doctor who hypothesized that the present day rampage shooters were often the disenfranchised oddballs that have always been part of school, college and community populations. But they didn't commit violence.

My Life with Nonverbal Learning Disability

By Jon Fortenbury on September 30, 2015 NeuroProgress
It's a debilitating condition not often discussed. This writer is ready to change that.

Are Diesel Cars Responsible for Rising Rates of Autism?

A recent study and several previous investigations have found associations between air pollution and autism. These studies suggest increased chances of having a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder following higher exposures to diesel particulate matter, as well as in connection to proximity to a freeway.

Knowledge Is Power, in Community and Alone

We're just beginning to realize the vital importance of community among people with autism and other neurodiverse conditions. Here's why it matters and what you can do to take part.

New Paradigm of Thought Demystifies Cognitive Flexibility

By Christopher Bergland on September 07, 2015 The Athlete's Way
Researchers have created a new model of cognitive flexibility based on four components.

Loving What You Hate and Hating What You Love

By Lynne Soraya on September 07, 2015 Asperger's Diary
For an autistic person, pain can be disturbingly difficult to distinguish from pleasure.

Rethinking the Symptoms of Autism

The tragedy here is that, among that many symptoms of autism that are unresponsive to treatment, catatonic symptoms are highly responsive. Instead, many clinicians are still administering neuroleptics, which may make the patients worse rather than better. Medicine has the power to relieve illness, but switch a train onto the wrong track and it may just ignore the red flag

A Service Dog Stops an Autistic From a Self-Harming Meltdown

A remarkable video shows a service dog coming to rescue a woman from an autistic self-harming experience

The X Factor: Genetics and Female Mental Health

XIST, the gene that controls X chromosome gene expression, is up regulated in psychosis, just as the imprinted brain theory predicts.

6 Tips for a Fun 4th of July for Parents of Kids With Autism

The 4th of July is a fun and exciting holiday filled with many amazing activities for your children. However, for some individuals with autism and their families, the crowded public spaces and the crack and shimmer of fireworks can be difficult and uncomfortable.

America: The “No-Vacation Nation”

How your boss isn't feeling much love towards your down time.

ART in ASD, Part One

Could imbalance in the autonomic nervous system explain the complexity and heterogeneity of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? Could teaching kids and families affected by ASD skills in autonomic regulation broadly improve comfort and functioning? This is the first of three blog posts on our work at the Center for Applied Psychophysiology and Self-regulation at RIT.

Reassessing Asperger's

A person with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) has difficulty with Theory of Mind: our ability to appreciate another person's point of view. But AS people can be very adept at noticing what people think and feel about them. This is a different perspective on perspective: that we are more interested in what people think or feel about us and later about what they think or feel.