User:Poindexter Propellerhead/Sandbox/Aspie

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Asperger syndrome (also referred to as Asperger's syndrome, Asperger's disorder, Asperger's, or AS) is a condition on the autism spectrum. It manifests in individual ways and can have both positive[1][2][3][4][5] and negative effects on a person's life. Like other forms of autism, Asperger's includes repetitive behavior patterns and impairment in social interaction. However, Asperger's differs from 'classic' autism in that non-social aspects of intellectual development generally proceed at a normal or accelerated rate.[6]

Characteristics of Asperger's vary greatly from person to person but often include: intensely focused areas of interest, sensory integration/sensitivity issues, self-stimulating ('stimming') behavior such as rocking, difficulty interpreting facial expressions and other social cues.[6] Positive characteristics have also been observed, these often include: enhanced mental focus, memory, and an intuitive understanding of logical systems, which may manifest itself as talent in mathematics, engineering, sciences[3][4][5] or language[n4].

Asperger's versus High Functioning Autism[edit]

There is significant controversy over the difference between AS and the broader category of high functioning autism (HFA). While neither AS nor HFA have universally accepted definitions [n5] , most diagnostic manuals distinguish the two according to speech development. Delayed speech indicates HFA; normal onset of speech indicates Asperger's.[6] However, at least one diagnostic guide takes the opposite position; that delayed onset of speech favors a diagnosis of AS. [n8]

Some clinicians deny that AS is differentiated from other autistic spectrum disorders at all[n7]. Instead they refer to Asperger's as HFA, or treat the diagnoses interchangably, arguing that language delay is a difference in degree and not kind. [n7][1]. Even among those who feel that the differences between AS and HFA are significant, it is common for diagnoses to be influenced by non-technical issues, such as availability of government benefits for one condition but not the other. [n6] [Here's an even better one, in online PDF form:] Due to the mixed nature of its effects, and continued debate over its definition, Asperger's remains controversial among researchers, clinicians, and people with the diagnosis.

(That leaves us with a leftover section on diagnosis, which might be better moved into a later part of the article.)

AS is often not identified in early childhood, and many individuals are not diagnosed until they are adults. Assistance for core symptoms of AS consists of therapies that apply behaviour management strategies and address poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, and physical clumsiness. Many individuals with AS can adopt strategies for coping and do lead fulfilling lives - being gainfully employed, having successful relationships, and having families. In most cases, they are aware of their differences and can recognize if they need any support to maintain an independent life.[4]

[1] Brasic, JR. Pervasive Developmental Disorder: Asperger Syndrome. (April 10, 2006). Retrieved 7 July 2006.


[2] Treffert, DA. Asperger's Disorder and Savant Syndrome. Wisconsin Medical Society. Retrieved on 19 July 2006.


[3] Tony Attwood, _The Complete Guide to Asperger's_, ??? page number, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, UK. 2007


[4] Simon Baron-Cohen, Sally Wheelwright, Richard Skinner, Joanne Martin and Emma Clubley Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ): Evidence from Asperger Syndrome/High-Functioning Autism, Males and Females, Scientists and Mathematicians, _Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders_, Vol 31-1, February 2001


[5] Asperger H. Die ‘autischen Psychopathen’ Kindesalter. Arch Psychiatrie Nervenkrankheiten 1944;17: 76-136. Pertinent quotations translated to english :


[6] BehaveNet® Clinical Capsule™. DSM-IV & DSM-IV-TR: Asperger's Disorder (AD). Retrieved 28 June 2006.


[n4] Fred Volkmar, M.D., director of the Yale Child Study Center. Psychiatric News October 6, 2006 Volume 41, Number 19, page 21 "These are kids who talk before they can walk."


[n5] Patricia Howlin, PhD, Fred Volkmar, M.D, Sadie Dingfelder, A Dilemma of Definition, American Psychology Association Volume 35, No. 11 December 2004, page 48


[n6] Attwood, Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, pp. 150-151


[n7] Mayes SD, Calhoun SL, Crites DL. "Does DSM-IV Asperger's disorder exist?" J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2001 Jun;29(3):263-71 PMID: 11411788


[n8] (Gillberg's criteria may be found at Christopher_Gillberg or at if that suits you better.) [26] Attwood, Tony (1997). Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals. Jessica Kingsley Pub., London. ISBN 1-85302-577-1, pp. ?? "At present, the results suggest there seems to be no meaningful difference between [Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism]. They are more the same than they are different."



  1. ^ Brasic, JR. "Pervasive Developmental Disorder: Asperger Syndrome". 
  2. ^ Treffert, DA. "Asperger's Disorder and Savant Syndrome". Wisconsin Medical Society. 
  3. ^ Attwood, Tony (2007). "The Complete Guide to Asperger's". Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, UK. 
  4. ^ Baron-Cohen, Simon (2001). "The Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ): Evidence from Asperger Syndrome/High-Functioning Autism, Males and Females, Scientists and Mathematicians". Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 31 (1). Retrieved 2007-06-23.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  5. ^ Asperger, Hans (1944). "Die 'autischen Psychopathen' Kindesalter". Arch Psychiatrie Nervenkrankheiten. 17: 76–136. Retrieved 2007-06-23. 
  6. ^ "BehaveNet® Clinical Capsule™. DSM-IV & DSM-IV-TR: Asperger's Disorder (AD)". 
  7. ^ Volkmar, Fred (2006). Psychiatric News. 41 (19): 21 Retrieved 2007-06-23.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Howlin, Patricia (2004). "A Dilemma of Definition". American Psychology Association. 35 (11): 48. Retrieved 2007-06-23.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  9. ^ Attwood, Tony (1998). "Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals". Jessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd., London, UK.: 150–1. ISBN 1-85302-557-1 Check |isbn= value: checksum (help). 
  10. ^ Mayes, SD (2001). "Does DSM-IV Asperger's disorder exist?". J Abnorm Child Psychol. 29 (3): 263–71. PMID 11411788. Retrieved 2007-06-23.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  11. ^ Attwood, Tony (1998). "Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals". Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Ltd., London, UK.: 150. ISBN 1-85302-577-1.