ASPERGERS BEHAVIOR

The following behaviors are often associated with Asperger syndrome. However, they are seldom all present in any one individual and vary widely in degree:

  • Limited or inappropriate social interactions
  • “robotic” or repetitive speech
  • Challenges with nonverbal communication (gestures, facial expression, etc.) coupled with average to above average verbal skills
  • Tendency to discuss self rather than others
  • Inability to understand social/emotional issues or non-literal phrases
  • Lack of eye contact or reciprocal conversation
  • Obsession with specific, often unusual, topics
  • One-sided conversations
  • Awkward movements and/or mannerisms

Characteristics of Asperger’s Disorder

The following five criteria primarily characterize Asperger’s Disorder:

  1. A significant, ongoing impairment in social interactions with others, as demonstrated by at least two of the following symptoms:
    • Significant difficulty in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as the lack of eye contact, few facial expressions, awkward or clumsy body postures and gestures.
    • Failure to develop friendships with other children of the same age.
    • Lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people).
    • Failure to express appropriate and corresponding social or emotional reactions, such as when conversing or playing with others. For example, a child who shows little or no reaction, feelings or empathy to another child talking with them.
  2. Restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as shown by at least one of the following symptoms:
    • A significant and encompassing preoccupation or obsession with one or two restricted topics, that is abnormal either in intensity, subject or focus (such as baseball statistics or the weather)
    • Seemingly inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals that serve little purpose.
    • Repetitive motor mannerisms. For example, hand or finger flapping or twisting or complex whole-body movements.
    • A persistent preoccupation with parts of objects.
  3. The set of symptoms causes significant impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.
  4. There is no significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by age 2, communicative phrases used by age 3).
  5. There is no significant delay in cognitive development (such as reading or math skills) or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, behavior and curiosity about the environment in childhood.

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