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Asperger Syndrome

Asperger, Asperger's, Asperger's Syndrome: All four spellings name the different way this syndrome maybe spelt.

In 1944 Hans Asperger described a condition he termed autistic psychopathy, characterised by problems in social integration and non-verbal communication associated with idiosyncratic verbal communication and an egocentric preoccupation with unusual and circumscribed interests. Patients with this condition had difficulties with empathy and intuition and had a tendency to intellectualisation. They were also clumsy, found it hard to take part in team sports and exhibited behavioural difficulties including aggression and being victims of bullying. In 1981 Lorna Wing renamed the condition, Asperger Syndrome and described the following difficulties that may occur within the first two years of life of children having this condition:

  • A lack of normal interest and pleasure in people around them;
  • A reduction in the quality and quantity of babbling;
  • A significant reduction in shared interests;
  • A significant reduction in the wish to communicate verbally or non-verbally;
  • A delay in speech acquisition and impoverishment of content;
  • A lack of imaginative play or imaginative play confined to one or two rigid patterns.

You may find it difficult to understand humour and take everything that is said to you literally. People may feel uncomfortable in your presence because you do not appear to give them eye contact. In situations that require a sympathetic response from you, they will instead probably be met with an empty look. You may also display other symptoms from the Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

"As with any condition there are varying degrees of Asperger Syndrome. Had I been diagnosed with the condition during my first years as a child, teenager or adult I wonder how my diagnoses would have looked. When I was 47, the Priory Hospital in London diagnosed me as having Asperger Syndrome, mild associated developmental in-coordination difficulties, associated attention deficit/partial attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adult type)."