10 Characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome

1. Difficulty Developing Friendships

  • Children with Asperger’s syndrome may struggle to form and maintain friendships, due to a lack of social skills. They may lack the skills necessary to talk to other children or participate in group activities, though they may deeply long for this connection with their peers.

2. Selective Mutism

  • Children with Asperger’s syndrome may not feel comfortable talking in public settings, and thus have what is called “selective mutism.” That is, they will only verbally communicate with those they feel most comfortable (i.e., parents, siblings).

3. Inability to Empathize

  • Those diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome may have difficult emphasizing with others. Through education, they may learn the accepted social responses for interacting with others, but may not fully understand someone’s emotions.

4. Unable to Make Eye Contact or Forcing Eye Contact

  • Making and holding eye contact can be difficult for individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome, often brought on from a lack of confidence. Some may also not understand the important of eye contact for social communication, resulting in forcing eye contact. Forcing eye contact can may others feel even more uncomfortable.

5. Being “Active But Odd”

  • There is a misconceived notion that people with Asperger’s syndrome are not passionate. These individuals may become very social, but only form a few close relationships, or may surround themselves with people but do not form any deep relationships.

6. Narrowed Interests

  • Individuals with Asperger’s syndrome tend to have narrow and specific interests. When forced to leave their projects, or if their projects are failing, they may become greatly distressed. Fostering these interests is important for the reduction of stress and anxiety.

7. Sticking to Routine

  • Creating and maintaining a routine is important for someone with Asperger’s syndrome to avoid any distress and anxiety.

8. Literal Interpretations

  • Individuals with Asperger’s syndrome tend to take everything someone says literally, and thus may need an explanation of expressions. This population may struggle to understand sarcasm and other emotions through social communication.

9. Excellent Pattern Recognition

  • Those diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome tend to have an incredible ability to recognize patterns, excelling in math and art. Foster this ability!

10. Poor Motor Skills

  • Fine and gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination tend to be a struggle for those diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, resulting in poor handwriting, poor ability to hold objects, and even difficulties with walking and posture.

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