Asperger Syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is considered by many to be the mildest form of ASD. Below is an overview of the ten primary characteristics of children with Asperger Syndrome.
- Social Relation Difficulties: Children with Asperger’s have difficulty knowing how to act appropriately in social situations. They have to be taught appropriate behavior because they are not able to learn these skills by watching others.
- Social Communication Difficulties: Children with Asperger’s lack the skills to interact with others in normal small talk. They can be quite expressive and seem to have high communication skills if they are talking about one of their interest areas, but it tends to be a monologue rather than a conversing back and forth. They also usually lack in the ability to read non-verbal communication from others.
- Language Comprehension/Auditory Processing Difficulties: Children with Asperger’s usually have difficulty with language that is not literal, such as jokes, teasing, words that can mean more that one thing and if meaning is implied. They will usually put a literal and concrete meaning to all that they hear thus hindering their full processing of the information.
- Sensory Processing Difficulties: Children with Asperger’s may have difficulty in processing sensory input which might result in a response that seems either inappropriate or exaggerated. This is often due to overstimulation of their senses.
- Difficulty Representing Language Internally: Many children with Asperger’s tend to say what they think, being unable to first internalize their responses to others and situations and then determine the appropriateness of whether to make a comment or not.
- Insistence on Sameness: Children with Asperger’s have a preference for things to remain the same; they are most happy with schedules and rituals so that they know what is happening next. Changes in a normal schedule can easily upset them.
- Poor Concentration, Distractibility, and Disorganization: Children with Asperger’s have difficulty screening out extraneous noise and activity. They also have difficulty organizing their thoughts or personal items and may have difficulty knowing what materials are needed for a specific task.
- Emotional Vulnerability: Children with Asperger’s often have the intellectual ability to be successful in a regular classroom but due to the above characteristics, they can become overwhelmed with all that is happening in the regular classroom. This may lead to high stress and result in outbursts in the classroom.
- Restricted/Perseverative Range of Interests: Children with Asperger’s may become fixated on specific areas of interest or have trouble letting go of thoughts or ideas on a certain topic. They tend to want to restrict their involvement in activities or classrooms that are tied to their area of interest.
- Difficulty Taking the Perspective of Others: Children with Asperger’s have difficulty understanding that other people might have different thoughts, beliefs, interests, and desires from their own. They are unable to infer what others might be thinking or feeling.
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