Symptoms of Asperger syndrome

There are a wide variety of symptoms for Asperger syndrome. These symptoms can vary greatly in severity and an individual with Asperger syndrome may experience a few or many of these symptoms.

Asperger syndrome shares some similarities with autism however a child with Asperger syndrome typically does not experience the same language and cognitive delays or other learning disabilities normally associated with autism.

It is worth remembering however that no two people with Asperger syndrome are alike.

Symptoms during childhood

Symptoms of Asperger syndrome tend to become first apparent when a child starts school and begins to interact with other children.

Children with Asperger syndrome may:

  • Have trouble detecting social cues and body language

  • Have difficulty with maintaining conversations and knowing when it is their turn to speak

  • Appear to lack empathy for other people and their feelings. Some people can appear to be introverted and almost aloof

  • Dislike changes in routines

  • Employ a formal style of speaking using complex words or phrases despite not fully understanding their meaning

  • Be unable to recognise subtle differences in speech tone, pitch, and accent that alter the meaning of others’ speech

  • Have difficulty when playing games which require the use of imagination

  • Have limited range of interests which he or she may be very knowledgeable about

  • Have poor handwriting and late development in motor skills such as catching a ball or using a knife and fork

  • Have heightened sensitivity and become overstimulated by loud noises, lights, or strong tastes or textures

Just because your child exhibits one or two of these symptoms however does not mean that they have Asperger syndrome.

Diagnosis of Asperger syndrome

Diagnosis of Asperger syndrome can be difficult and requires a combination of the above symptoms and significant trouble with social situations.

If you suspect you child has the condition, the first step is to visit a GP, who will refer your child to a paediatrician or psychologist.

Symptoms during adolescent and teen years

Most symptoms of Asperger syndrome will continue throughout the teen years, however teenagers can begin to learn the social skills they are lacking in. Communication problems and trouble interpreting other people’s behaviour may remain however.

Teenagers with the condition may find that may be more immature than those around them, and can be naïve and overly trusting,

Further information

For more information on Asperger syndrome see:

How to help a person with Asperger syndrome

Living with Asperger syndrome