Asperger's Syndrome is one disorder in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) as classified by the National Institute of Mental Health. This disorder, like the other disorders in ASD, is characterized by severe delays in social/communication development. In comparison to other disorders in ASD, children with Asperger's Syndrome have communication and social deficits that are not as severe and as such, those with Asperger's are considered highly functioning. One hallmark symptom of Asperger's Syndrome is an extreme interest in a single subject or topic above all others. Other symptoms include clumsy and uncoordinated movements or repetitive routines or rituals. However, these symptoms are not unique to Asperger's Syndrome and a proper diagnostic tool such as the ADOS or the ADI-R must be used by a clinician to properly diagnose any of the disorders in ASD.
- Diagnostic Criteria
Diagnostic criteria for Asperger's Syndrome largely overlaps with the other disorders in ASD. However, those with Asperger's Syndrome usually do not display much of a language delay-that is, they reach the appropriate benchmarks for speech such as single words used by 2 years of age, communicative phrases used by 3 years of age. Furthermore, there is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or age appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other than in social interactions) and curiosity about the environment during childhood.
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