Asperger Syndrome (AS) is a disorder of development and is considered to be one of Autism Spectrum Disorders. All Autism spectrum disorders include developmental problems in broadly three areas: social relatedness and social skills, the use of language for communicative purposes, and repetitive behaviours and a limited but intense range of interests. The presence of abnormalities in these three areas defines all disorders on the spectrum, including AS.

AS, however, is considered the mildest end of the spectrum. Asperger syndrome represents that portion of the spectrum which is characterized at least normal IQ by definition, and sometimes ranging up into the very superior range, and by more normal language function compared to other disorders along the spectrum. In fact, the presence of normal basic language skills is now felt to be one of the criteria for the diagnosis of AS.
Individuals with AS can exhibit a variety of characteristics and the disorder can range from mild to severe.

WHAT CAUSES AS?

There is no single identifiable cause in most cases of AS; studies show that several factors, including genetic ones, can cause AS.

HOW DO I KNOW THAT A CHILD HAS AS?

Children with AS typically show a number of the following characteristics:
Social impairment with extreme egocentricity, which may include:

Please note:

These behaviors must be sufficient to interfere significantly with social or other areas of functioning. There are other factors as well, and a diagnosis has to made after investigations by a developmental pediatrician. Also note that from May 2013, Asperger Syndrome will no longer be considered as a separate diagnosis and will now be called Autism spectrum Disorder (ASD). This is because, across the world, people acknowledge that while individuals with Asperger syndrome may appear to be functioning fairly well, their challenges in social communication and behaviours are common to others who get a diagnosis of Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

HOW DO I GET A CHILD EVALUATED FOR AS?

If you are worried that your child exhibits some or all of the above concerns, you should get him evaluated by a professional who has expertise in this area. It could be a developmental pediatrician, a child psychiatrist or a child psychologist.
You might be advised to get your child undergo a test called the ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule) and/or a detailed observation and interaction with your child.

HOW CAN I HELP A CHILD WITH AS IN SCHOOL AND IN GENERAL SOCIAL SITUATIONS?
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