Aspergers Symptoms: Social Blindness or Mild Autism?


What do we know about aspergers symptoms? Asperger syndrome is one of five mental development disruptions related to autism spectrum disorders. Externally, this disorder is often compared with milder forms of autism, in which the capacity for social communications and interactions is partly preserved.

Children with aspergers symptoms develop in conformity with age norms, without significant disturbances in social behavior, intellectual development, cognitive function, preserving the natural rhythm of speech progress. However, the characteristic symptoms allow us to relate mental changes of these children to autistic disorders. Asperger’s syndrome symptoms are not expressed so clearly and critically, as in autism, but they are strong enough to make life difficult.

The causes of Asperger’s syndrome

aspergers symptomsThe causes of Asperger’s syndrome are similar to the reasons for the emergence of autism spectrum disorders. Major cause of their appearance is a combination of genetic factors, toxic substances and biological agents that may affect the fetus in the first few months of development.

The diagnosis “Asperger Syndrome” was initially suggested by a psychiatrist Lorna Wing in 1981. The syndrome is named after the famous child psychiatrist Hans Asperger, who first described a similar disorder.

What are the main symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome

People with this disorder have difficulties in three main areas. Here they are:

  1. Social communication;
  2. Social interaction;
  3. Social imagination.

Most often Asperger syndrome symptoms are observed in preschoolers and school-age children (5 to 11 years).

Social difficulties of aspergers symptoms

Children and adults with aspergers symptoms find it hard to cope with non-verbal communication, which is so easy for the average person. For people with Asperger’s syndrome it’s really hard to understand body language, facial and eyes expression. They not only can’t “read” simple reactions of others (for example, they are not able to realize that their collocutor is bored or worried about too close range during the conversation), but they are also not capable to give such signals by themselves.

Asperger’s verbal communication is also too far from normal. People with Asperger’s disorder understand everything that has been said in its direct meaning. It’s quite hard or even impossible for them to realise what the other person has in mind if he doesn’t speak directly. This feature is called “social blindness”.

Despite average or high IQ level or the rich vocabulary, these people have problems in understanding figurative speech. Most figures of speech, metaphors, proverbs aren’t clear for them. They do not have the natural ability to feel and understand the subtext of social interaction.

Young kids and adults with aspergers symptoms look like unsociable and lonely people, even though in reality they are in need of friendship. But maintaining friendships is too complex process for them. The problems in verbal and non-verbal communication lead to their induced isolation.

Repetitive and restricted behavior

People with Asperger’s syndrome tend to follow a pre-routine pattern, even if it doesn’t have any sense. Violation of their order of actions may have the paralyzing effect on children and adults.

In addition, Asperger’s people like organization in everything: they meticulously lay out things in a certain order (the objects on the office desk, some things in the closet, etc.) and try to carefully plan their daily routine.

Such people often keep repeating compulsive movements, relieving anxiety and appearing in stressful situations (wrapping hair on a finger, fingers tapping, etc). They are characterized by frequent long-time focusing on moving objects: wheels or windshield wipers.

Some other symptoms that are often associated with Asperger syndrome:
- Clumsiness and lack of predisposition to activities that require plasticity, rhythm and flexibility (sports, dancing, skiing, skating);
- Monotony and tediousness of speech, even in an informal situations;
- Abnormal sensitivity to loud noises or strong smells, the reluctance of tactile contact;
- Extensive special interests, which can be specific or quite common (computers, math, books, etc.).

Sources:
Asperger’s disorder diagnostic criteria

New Definition of Autism 

p.s. Aspergers symptoms are more often observed in boys than in girls, but some experts say it’s just because girls have better skills of social adaptation. So maybe aspergers symptoms in girls are just more difficult to detect.