What is Asperger’s Syndrome?


Asperger’s syndrome was first described in the 1940s by Viennese pediatrician Hans Asperger who observed autistic-like behaviors and difficulties with social and communication skills in boys who had normal intelligence and language development. Many professionals felt Asperger’s syndrome was simply a milder form of autism and used the term “high-functioning autism” to describe these individuals.

Professor Uta Frith, with the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience of University College London and author of Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, describes individuals with Asperger’s syndrome as “having a dash of Autism”. Asperger’s syndrome was added to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) in 1994 as a separate disorder from autism. However, there are still many professionals who consider Asperger’s syndrome a less severe form of autism. In fact, the current plan of the APA is to remove Asperger’s syndrome from DSM-V in 2013.

Use the links at left to learn more about Asperger’s syndrome.

Source: Autism Society of America, 2007