While there are similarities with autism, people with Asperger syndrome have fewer problems with speaking and are often of average, or above average, intelligence.
Asperger syndrome is often a 'hidden disability'. This means that you can't tell that someone has the condition from their outward appearance. They may just appear a little ‘odd’.
People with Asperger syndrome can find it harder to read the signals that most of us take for granted. This means they find it more difficult to communicate and interact with others, which can lead to much anxiety and confusion for them.
Being on the autism spectrum, a person with Asperger’s will show characteristics within Lorna Wing’s Triad of Impairments. (Wing, 1981, cited in www.davisautism.com).
These include challenges with:
These Triad of impairments will manifest in different ways and to varying degrees for each individual. However there are some general observable features, listed below.
Social Interaction People with Asperger’s have difficulty picking up social cues, and difficulty in knowing what to do when I get things wrong in social situations Many want to be sociable but have difficulty with social relationships, including:
Struggling to make and maintain friendships
Not understanding the unwritten 'social rules' that most of us inherently know. For example – standing within another’s personal space
Finding other people unpredictable and confusing
Withdrawing in social situations; appearing uninterested in other people; appearing almost aloof
Behaving in what may seem an inappropriate manner
Social Communication People with Asperger’s often find it difficult to express themselves. This may include:
Having difficulty understanding gestures, facial expressions or tone of voice
Having difficulty knowing when to start or end a conversation and choosing topics to talk about
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