by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Asperger syndrome is a brain disorder. It results in social, behavioral, and communication problems.
In the past, it used to be its own condition. It is now included in autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
This is a neurodevelopmental disorder. This means that it is caused by problems with how the brain develops. The reason why this happens is not known. It is thought to be caused by genetics or problems during pregnancy, such as infection.
This problem is more common in boys. Other things that may raise the risk are:
There may also be other developmental, medical, or mental health problems. The reason why is not known.
Problems start early in life. There may be:
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. You will also be asked questions about behavior, social skills, and communication abilities. Parents will be asked about their child's behavior. A physical will be done.
Tests will be done to learn more about how the person's brain works. This can be done with neuropsychological tests. The tests will be given by a care team that is experienced in diagnosing ASD.
These tests may be done to rule out health problems that have similar symptoms:
An electroencephalogram (EEG) may also be done to record brain activity.
The goal is to improve function and quality of life. Most people who are treated can learn how to cope with this problem.
Treatment should be started early. Options are:
There are no current guidelines to prevent this health problem. The cause is not known.
Asperger Autism Spectrum Education Network
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Autism Society Canada
Asperger's syndrome. Autism Society website. Available at:
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Accessed September 10, 2020.
Asperger syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/all-disorders/asperger-syndrome-information-page. Accessed September 10, 2020.
Autism spectrum disorders. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/autism-spectrum-disorders. Accessed September 9, 2020.
Johnson CP, Myers SM, et al. Identification and evaluation of children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics. 2007 Nov;120(5):1183-1215.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Shawna Grubb, RN
Last Updated: 3/19/2021
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