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Spotlight on Mild Asperger's Symptoms

written by: Debbie Roome • edited by: Linda Richter • updated: 3/15/2011

Asperger’s syndrome is on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum and is characterized by a number of symptoms. These are usually milder than the symptoms of classic autism. Read on to learn more about the symptoms and how they are displayed in daily life.

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    Mild Asperger’s Symptoms and Social and Communication Skills

    Poor communication skills are a part of Asperger’s syndrome and are commonly displayed in everyday life. Although a person with Asperger’s may desire friendship, they are clumsy in their attempts to socialize and often make a social faux pas when trying to be friendly. Mild Asperger’s symptoms in the areas of social and communication skills include the following:

    • Inability to read other people’s body language and facial expressions.
    • Appearing unemotional and lacking in empathy.
    • A lack of interest in fashion trends and personal appearance.
    • An odd way of standing or walking.
    • A tendency to dominate a conversation by talking about something that interests only them.
    • Children and young people with Asperger’s are often more immature than their peers and this affects their ability to fit in with the crowd.
    • Many are unable to understand the concepts of compromise and conflict resolution.
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    Mild Asperger’s Symptoms and Speech and Language

    Speech and language problems manifest in several different ways and can be closely related to the lack of communication skills. While a person with Asperger’s can normally speak well, the delivery of language is often unusual. The following symptoms are commonly seen:

    • Speaking in a strange tone that may be monotonous or singsong.
    • Using formal language so it sounds like they are quoting from a text book.
    • Language is taken at face value, and similes and metaphors are not understood.
    • People with Asperger’s often fail to understand the punch line of a joke.
    • If a conversation involves more than two people, the one with Asperger’s may become confused while trying to follow the different threads of speech.
    • Background noise can be distracting to the point that conversations may fail.
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    Mild Asperger’s Symptoms and Repetitive Behaviors

    Many people displaying mild Asperger’s symptoms are regarded as nerds, geeks, or someone who is eccentric and a little odd. This is usually because of the things they do and the way they behave. Common symptoms of repetitive behaviors are as follows:

    • A special interest or hobby that is more of an obsession.
    • A fixation with collecting items or objects related to a special interest.
    • Occasionally a special interest can lead to criminal activity when an item is ‘taken’ to add to a collection. This is normally done in ignorance.
    • Rigid adherence to routines and ways of doing things.
    • They do not like surprises.

    Mild Asperger’s symptoms are normally easy to recognize. They often mark a person as being strange or nerdy and lacking in social skills. Many Asperger's people desire friendship, and negative responses to their symptoms can cause them a lot of emotional pain. Understanding the symptoms of Asperger’s can make neurotypical people more tolerant of those who have the condition and will result in greater and more meaningful interaction from both sides.

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    References

    WebMD. Asperger's Syndrome-Symptoms, retrieved at http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/tc/aspergers-syndrome-symptoms

    ByParents-ForParents.com. Could It Be Asperger Syndrome? retrieved at http://www.byparents-forparents.com/asperger-syndrome.html

    The complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, Tony Attwood, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007