Asperger’s syndrome is a form of high-functioning autism with specific groups of symptoms. Its effects on adults may be different to those observed in children.
Asperger’s Syndrome in Adults
Many adults with Asperger’s syndrome have been given an incorrect diagnosis in an effort to explain their symptoms. Others are just regarded as odd or eccentric and often end up as social outcasts. It is never too late to seek professional help and looking through an adult Asperger’s checklist is a good way of pinpointing symptoms.
Adult Asperger’s Checklist of Social Weaknesses
An adult with Asperger’s syndrome has poor understanding of the non-verbal behaviors that people use while interacting with each other. This can set them apart as being strange or unfriendly when in fact, many of them desire friendship. This checklist of social symptoms points out areas where they often struggle:
- Eye contact is frequently avoided as it makes an adult with Asperger’s uncomfortable. They may look into the distance or at the floor during a conversation, giving the impression that they are not interested in the other person.
- Body language is not understood, and signs that the other person may be bored or in a hurry are misinterpreted or ignored.
- An adult with Asperger’s may not display emotion or feeling through facial expression and finds it difficult to gauge what another person is thinking by looking at their face.
Adult Asperger’s Checklist and Repetitive Behaviors
Repetitive behaviors come in different forms but are one of the diagnostic criteria for Asperger’s syndrome. Here are some of the more common manifestations to look out for:
- An interest that starts off as a hobby can develop into an obsession in an adult with Asperger’s syndrome. This is characterized by them spending an excessive amount of time and possibly money on this pastime. The focus and intensity of interest are abnormal.
- Adults with Asperger’s like routine and may become disturbed if something disrupts their daily rituals. They like the predictability of doing things the same way each day as it gives them a measure of security in a sometimes hostile world.
- A repetitive action such as hand flapping or finger twisting is sometimes apparent. This is often a coping mechanism that is used when the person is under pressure or feels uncomfortable.
Adult Asperger’s Checklist and Communication Problems
Adults with Asperger’s syndrome normally have a good grasp of language but may use it in odd ways. Common problems include the following:
- Speaking in a monotonous tone that lacks the inflection of normal speech. This is hard to listen to and some meaning may be lost due to the lack of expression.
- Spoken language may be formal and stilted, making it difficult to understand in some cases. It may sound as though the person is quoting from a text book.
- A person with Asperger’s may talk too much and not allow the other person time to speak.
- Things may be said that come across as hurtful although this was not the intention.
If it is suspected that a person has high functioning autism, it is a good idea to look at an adult Asperger’s checklist and see if the three symptom groups are apparent. If they are, it is never too late to seek professional help as this can improve a person’s ability to cope with and enjoy life.
The complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, Tony Attwood, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007