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Difficulty making eye contact, negotiating social situations, and engaging in conversation can all be symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome. Asperger's falls within the autism spectrum. Children with Asperger's may be recognized because they miss cues like facial expressions and body language to which other children respond. These characteristics can lead people with Asperger's to miss other people's anger or sadness. Often, people with Asperger's may express fewer emotions themselves, speaking in a somewhat flat style and continuing to speak one-sidedly rather than conversationally. An apparent lack of empathy and interest in others' experiences can make them appear insensitive. These characteristics continue into adulthood.

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Five criteria are used to determine if a child has Asperger's: specific problems with social relationships; limited, repetitive behavior and interests; significant problems in functioning because of these symptoms; no general delay in language development or cognitive skills. In contrast to the general developmental delays of autism, these criteria focus Asperger's symptoms mostly in social and communication areas. People with Asperger's show precociousness in some areas, talking early and sometimes understanding written words almost intuitively as part of a general fascination with numbers and letters. While other types of autism often present in withdrawal from social interaction, kids with Asperger's may reach out to others but not understand their responses.

Common Symptoms

  • Lack of eye contact.
  • Failure to decode social interactions and responses.
  • Normal development in speech and cognitive abilities, unlike other types of Autism.
  • Lack of interest and empathy in others' stories.
  • Repetitive speech and narrow, somewhat obsessive interests.
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