Asperger syndrome is a high-functioning, autism spectrum disorder that is typically diagnosed in childhood or adolescents. More commonly affecting boys than girls, Asperger syndrome does not impact cognitive abilities. Instead, it interferes with a person's ability to empathize, recognize social cues and resist engaging in stereotypical behavior. In fact, those with Asperger's often have high IQs and excel in fields like mathematics, computer science, linguistics, and music. As someone with Asperger's reaches their 20s and 30s, behavioral abnormalities may lessen, including social anxiety and verbosity.
Those with Asperger syndrome are often unable to pick up on social cues around them. They may not laugh or cry when a situation warrants these emotions. They often fail to understand jokes and tend to take things literally. Someone with Asperger syndrome may make comments inappropriate for certain situations, or they may continue a conversation past a socially acceptable point, unaware of social "cues" given by those uncomfortable or disinterested in the conversation. This lack of awareness of another person's feelings is not intentional rudeness. Instead, neurologists think certain areas of the brain are different structurally than someone who does not have Asperger syndrome. One theory maintains that abnormal development of embryonic cells in utero affects the connectivity and final structure of the brain. This may cause alterations in neural circuits controlling behavior and cognition.
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