The term derives from a 1944 study by Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger.
Asperger syndrome is a developmental disorder. It is an autism spectrum disorder, one of a distinct group of neurological conditions characterized by a greater or lesser degree of impairment in language and communication skills, as well as repetitive or restrictive patterns of thought and behavior.
People with Asperger syndrome see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. If you have Asperger syndrome, you have it for life – it is not an illness or disease and cannot be ‘cured’.
People with Asperger syndrome are of average or above average intelligence. They don’t have the learning disabilities that many autistic people have, but they may have specific learning difficulties. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.
People with Asperger syndrome often have difficulty recognizing or understanding others’ feelings and intentions and expressing their own emotions. This can make it very hard for them to navigate the social world.
The ideal approach for Asperger syndrome coordinates therapies that address the three core symptoms of the disorder: poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, and physical clumsiness.
Sources: www.autism.org.uk, www.ninds.nih.gov