Wikipedia Precis

This revision: 11th May 2013 .
Read Full Article at Wikipedia

Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger's syndrome or Asperger disorder (AD), is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.

It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. The syndrome is named after the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger who, in 1944, studied and described children in his practice who lacked nonverbal communication skills, demonstrated limited empathy with their peers, and were physically clumsy.[3]

The modern conception of Asperger syndrome came into existence in 1981[4] and went through a period of popularization,[5][6] becoming standardized as a diagnosis in the early 1990s.

There is doubt about whether it is distinct from high-functioning autism (HFA);[8] partly because of this, its prevalence is not firmly established.[1] It has been decided that the diagnosis of Asperger's be eliminated in DSM-5, to be replaced by a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder on a severity scale.[9]

The exact cause is unknown. Although research suggests the likelihood of a genetic basis,[1] there is no known genetic etiology[10][11] and brain imaging techniques have not identified a clear common pathology.[1] There is no single treatment, and the effectiveness of particular interventions is supported by only limited data.[1] Intervention is aimed at improving symptoms and function.

Most children improve as they mature to adulthood, but social and communication difficulties may persist.[7] Some researchers and people with Asperger's have advocated a shift in attitudes toward the view that it is a difference, rather than a disability that must be treated or cured.[13][14]

Useful Links

Cognitive Neuroscience of Autism

Research review by Simon Baron-Cohen


Changes to ASD sub types and diagnostic criteria. US publication, but most countries including UK have referenced DSM-IV historically


Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support. Probably the largest resource on the Web for Asperger's Syndrome and certainly a great place to begin research.

Tony Attwood

Tony Attwood is a leading author and clinical pyschologist working with adults and children who have Asperger's Syndrome.


The homepage of ex-teacher and author Liane Holliday Willey. Although her website requires paid subscription, there is a little free content including a useful collection of links and some biographical info which may be of interest.

Asperger's Webring

This is a webring of some 80 sites related to Asperger's Syndrome. The webring includes sites of parents, professionals and individuals with AS.

Wrong Planet

A community and online resource for people with Asperger's Syndrome. A busy site with forums, blogs, plenty of information and opinion.

University Students with AS

Page for University students with Asperger's Syndrome and other HFAs

© 1999-2016 SEN Teacher.
Most SEN Teacher Resources are provided under a Creative Commons License.