Aspergers in children is an autism spectrum disorder often causing characteristics such as difficulties with socializing and feeling the need to engage in repetitive interests and activities. Aspergers is somewhat similar to autism, but children suffering from Aspergers generally have normal to above average cognitive and linguistic development. In fact, many children with Aspergers may seem almost normal in most ways and it may not be obvious that he is suffering from an autism spectrum disorder. Below are the common behavioral characteristics associated with Aspergers in children.
- Lack of social skills. Children with Aspergers almost always lack social skills and often will appear awkward or strange to their peers. They often have extreme difficulty starting or maintaining conversations, reading other people's body language, and showing interest in what others are participating in. A lack of social finesse is one of the most obvious signs of the disorder.
- Extreme aversion to change in routine. Another one of the most obvious characteristics of Aspergers in children is a strong dislike towards changes in routine. Children with Aspergers often cannot tolerate being forced to do something differently, and will respond negatively when changes are to take place.
- Lack of empathy. A child with Aspergers may also appear to lack empathy toward others. This means that he often cannot understand or share the feelings of others, and will have difficulty relating to others on an emotional level.
- Advanced or atypical speech. Children with this disorder often speak in a formal or advanced manner that is unusual for someone at a young age. They may use overly technical or sophisticated words and may appear to speak in an adult-like or strange way that makes it hard for others to comprehend.
- No eye contact. Individuals with Aspergers often avoid eye contact with someone they are speaking or interacting with. In addition to this, they may also stare at others and can seem unaware when it is inappropriate to stare.
- Unusual posture and awkward clumsiness. Although not everyone with Aspergers will be clumsy or have strange posture, this is often seen with this disorder. Children with Aspergers may also have unusual facial expressions.
- Limited interests. Children with Aspergers will often have very limited interests, and the things they do show interest in are subjects that they are very knowledgeable about. For example, a child with Aspergers may be preoccupied and overly interested in astronomy or dinosaurs, but will not show any interest in other topics.
- One-sided conversations. Because Aspergers can cause children to have very limited interests on topics, they will often speak non-stop on one subject and will show no interest in what others have to say. They often talk a lot about a particular subject that they find interesting.
- Delayed motor skills. Although not always, children with Aspergers can have delayed motor development. The child may be late in learning how to tie a shoe, catch a ball, or learn to potty train.
- Overstimulated sensitivity. A child with Aspergers may be oversensitive to loud noises, harsh movements, smells, and strong tastes and foods.
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