What is mild Asperger's?

Asperger's is considered a mild form on the autism spectrum, as a person with Asperger's will often be able to function in situations that someone with a more severe form of the disease will not be able to handle. A person with classic autism will act inappropriately at times and will often make odd repetitive movements, such as flapping their wings or turning their hand. A person with mild Asperger's may be considered simply eccentric or socially inept.

This syndrome is classified as a pervasive developmental disorder on the autism spectrum. A pervasive developmental disorder is an illness that is defined by a delay in a child's ability to function in normal situations involving basic skills such as socialization and communication. Autism spectrum disorder affects a child's ability to interact with others and react appropriately to social situations and other stimuli. There are varying degrees of illness on the autism spectrum, and this disorder can be severe, as in autism, or mild, as in Asperger's syndrome.

Most children on the autism spectrum usually show symptoms by the age of three, but children with mild Asperger's may not be diagnosed until they are older. The reason for this is that children with mild Asperger's may reach their developmental milestones at the usual age, so any problems may not be obvious until they start school. This is when children with mild Asperger's may begin to demonstrate difficulties with social interaction due to their inability to read body language, make eye contact, and respond to social cues. They may have difficulty following directions and carrying on a conversation.

A child with Asperger's may want to have friends but cannot form relationships due to difficulty recognizing social cues. For example, the child may not recognize when the other person is not interested in the topic of conversation and wants to leave, or may not recognize the concept of personal space. A child with mild Asperger's may become obsessed with a single topic and bore others by talking about it endlessly. The Asperger's child may not be able to understand another person's emotions and may respond inappropriately with behaviors such as laughing when someone is upset or walking away while the other person is still talking. With therapy, a person with mild Asperger's can learn to respond appropriately in social situations, and most people with mild Asperger's can become successful and functioning adults.

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