Symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome in Children
Asperger’s is known as a high functioning type of autism; people with Asperger’s are often very bright, talented and show a keen interest in a particular area.
Your child may be very successful in other areas but struggle with behavioural issues, emotional regulation and social interactions. This can make knowing whether your child has Asperger’s more difficult; you might put their behaviour down to a quirk in their character or perhaps difficulties with a certain group of friends or an aspect of being at school.
They may not present as a social child who enjoys building relationships with others and imaginative play. If you do notice that your child is experiencing some of these difficulties it would be beneficial to provide them with the best support possible to promote development.
The most common signs of Asperger’s are:
Common toddler symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome:
- Endless chatter about one topic or interest
- A delay in the ability to point to objects or show joint attention (‘normal’ development suggest 1 year is about the time children start to do this)
- Delay in developing motor skill such as catching, walking or bike riding – by the age of 3 such difficulties are often clearer.
- Lack of eye contact when being spoken to or when talking
- Unusual body language – walking on tip toes, unusual gestures or movements
- A sensitivity to sensations, for instance certain food, clothing, light or sound can be very distressing
- Holding back in social situations with other children, perhaps spending a lot of time on their own or not wanting to join in
- Finding a change in routine upsetting
- Enjoys repetitive actions such as lining toys up or repeating the same thing over and over again, as well as repetitive motor movements
Common signs of Asperger’s syndrome in older children:
- A child with Asperger’s might be quite clumsy, dropping things or falling over frequently.
- Maths can be difficult for some children with Asperger’s, others excel. Commonly children with Asperger’s have a broad vocabulary.
- Social interactions can be more difficult for children with Asperger’s as they can struggle to understand the feelings of others, may be emotionally immature for their age and may show little interest in other children’s interests.
- A lack of eye contact is a common sign of Asperger’s, as are limited facial expressions or movements and not understanding sarcasm or jokes.
- Children with Asperger’s often have an interest that they become obsessed about, dedicating a lot of time to researching it, talking about it a great deal and showing little interest in other things.
- Some children with Asperger’s have a monotonous tone to their voice, others can speak really quickly.
If you are concerned that your child might be displaying some or all of these common signs of autism you may want to consider getting an assessment for your child.
You can ring our child and adolescent experts to talk through your child’s symptoms and discuss whether an assessment might be helpful. Please call 020 3761 7026.