Asperger's disorder, also called Asperger's syndrome, is a
type of pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) as defined by the American
Psychiatric Association.1Asperger's disorder is
similar to high-functioning autism in how it affects a child's mannerisms and
A distinction between Asperger's disorder
and autism is that young children with Asperger's have normal language
development, although the rhythm, pitch, and emphasis are irregular. Unlike
autism, Asperger's disorder does not delay other aspects of development. A
child usually has age-appropriate self-reliance and an interest in the world
around him or her. But as with autism, children with Asperger's disorder have
abnormal social interactions, facial expressions, and gestures.
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Asperger's disorder affects males 4 to 5 times more than females.2 Its cause is unknown. More research is needed to confirm
whether Asperger's disorder is a condition that is genetically related to
American Psychiatric Association (2000). Autistic
disorder. In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed., text rev., pp. 70-75. Washington, DC: American
Sadock BJ, et al. (2007). Pervasive developmental
disorders. In Kaplan and Sadock's Synopsis of Psychiatry, Behavioral Sciences/Clinical Psychiatry, 10th ed., pp. 1191-1205.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Fred Volkmar, MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
April 12, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
April 12, 2010
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