An autism spectrum disorder. It is on the “high functioning” end of the spectrum. According to Autism Speaks, common behaviors include difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, obsession with specific and often unusual topics, and an inability to understand emotional and non-literal issues. The syndrome is named after Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger.
Refer to someone as having Asperger’s syndrome only if the information is relevant to the story and if a licensed medical professional has formally diagnosed the person. If the individual has received a specific diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, refer to him or her as a person diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome or a person with Asperger’s syndrome. Note the S in syndrome is not capitalized.[Asperger’s Disorder was added to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) in 1994 as a separate disorder from autism. However, there are still many professionals who consider Asperger’s Disorder a less severe form of autism, according to the Autism Society. In 2013, the DSM-5 replaced Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder and other pervasive developmental disorders with the umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.]