Official Criteria for Asperger Syndrome from the DSM-IV

     The official definition for Asperger Syndrome can be found in the 1994 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) (4th edition), as prepared by the American Psychiatric Association.  This is also knows at the DSM-IV.  Prior to 1994 Asperger Syndrome was not even included in the DSM, which is the “handbook” for all doctors in the United States.  

     Although this is more of a checklist than a discussion, by reading over this information you should understand the identifying characteristics for this disorder.  The summary listed here was taken from Pediatricneurology, so it may sound rather stilted and formal, but so is the DSM-IV.

(A) Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:

1.  marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction

2.  failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level

3.  a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)

4.  lack of social or emotional reciprocity.

(B) Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:

1.  e.orgpassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus

2.  apparently inflexible adherences to specific, non-functional routines or rituals

3.  stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)

4.  persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

(C) The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

(D) There is no clinically significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years)

(E) There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other than in social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood.

What is AS
Official Criteria for Asperger Syndrome
Basic Characteristics
Traits by Age
Truth and AS  
Family and AS
Should You Seek a Diagnosis?

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  "I know of nobody who is purely Autistic or purely neurotypical.  Even God had some Autistic moments, which is why the planets all spin."  ~ Jerry Newport

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