Asperger's syndrome is a neurological disorder that disproportionately affects males, at a ratio of 5-1.
It was originally diagnosed by Hans Asperger
, an Austrian pediatrician
, who was working in Nazi Vienna
at the time he published his postgraduate thesis, entitled 'Autistic Psychopathy' in Childhood.
Asperger's research was taken up in 1970's by Lorna Wing
, who published her results in 1981
Asperger's is defined by the Learning Disabilities Association of America as "a severe developmental disorder characterized by major difficulties in social interaction and restricted and unusual patterns of interest and behavior." Asperger's is similar to autism in terms of its dysfunctions relating to communication and social interaction. It is also characterized by linguistic precosity and obsessive interests, e.g., memorizing TV shows/movies and repeating them, which is known as perseverative scripting. They synthesize information in novel ways. Their language is pedantic, rigid, fact-oriented. One Asperger's affliction is an inability to tolerate noise, called auditory hypersensitivity.
An 11-year-old boy with Asperger's describes himself in an excerpt from the American Journal of Psychiatry:
- I am an intelligent, unsociable but adapatable person. I would like to dispel any untrue rumors about me. I am not edible. I cannot fly. I cannot use telekinesis. My brain is not large enough to destroy the entire world when unfolded. I did not teach my long-haired guinea pig Chronos to eat everything in sight (that is the nature of the long-haired guinea pig)."
Asperger's syndrome was entered into the DSM-IV in 1994.
props to the NYT