Those with Asperger Syndrome generally communicate well verbally, but their social skills are often lacking. They are also prone to repetitive and odd behaviour. Sufferers might also appear insensitive, showing little empathy towards others, which is why they can have difficulty in developing normal friendships. They are also inclined to avoid eye contact and are poor at reading body language and subtle looks.
Asperger sufferers can also develop an obsessive ‘anorak’ interest in a subject, leading to some becoming an ‘authority’ – the classic ‘little professor’ syndrome. Usually unaware of a lack of interest from others, they carry on regardless; keen to let people know the depth of their acquired knowledge on their chosen passion.
Their normal daily function can be handicapped by restricted, ritualistic and repetitive routines. Despite their normal language skills, they often don’t ‘get’ sarcasm or jokes. Talking loudly, with strange intonation and an odd rhythm of speech is also indicative of the condition, as is hypersensitivity to touch, sound or light and an unusual fascination for the feel or smell of things. Sometimes there may be disruptive behaviour with aggressive outbursts and destructive behaviour.