What Does Asperger's Look Like?


Active Member
I saw this in an old Biography magazine. My difficult child has every single trait with the exception of monotone speech. I thought this might be helpful to some wanting to know more about AS.

Those with AS often - but not always exhibit many of these symptoms in varying degrees of severity:

People with AS may appear socially awkward and have trouble making friends, making eye contact or carrying on normal conversations.

They often have obsessive routines and may be overly preoccupied with a particular subject of interest. Asperger's children have been known to memorize facts about everything from obscure species of ants to passenger lists on the Titanic. No wonder some call the condition "Little Professor Syndrome."

They have a great deal of difficulty reading nonverbal cues (body language) and very often have trouble determining body space (i.e. standing too close or bumping into others).

Often acutely sensitive to sounds, tastes, smells, and sights, they may prefer soft clothing, certain foods and be bothered by noises or lights that seem normal to other people.

By definition, those with AS have a normal IQ and many individuals (although not all) exhibit exceptional skill or talent in a specific area.

Asperger people are literal to the extreme. For them, the world makes sense as a series of facts and messy, unquantifiable emotions are bewildering. A child with AS might think it perfectly normal to approach an overweight woman and announce, "You are fat. You need to go on a diet," without understanding why she then gets angry.

They have trouble expressing emotion through facial gestures and often talk in a monotone almost robotic voice.

Many Asperger's kids are inflexible about altering a routine: They want the same clothes every day, the same food at every meal. Change something and they become extremely upset.
Yep, that's my difficult child /importthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
He had an Aspie moment: while driving by a store he noticed a sign in the window and asked "why does that sign say "closed, please call again"--you don't call a store, you walk in :rolleyes: :laugh:

That's my boy :wink:


Former desparate mom
Sounds about right! Thanks Elise. My difficult child does not talk in a monotone either. He is overly animated.

Pokey's mom, love his literal explaination. Too cute.


Active Member
Honestly, I love the literalness of an Aspie. I had a friend who applied for a position at the Dublin federal prison. They sent her a letter to report to a P.O. Box on X date at X time. Okay, most of us would have called and asked where they really wanted us, right? Not Lynn -- she actually went to the post office box and was there 15 minutes early! by the way, she got the job and is now a camp psychologist there. lol

Stella Johnson

Active Member
Thanks for the information, Elise. I had a friend asking what the traits of Aspergers were just the other day. I will print it out for her. /importthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif



Well-Known Member
Hey you guys with aspie kids who are older...I need help.

Billy is coming home from a fiasco trip to his dads and he is very upset. It seems that his dad confirmed my worst fears that he got the diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and that Billy is just like him. I never got Billy dxd...I dont know why...he was tested all thru school for LDs and somehow they escaped detecting anything else. I guess I was too busy with the other two...especially Cory and let Billy fall thru the cracks because he was quiet.

I feel ashamed of myself to be honest. Now I have a 23 year old who cannot figure out how to handle life, hold a job, or even how to get one. He has been opening up to me talking online thru messenger and he is one messed up kid. He said he took an online assessment test and he is either aspergers or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and he also sounds depressed to me. He is overweight, sits in his room alot...playing online...which wont be happening anymore because I took his phone line out when he left because I couldnt afford it.

He says he has upteen thoughts coming at him all the time and he cant figure out what option he should take so he shuts down. Its like he is describing racing thoughts too. Or maybe some ADD on top of whatever else he has. His father is ADHD and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). You know my family history. Im scared to death for him.

But he has never been a bit of trouble behaviorwise.

He did line up his toys and did the whole little professor thing. He drove us crazy with his knowledge of idiotic things. He read early and well. He was into the classics when other kids were into Ninja turtles. He was a classic dweeb. He was into computers very early too. But he couldnt talk to his peers. Jamie was fighting his battles at age two. Billy was having problems with gross motor skills back then too. Jamie rode a bike before him.

Billy is still into his cartoons though. He loves anime and stuff like that. He loves stuff his way and doesnt like stuff to vary from his routine. He is just now beginning to learn to eat new foods. He has always been a bit Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) but we didnt have a name for it either. We just made do. You also have to program him like a computer. If you want him to watch the bacon...you have to instruct him exactly what that means. Or he will stand there and watch it burn. He has no common sense.

He rarely gets really mad but when he does, look out. He will go off and blow but he cant really do much harm because he doesnt know how to fight. The only one he really threatens is Cory and Cory could cream him. He hates Cory. I dont know why unless its that he resents the attention Cory has gotten.

He blames everyone else for what happens to him whether its true or not. He claimed everyone was stealing from him last year...so for xmas we gave him a big fire safe with a combination lock on it. It was huge...costs 90 bucks at walmart. Told him to memorize the combination and use it to put his stuff in it so no one could get to it. Well now he claims Cory can pick the lock...so its no use to lock it. So he claims he keeps getting money stolen again...yeah right.

I dont think Cory is smart enough to pick that kind of lock for one thing...Its a tough lock. Not a bobby pin lock. Number two...I think billy is just blaming again. Maybe he is losing things. His room is a mess.

Does this sound like an aspie young adult? What do I do for him? How do I get him help? He has no insurance and no job.


Well-Known Member
My son isn't an aspie, but is has Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) an d is also very literal. He will ask, "What is the EXACT time Julie (his big sister) is coming to visit today?" If I say, "I don't know" he'll say, "Can't you all and ask her the EXACT time?" It's funny sometimes. I teased him once and said, "That does it. You're grounded until you're 18" and he started to cry. "I don't want to be grounded until I'm 18!"


Active Member

First of all, please do not feel guilty. Guilt will not help you or Billy. You did the best you could and Billy did not appear to need more help than he had, but you are right to be concerned now if he cannot handle life or hold a job. Now is the time to get help for him, it is never to late.

in my humble opinion, Billy has a number of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) traits but only a Dr. can diagnose. I think to get help for him, you would want to start with getting him evaluated. Could Billy see the same Dr. that diagnosis'ed his Dad? There are many interventions and strategies for helping Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids become independent and hold jobs. With the right supports many Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) young adults do quite well.

The OASIS site has an online support group for teens and young adults with AS, http://www.aspergersyndrome.org/

We believe my husband's brother has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) but has never been diagnosis'ed. His mother is 81 and still in denial. brother in law is 53 and lives at home. He has no job, no money, no friends and never leaves the house. He did graduate from college and has a CPA but could never hold a job. He hasn't even tried to work in the last 25 years. He is like a hermit with no real life. mother in law tells us he has a drinking problem. He would have benefited from a mother that sought a diagnosis and help from him, she won't even listen to our pleas to help him. My greatest fear is that my difficult child will turn out the same, but I am fighting tooth and nail for him to have a productive life.

There does seem to be a connection between Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and BiPolar (BP). Researchers are finding many families that have both in their family trees.

Does Billy want to pursue a diagnosis and some help?



Well-Known Member

He cant go to his fathers doctor, his father and his fathers new wife kicked him out yesterday and so he should be home in my house in about an hour.

I think Billy does want to get some help but Im not entirely sure who to go to to get that help. Remember the poster we used to have here called Katherine who lived in the mountiains of NC who had a bunch of kids and married a guy who was trying to get back in the Air Force and she had another baby? She was an Aspie adult? She got her diagnosis thru voc rehab I think. I could never get anyone at mental health to even look at aspie when I was asking to rule it out for cory. It was like they had never heard of it and werent going to go there.

I dont think we have alot of time to deal with things so I dont want to waste alot of time, ya know. This kid needs to get a handle on what is going on and then find out how to handle things so he can somehow get a job. We honestly cannot support him the rest of his life. I mean we would never kick him out but sheesh, its getting hard when I am not working, my disability got denied so Im probably in for a two year fight, and husband is having a problem right now with his boss keeping them in work.

Oh...another thing...Billy cannot drive because he panics over all the stimuli coming at him at once. Too many decisions at one time that he has to make. He also has that rules thing...rules are black and white.


Active Member

I do remember Katherine, (Meadowlark). I hope she and her family are doing well. I'm guessing she is too busy for the board.

I think your state's Autism Society is a good place to contact in order to find out where to get an evaluation and services in your area. I'm glad Billy is open to getting some help. I think he would benefit from it.


I don't know what to say about your daughter. Many people, including me, have AS traits. But to qualify for a diagnosis the general requirements are that one must have symptoms that belong to the three main areas of impairments:

Social interactions
Repetitive stereotype behaviors

According to DSM-IV-TR: "The disturbance must cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning."



MANY folks with proper diagnosis's of AS/High Functioning Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) do indeed hold jobs, drive, function in society.

In my case I was diagnosis-ed a few years ago. I am 44 years old and have been doing all of the above. I do not qualify for disability coverage but do qualify for 'modifications' in the workplace.

I am in a field with a high preponderance of folks 'on the spectrum'.

Off hand I can name two individuals, one with AS and one with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) who are very much functioning: Bill Gates and Temple Grandin.

Several well known authors are on the spectrum as well.

Fran's son, for example is functioning in a school setting and will be able to live independently, and he is more severely impacted.

Also, to correct something: 30% of Aspies have some evidence of comorbid mood disorder. Some of those are indeed bipolar, a larger number of them suffer from social anxiety and dysregulation of mood not of physical origin, e.g. not being able to understand nor quantify mood.

I am the daughter of a diagnosis-ed Aspie, the granddaughter of one, and the maternal niece of one, as well as the aunt of another. My family also carries bipolar through two paternal lines.

My mother, my niece, and I were ALL diagnosis-ed via MD evaluation at University of Chicago. I was 41. My mother was 67. My niece was 11.


Well-Known Member
I could be AS too, but never tested. I do have a severe NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). Aspies tend to have narrow interests that they obsess about and talk about, even when others obviously don't want to hear about it; they don't understand to shut it off. They are literal thinkers, like most autistics. They tend to misread social cues and often don't mind being alone, but some marry, work and have kids. I don't know how successful marriages to real aspies are, since they are so poor at empathy (understanding what others are feeling). Aspies have average to above average IQ's, but are unique to autism in that they have never had speech delays or disorders, like so many autistic people do. They also tend to be higher functioning. Here is the link to the Autism Society of America, which would include Aspergers:



New Member
Can anyone tell me if a child with Asperger's would also have aggressive behaviour. My grandson can become extremely aggressive, especially if he feels threatened. He has never displayed aggressive behavior towards any family.

If aggressive behaviour is a likely trait, does the type of anger management therapy that is used for adolescents work for Asperger's children?

Has anyone previously had their child diagnosed with this many labels? Autism, dismissed as a toddler. ADD/ADHD/ODD/MOOD DISORDER not otherwise specified, Depressed,Mild, Provisional, Bipolar Disorder. He is 16 now. We know he has Asperger's. We are waiting for official diagnosis.

I have learned so about Aspergers, but still not enough. I really appreciate the information that has been made available and published, but most importantly to the parents and families that share their information. Knowledge is strenth, and we all need it to protect these children. We all have that responsibility.


Well-Known Member
My son never had a speech problem, has never been aggressive at all...with the exception of a few times with Cory. In fact, I would call Billy almost a pacifist. He cant fight. He was always the kid who got beat up in school. Made me so friggen mad because he was the school nerd with his glasses and shoelaces untied carrying around a worn out copy of Macbeth or something equally geeky and some snottynosed middle school kid would punch his lights out. And do you know what the school told me???? That Billy needed to learn how to defend himself. This happened to him three times in a matter of weeks. Once in gym class, once in the hallway with the lockers and once in front of the principal as they were getting on the buses. I was livid. I threatened to send him to school with a loaded .357 gun because that was the only way he had a chance of fighting back. The bullies broke his glasses, cracked his cheekbone, and sent him home early twice. And the kid was never charged with assualt and no one had to pay for the glasses but me. I wasnt even allowed to have the name of the kid to sue his parents. But yet several years later...same school system...Cory was arrested for one hit on the back to a student. One measily hit. Not friggen fair. Same ages too.

Ok..got off on a tangent there...lol.


Well-Known Member
This is often a hard diagnosis for a doctor to make. I recommend, from my experiences, going to a neuropsychologist who understands autism/Aspergers. Good luck.


Active Member

From Asperger Syndrome and Difficult Moments by Myles & Southwick:

"While behavior problems are not universal among students with Asperger Syndrome, they are not uncommon. When behavior difficulties do occur, they typically appear to be a function of (a) social ineptness, (b) lack of understanding, (c) a high stress level, (d) lack of control over the environment, (e) an obsessive and single-minded pursuit of a certain interest, or (f) a defensive panic reaction. Thus, behavior problems of children with Asperger Syndrome are connected to their more generalized inability to function in a world they perceive to be unpredictable and threatening."

It is important to find out why your grandson's behavior is aggressive. What happened just before he acted out? It you can identify his triggers, future problems can be adverted.

All that said, my difficult child has always had aggressive behavior, (still does). I believe it is sometimes related to his AS but more frequently a product of his bipolar. Medication helps.

I don't know what anger management techniques are typically used for teens. My son works on anger management with a specialist in autism spectrum disorders. His behavior at school has greatly improved.