What Is Asperger’s Syndrome?

Asperger’s syndrome is a neurological difference and part of the autism spectrum. While Asperger’s syndrome is no longer an official diagnosis due to revisions in the DSM-5, some individuals prefer to keep their previous diagnosis. With that said, due to the revisions, many people previously diagnosed with AS feel a greater sense of inclusion, acceptance and understanding.

Individuals with AS are often said to have ‘high functioning autism’, a term used to describe individuals on the autism spectrum who require minimal or less support. That isn’t to say Asperger syndrome isn’t without its challenges, however, as many individuals face difficult experiences and emotions on a daily basis. Commonly, people with AS find social interactions challenging, causing isolation and feelings of loneliness. Individuals also often exhibit a pronounced inclination towards structure and consistency in their daily routines and face challenges with emotional regulation when their schedules are changed. Furthermore, individuals may experience sensory difficulties, particularly when it comes to textures, lighting and sounds, which can trigger feelings of discomfort and anxiety.

However, it is equally important to recognise that these individuals possess exceptional talents, such as the ability to concentrate intensely, enabling them to delve deeply into diverse topics and acquire vast knowledge. As a society, we need to recognise the diverse spectrum of humanity, offering compassion and understanding to each other’s challenges. Nurseline Community Services fosters a community of inclusion, helping individuals embrace their unique qualities and feel empowered in their abilities.

Asperger’s Syndrome as Neurodiversity

Neurodiversity is a term used to explain the unique variation and diversity in brain processing and cognition. When someone is ‘neurodivergent’, it means their brain functions differently than someone who is ‘neurotypical’ – whose brain processing and cognition align with the social norm.

Asperger’s syndrome is a neurological difference and is part of the autism spectrum, a facet of the vast and varied world of neurodiversity. Not every neurodiverse person has an autism diagnosis. Neurodiversity includes people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, dyscalculia, and Tourette’s disorder. Neurodiversity accepts that we are all different in unique ways and celebrates the diversity of human nature while providing compassion and understanding to others.

Signs of Asperger’s Syndrome

While there are some common signs of Asperger syndrome, it’s important to recognise that each person has a different experience and may exhibit a variety of signs throughout their life.

Common signs of Asperger’s syndrome include the following:

  • Memorising facts and information with ease
  • Following strict routines
  • Hypersensitivity to sounds, lights and textures
  • Difficulty understanding other people’s perspectives
  • Intense interest in specific subjects
  • Difficulty with verbal communication, such as understanding sarcasm
  • Difficulty with nonverbal communication, such as eye contact

Asperger syndrome can present itself differently in each person, as everyone is unique and may experience varying symptoms.

With proactive support, people with Asperger’s can overcome their challenges and celebrate their diverse strengths. Nurseline Community Services helps individuals unearth their distinct skills and capabilities, all while embracing and honouring diversity in all its forms.

Asperger’s Syndrome in Children

An early diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder can help equip children with proactive tools and tailored support to thrive within their environment.

Common signs of Asperger’s syndrome in children include the following:

  • Repetitive movements, such as hand clapping
  • Excellent memory, especially related to personal interests
  • Following strict routines
  • Difficulty with coordination
  • Challenges in understanding social cues
  • Frequently daydreaming when overstimulated
  • Extremely enthusiastic about specific subjects
  • Hypersensitivity to textures, lights and sounds
  • Exhibiting behaviours that challenge

Asperger’s Syndrome in Adults

There are a variety of different signs of Asperger’s that are present in adults. Each individual is different, with unique strengths and challenges.

Common signs of Asperger’s syndrome in adults include the following:

  • Strong analytical skills and a detail-oriented thinker
  • Difficulty understanding social cues
  • Strong focus and persistence
  • Excelling at pattern recognition
  • Difficulty with forming social relationships
  • Hypersensitivity to lights, textures, sounds
  • Strong memory retention
  • Becoming upset with changes in routines
  • Intense interest in specific subjects
  • Difficulty reading body language

What Causes Asperger’s Syndrome?

Asperger syndrome is a neurological difference and part of the broader community of Autism Spectrum Disorder. The exact cause of Autism Spectrum Disorder is unknown and is best understood as natural differences in brain processing.

Rather than looking at differences as ‘deficits’, neurodiversity celebrates the unique differences in brain processing, understanding that these differences come with exceptional strengths and talents. While individuals with neurodiverse traits may experience specific challenges, it’s important to remember that everyone encounters challenges – whether they face internal battles, mental health challenges, or physical difficulties. Through providing compassion and communicating shared challenges, we can create an inclusive society that champions the diversity of human nature, improving welfare and well-being for all.

A boy holding a stuffed animal sitting with a therapist

How Is Asperger’s Syndrome Diagnosed?

Asperger syndrome is no longer an official diagnosis due to revisions in DSM-5. It is now considered a wider part of Autism Spectrum Disorder, although some individuals with a previous diagnosis of Asperger syndrome prefer to keep their original diagnosis.

There is no single test for Autism Spectrum Disorders. The first step is to consult your GP and request a referral for an autism assessment, which autism specialists will conduct.

At an autism assessment, a specialist multidisciplinary team will:

  • Ask questions about the problems you are facing
  • Observe how you interact with others
  • Speak to individuals and professionals who know you, such as family members, friends, GPs and teachers

After an autism assessment, a specialist will provide you with a report where they confirm or refute an autism diagnosis. Early diagnosis and proactive support can help children with Asperger’s syndrome overcome challenges and receive necessary accommodations. When receiving the diagnosis, children may ask, “What is Aspergers syndrome?” and may experience feelings of unease and uncertainty. It can be difficult for parents to find the right words, but explaining that it’s a difference in how they see the world, and reminding them that we are all different, with diverse skills and challenges, can help soothe anxieties and build confidence in children.

A confirmed diagnosis later in life can also provide individuals with understanding, and tailored approaches and support can help people positively navigate their lives.

How Is Asperger’s Syndrome Treated?

Asperger’s syndrome, along with Autism Spectrum Disorders, do not need to be ‘treated’ and there is no ‘treatment’ for neurodiversity. Everyone’s brain processes information differently, and we should celebrate the differences that make humanity unique.

With that said, there are a variety of therapies and opportunities for support that can help people overcome challenges and improve their mental well-being. These approaches can help individuals improve their day-to-day function, increase confidence and improve social skills. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, and therapies should be tailored to an individual’s unique needs and aspirations.


There’s a range of different therapies that can help individuals with Asperger syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders overcome challenges and develop new skills. Below, we discuss a range of proactive therapeutic approaches.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy which helps individuals identify and change negative thoughts and behaviour patterns. It is particularly helpful in assisting individuals to overcome depression, anxiety and day-to-day challenges. CBT can help individuals with Asperger syndrome identify unhelpful thoughts and behaviours and implement techniques and tools to create healthier habits and thought patterns.

Social Skills Training

Social skills training is a type of behavioural therapy. It is designed to improve social skills and help people engage in meaningful interactions with others. With social skills training, individuals learn about initiating conversations, body language, and the importance of taking turns in conversations. It is a common therapy used to help individuals with Asperger syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders improve their confidence and social abilities.

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy aims to help individuals with speech disorders improve their communication skills. It offers a multitude of support options, such as language intervention activities and articulation therapy. It is a proactive therapy for both children with Asperger’s syndrome and adults, ultimately improving and strengthening speech and language skills.

Challenges of Asperger’s Syndrome

When we look at the world with an objective and compassionate lens, we realise that we all face unique challenges and inner struggles. By choosing to be compassionate and kind to others, we can take a step closer to creating a safer and more inclusive world for all. For individuals on the autism spectrum, there are a multitude of challenges that people commonly experience, such as sensory difficulties and difficulties with emotional regulation.

Challenges that are commonly associated with Asperger’s syndrome include:

  • Hypersensitivity to sounds, textures and lights
  • Difficulty understanding social cues
  • Repetitive movements, such as hand clapping
  • Challenges with changes in routines and schedules
  • Difficulty forming social relationships
  • Challenges with understanding nonverbal communication
  • Frequently exhibiting uncoordinated movements
  • Challenges with mental health, such as anxiety and depression
  • Difficulty with emotional regulation
young boy flexing muscles

Strengths of Asperger’s Syndrome

Many people with Asperger’s syndrome have innate strengths that add to their unique personality and outlook on life. Each individual is different and excels in different areas. Encouraging individuals to explore their interests and talents can provide a sense of purpose and fulfilment, which can positively impact their mental health and overall quality of life.

Strengths that are commonly associated with Asperger’s syndrome include:

  • Excellent memory retention
  • Ability to follow schedules and routines with ease
  • Unique sensory perception
  • Extremely honest and reliable
  • Innovative thinkers
  • Intense interest and knowledge in specific subjects
  • Detailed-orientated thinker
  • Hyper-focused
  • Strong intelligence levels
  • Excellent creative abilities
  • Strong moral compass

Living With Asperger’s Syndrome

When we accept that we all live with differences, born from unique experiences and worlds that shape our perception, we learn to look past what separates us and unite in our shared humanity. Like all of us, individuals with Asperger syndrome live varied lives, encompassing the full human experience of moments of happiness and hardships.

Many individuals with Asperger syndrome face social challenges, finding it difficult to understand social cues and feeling anxious in social situations. Children with Asperger’s syndrome may struggle to understand personal space and frequently avoid eye contact. Unfortunately, this has led people to feel socially isolated and excluded from society. By showing understanding and refraining from judgment, we can make people feel more comfortable socialising and help them integrate into their communities.

Furthermore, people with Asperger syndrome often have above-average intelligence and excel in many areas, from analytic endeavours like science and technology to creative fields like design. Thriving in their chosen fields, individuals often acquire a vast range of knowledge and grow well into their roles. While some individuals may need help with day-to-day activities, especially if they struggle with executive function, many live independently and do not require extensive assistance. Supportive therapies assist people to develop skills and become the best version of themselves, improving confidence and quality of life.

How Nurseline Community Services Supports Individuals With Asperger’s Syndrome

At Nurseline Community Services, we strive for an outcome-based approach, believing that proactive and personalised support empowers the people we serve to live independent and fulfilling lives.

Navigating the world with Asperger syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder can present unique challenges, which is why we tailor our support plans to each individual’s needs, preferences and desires. Following a person-centric model, we utilise the power of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS), maximising independence and enhancing positive outcomes for each person we support. Our nurse-led clinicians embody humanised care, fighting for your innate Human Rights and a brighter future for all.

In times of crisis, you can rely on our fast responsive service. Built to de-escalate crises and deliver emotional support, our expert team delivers support within 2 hours of your initial call and creates a same-day tailored crisis management plan.

With offices in Bristol, Gloucester and Birmingham, we provide person-centred support across the UK, always ready to act fast when you need a helping hand.

Nurseline Community Services, delivering empowered support tailored to your every need.