GTR Home > Conditions/Phenotypes > Asperger's disorder


Asperger syndrome is a disorder on the autism spectrum, which is a group of conditions characterized by impaired communication and social interaction. Asperger syndrome is on the mild, or "high-functioning," end of the autism spectrum. Many affected individuals learn to compensate for their differences and live independent and successful lives. However, the behavioral challenges associated with this condition often lead to social isolation and difficulties at school, at work, and in personal relationships. People with Asperger syndrome have average or above-average intelligence. In contrast to people with other disorders on the autism spectrum, they are not delayed in their language development. However, their ability to carry on a conversation is often impaired by a tendency to take idioms or humorous statements literally and an inability to read non-verbal cues such as body language to understand what others are feeling. They may speak in a monotone voice, have unusual mannerisms, ... or choose unusual topics of conversation. Individuals with Asperger syndrome tend to develop an intense interest in a particular subject. This interest may be a traditional hobby or academic discipline, and many people with Asperger syndrome develop advanced abilities in fields such as music, science, mathematics, or computer programming. However, they might also focus on an unusual interest such as bus routes or a particular type of household appliance. Often they are able to remember enormous amounts of detail on their subject of interest. They may want to share this large amount of information with others and may resist diversion to other topics. People with Asperger syndrome tend to be rigid about their established routines and may strongly resist disruptions such as changes in schedule. They may also have difficulty tolerating sensory stimuli such as noise or lights. Other features of Asperger syndrome may include mild impairment of motor skills. For example, basic skills such as crawling and walking may be somewhat delayed. Affected individuals may also have coordination problems that impair their ability to engage in such activities as playing ball games or riding a bicycle. This physical clumsiness may lead to further social isolation of children with Asperger syndrome. Signs and symptoms of Asperger syndrome may become apparent by the age of 3, when most children begin to develop social skills such as learning to play with others. Some affected children may come to medical attention due to delayed motor skills. In most cases, children with Asperger syndrome are diagnosed during the elementary school years, as their social behavior continues to diverge from the typical developmental path. Difficulties with social skills generally continue into adulthood, and affected individuals are at increased risk of other behavioral or psychiatric disorders such as attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. [from GHR] more

Available tests

1 test is in the database for this condition. See lab offering the test.

Check Related conditions for additional relevant tests.

Go to complete MedGen record for Asperger's disorder

Clinical resources

Practice guidelines

  • ACMG, 2005
    American College of Medical Genetics guideline on the cytogenetic evaluation of the individual with developmental delay or mental retardation

IMPORTANT NOTE: NIH does not independently verify information submitted to the GTR; it relies on submitters to provide information that is accurate and not misleading. NIH makes no endorsements of tests or laboratories listed in the GTR. GTR is not a substitute for medical advice. Patients and consumers with specific questions about a genetic test should contact a health care provider or a genetics professional.

Write to the Help Desk