Asperger's is a form of autism that can be difficult to properly diagnose because the symptoms of Asperger's range so greatly from one sufferer to another. Because it is classed as a Spectrum disorder, there is no definitive set of symptoms that can be easily used to provide a quick, 100% accurate diagnosis. Breaking the disorder down into its most basic elements provides three key areas of development that children struggle with – sociability, communication and obsessive preoccupations – but these signs can manifest themselves in very different ways.

The inability to form relationships, and in the case of children making friends at school, is one of the more commonly recognised elements of Asperger's, but there is much more to it than that. For some this can mean that they shy away from social interaction, preferring to play by themselves and enjoy their own imaginative word – a strong imagination being another of the symptoms of Asperger's - however others will actively seek out new friends, only to find themselves struggling with the communication skills required to converse or understand jokes. This inability to hold a conversation can often be due to the need to talk in detail and for long periods on one subject. This trait is part of the many forms of obsessive preoccupations that Asperger's sufferers endure, with a need for strict, unfaltering routine and intensive focus on a single subject of interest being other signs to look out for.

These symptoms are at their strongest in children and much easier to spot during early development but they will continue to some extent into adult life. Spotting any of these symptoms of Asperger's early could be a sign of the disorder, but only by referring a child for further assessment can parent's be sure of a correct diagnosis and support for their child.

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Find out more information at Aspergers Syndrome and its Signs and Symptoms