Asperger’s disease and autism – what are the differences?


One of the most commonly reported characteristics in children with Asperger’s syndrome is an interest not only in school subjects – as is the case with children suffering from autism – but also in particular issues and processes, or in intellectual problems. This is best seen when a child starts attending kindergarten or school. At that time, he or she starts showing a very keen interest in questions from the fields of mathematics, science, or reading. If they are interested in a topic, they want to know everything about it. What is more, they can also be attracted to issues concerning theology or geography.

Obsession or interest?

Children with this condition are very intense in that their curiosity will be directly related to their current interests. These obsessive behaviors may also involve issues seemingly difficult for children, such as astronomy or even train travel: for example, they may be well-versed in the route of a trip. Of course, in some cases the fascination can be somewhat diverted, but in most children one particular interest accompanies them into adulthood, becoming the basis for their chosen occupation.


Unlike children with autism, who are withdrawn and distant, children with Asperger’s syndrome are eager to socialize and often take steps to make new friends. Their attempts may not always be effective, therefore these children may sometimes feel sad and frustrated if they do not succeed in this field. Furthermore, they may have problems with empathy and recognizing other people’s needs, as well as with responding properly to those needs.


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