The characteristics of Asperger syndrome vary from one person to another but are generally divided into three main groups.
Difficulty with social communication
"If you have Asperger syndrome, understanding conversation is like trying to understand a foreign language."
People with Asperger syndrome sometimes find it difficult to express themselves emotionally and socially. For example, they may:
In order to help a person with Asperger syndrome understand you, keep your sentences short - be clear and concise.
Difficulty with social interaction
"I have difficulty picking up social cues, and difficulty in knowing what to do when I get things wrong."
Many people with Asperger syndrome want to be sociable but have difficulty with initiating and sustaining social relationships, which can make them very anxious. People with the condition may:
Difficulty with social imagination
"We have trouble working out what other people know. We have more difficulty guessing what other people are thinking."
People with Asperger syndrome can be imaginative in the conventional use of the word. For example, many are accomplished writers, artists and musicians. But people with Asperger syndrome can have difficulty with social imagination. This can include:
Some children with Asperger syndrome may find it difficult to play 'let's pretend' games or prefer subjects rooted in logic and systems, such as mathematics.