Asperger’s Syndrome is an Autism spectrum condition. Autism is a life-long neurological developmental condition that impacts individuals in several key areas:
- Social communication
- Social interaction
- Social imagination
- Sensory and information processing
Asperger’s is not a mental health condition, but it is not uncommon for people with Autism to experience emotional health difficulties, especially anxiety.
Around 1 in 100 people have Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. Individuals are now more likely to be diagnosed in childhood, but there is an unknown number of undiagnosed adults living with the condition and it is still difficult for adults to access appropriate diagnostic services. Historically the diagnostic process was male-biased. This resulted in low numbers of girls and women receiving diagnosis due to differences in their presentation, and also because girls tend to be better at mimicking social skills and disguising their difficulties.
People with Asperger’s Syndrome often have average or above average IQ. Their difficulties with social skills may appear to be ‘at odds’ with their general intelligence levels.
They may have what are sometimes called ‘special interests’, whereby the individual has an intense interest in and may be extremely knowledgeable about one or more subjects. People with Asperger’s often make loyal and valued employees due to their high accuracy levels, attention to detail, and organisational skills; but without appropriate support and understanding may struggle with the social and sensory aspects of the work environment.