Hans Asperger published in 1944 the first description of what has become known as “Asperger’s Syndrome.” He described a pattern of behavior known as “autistic psychopathy” that included a difficulty feeling empathy, forming friendships, one-sided conversation, a tendency to become obsessively interested in a subject or interest, and some clumsiness of movement.
Asperger called the children with these behaviors “little professors” because they could talk endlessly and in great detail about the subjects that had caught their interest. These little professors may demonstrate amazing recall of dates, names, and events. One parent laughs about how her ten-year-old knew the scientific name of everyday things – from household sugar to the trees in the backyard. He would insist on discussing things using the scientific nomenclature.
Asperger’s syndrome is considered a form of high-functioning autism. The outlook for children with Asperger’s tends to be much more positive, with many becoming experts in their chosen fields. Because much of Hans Asperger’s work was lost in WWII, this autism spectrum disorder did not become widely known until the 1980s when Lorna Wing, a British researcher, published a paper called Asperger’s syndrome: a clinical account.
2006 Marks the 100th anniversary of Hans Asperger’s birth and the 25th anniversary of the publication of Lorna Wing’s paper. In the past 20 years, many parents have recognized that their child, originally diagnosed as “autistic” is actually an Asperger’s child. Due to the expanding education, and prevalence within society, there are many tools to help you and your child navigate the diagnosis.
We hope you find Your Little Professor a friendly and helpful site if you are parent with an Asperger’s child.