Fact sheet on prognosis of Asperger's syndrome, an Autism Spectrum Disorder


Persons with Aspergers syndrome appear to have normal life spans, but have an increased prevalence of comorbid issues such as depression, mood disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Being a developmental disorder, early diagnosis and intervention can minimize the delays in development for a child, which can have a very positive impact on long-term prognosis for Asperger's.


Lack of research

As of 2007, no studies addressing the long-term outcome of individuals with Asperger syndrome are available and there are no systematic long-term follow-up studies of children with Aspergers syndrome.[3]. Although social impairment is lifelong, outcome is generally more positive than with individuals with lower functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders;[1] for example, Autism Spectrum Disorder symptoms are more likely to diminish with time in children with Aspergers syndrome or High Functioning Autism.[60] Although most students with Aspergers syndrome/High Functioning Autism have average mathematical ability and test slightly worse in mathematics than in general intelligence, some are gifted in mathematics[61] and Aspergers syndrome has not prevented some adults from major accomplishments such as winning the Nobel Prize.[62]


prognosis of children with asperger's syndrome

Children with Aspergers syndrome may require special education services because of their social and behavioral difficulties although many attend regular education classes.[3] Adolescents with Aspergers syndrome may exhibit ongoing difficulty with self-care, organization and disturbances in social and romantic relationships; despite high cognitive potential, most remain at home, although some do marry and work independently.[1] The "different-ness" adolescents experience can be traumatic.[63] Anxiety may stem from preoccupation over possible violations of routines and rituals, from being placed in a situation without a clear schedule or expectations, or from concern with failing in social encounters;[1] the resulting stress may manifest as inattention, withdrawal, reliance on obsessions, hyperactivity, or aggressive or oppositional behavior.[49] Depression is often the result of chronic frustration from repeated failure to engage others socially, and mood disorders requiring treatment may develop.[1]


Children with Asperger’s syndrome can learn to manage their differences with appropriate interventions, but they may continue to find social situations and personal relationships challenging. As Asperger's syndrome is a developmental disorder, early intervention is crucial to avoid developmental delays compounding over time. There are many early intervention therapies available for autistic children. For more information, see the Early intervention page.


importance of family education

Education of families is critical in developing strategies for understanding strengths and weaknesses;[2] helping the family to cope improves outcome in children.[14] Prognosis may be improved by diagnosis at a younger age that allows for early interventions, while interventions in adulthood are valuable but less beneficial.[2] There are legal implications for individuals with Aspergers syndrome as they run the risk of exploitation by others and may be unable to comprehend the societal implications of their actions.[2]


prognosis of adults with asperger's syndrome

Many adults with Aspergers are able to work successfully in mainstream jobs, although they may continue to need encouragement and moral support to maintain an independent life.

Adults with Asperger syndrome may make great intellectual contributions: published case reports suggest an association with accomplishments in computer science, mathematics, and physics. The deficits associated with Aspergers syndrome may be debilitating, but many individuals experience positive outcomes, particularly those who are able to excel in areas less dependent on social interaction, such as mathematics, music, and the sciences.


However, as adults they may need to continually work on the many living skills that many people take for granted: taking an interest in others, learning the give and take of conversations, maintaining friendships, reading non-verbal communication and so forth. For more information, go the section on Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.


focus on strengths for the future

Some adults on the autism spectrum do very well in their jobs when they have found a area they excel in, that is also in demand. This can offset problems with social interaction, and indeed there are jobs where the importance of social interaction is minimized. Examples of this are architectural drafting, computer programming, language translator, special educator, librarian and scientist. Mentors can help channel interests of a child into skills that will help eventually to establish a career.


Click here to read personal stories by adults living with Asperger's syndrome.



1. McPartland J, Klin A (2006). "Asperger's syndrome". Adolesc Med Clin 17 (3): 771–88. doi:10.1016/j.admecli.2006.06.010. PMID 17030291.
2. Baskin JH, Sperber M, Price BH (2006). "Asperger syndrome revisited". Rev Neurol Dis 3 (1): 1–7. PMID 16596080.
3. Klin A (2006). "Autism and Asperger syndrome: an overview". Rev Bras Psiquiatr 28 (suppl 1): S3–S11. PMID 16791390.
14. Tsatsanis KD (2003). "Outcome research in Asperger syndrome and autism". Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am 12 (1): 47–63. PMID 12512398.
49. Myles BS (2003). "Behavioral forms of stress management for individuals with Asperger syndrome". Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am 12 (1): 123–41. PMID 12512402.
60.Coplan J, Jawad AF (2005). "Modeling clinical outcome of children with autism spectrum disorders". Pediatrics 116 (1): 117–22. doi:10.1542/peds.2004-1118. PMID 15995041. Lay summary – press release (2005-07-05).
61. Chiang HM, Lin YH (2007). "Mathematical ability of students with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism". Autism 11 (6): 547–56. doi:10.1177/1362361307083259. PMID 17947290.
62. Herera S. "Mild autism has 'selective advantages'", CNBC, 2005-02-25. Retrieved on 2007-11-14.
63. Moran M (2006). "Asperger's may be answer to diagnostic mysteries". Psychiatr News 41 (19): 21.

Click to shut fact sheet on Aspergers information

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This autism fact sheet is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation. It is derivative of autism and Aspergers--related articles at http://en.wikipedia.org

The long term prognosis with Aspergers or Autism is difficult to predict