What is Asperger’s syndrome?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 25,127
    Autism expert Peggy Halliday discusses Asperger’s syndrome.

    Peggy Halliday

    Peggy Halliday is a board certified associate behavior analyst who has specialized in autism education for the past ten years. She is the Director of Outreach Services at the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) in Charlottesville, VA. VIA is a non-profit organization which provides a day school and other resources for families, educators, and other professionals seeking services, training or information about autism and evidence-based interventions. The Institute operates a year-round school for students ages 2-22, a 700-volume library, training workshops, internships for undergraduate and graduate students and teachers, and customized trainings for schools. Peggy supervises a wide range of outreach services, including development and supervision of comprehensive, home-based early intervention programs incorporating naturalistic, incidental, and structured teaching using the principles of applied behavior analysis; training for parents and home instructors; skills assessments, functional behavior assessments and intervention plans, and consultation on Individual Education Plan goals. She has presented trainings and workshops at state and national conferences.

    Host: What is Asperger's Syndrome? Peggy Phalliday: Asperger's Syndrome is one of the autism spectrum disorders. A child has deficits in the areas of behavior, and social skills but develops normally in terms of communication, at least in terms of how their speech develops. There may be differences in terms of communication in a way a child's speech patterns are or their understanding of some of the social nuances of language but their language develops when they expect it, when parents would expect it to develop. In terms of social skills, they may have deficits in ways like difficulty making friends, difficulty understanding social gestures and understanding body language. They may have a lot of difficulty reading body language. In terms of behaviors, they may have restricted patterns of interests where they are excessively preoccupied with a certain topic or a certain object or parts of objects.