Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can my clumsy child possibly have Asperger's disorder?"
My daughter seems very clumsy to me. She is constantly running into and dropping stuff and doesn't seem very socially aware.Could she have Asperger's?
While there has been much information in the public media about Asperger disorder and other autism spectrum disorders, it is important to understand what does and does not comprise symptoms of the disease. Clumsiness is not necessarily a symptom of the disease, for example. Symptoms or complaints that would be more common and could have something to do would instead be an inability or severely decreased ability to communicate verbally, as well as an avoidance of social situations. Somewhere on the spectrum of these disorders there exists also the possibility of repetitive motor movements, which can be another sign of the disease, as well as difficulty learning new skills and abilities in formal education formats. While we don't know what causes any of these unfortunate conditions, we do know how to diagnose them, which can then guide the appropriate treatment and referrals to be able to optimize the outcome. If you are concerned about your daughter's well being, then you should discuss your concerns with her pediatrician. He or she will be able to normalize these behaviors as appropriate, and suggest further testing or conferences with other professionals as needed. But again, clumsiness in and of itself is likely not a sign of autism.
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