Need to talk? Call 1800 882 436.
It's a free call with a maternal child health nurse. *call charges may apply from your mobile

Is it an emergency? Dial 000
If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately.

beginning of content

Caring for a child with Asperger's disorder

3-minute read

Children with Asperger’s disorder often find it hard to relate to other people. They might find it difficult to deal with social situations. Learning how best to care for a young child with Asperger’s, and knowing where to get help, can benefit both you and your child.

What is Asperger’s disorder?

Asperger’s disorder, also known as Asperger’s syndrome, was the name given to a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

Asperger’s disorder is no longer diagnosed. The term autism spectrum disorder (ASD) now includes children who were previously described as having Asperger’s, though some children may have been given this diagnosis previously or they or their parents and carers may choose to use this term. Asperger’s disorder is a collection of symptoms that a child might have. It is not all the child is or can be.

Children with Asperger’s disorder often find it hard to communicate. Some kids are affected more than others. Each child is different but they might:

  • be obsessed with certain topics or subjects
  • show little interest in other people
  • find it hard to make and keep friends
  • have advanced language skills for their age
  • have trouble expressing their own feelings
  • find it hard to understand non-verbal communication
  • have problems working out what other people are thinking or feeling

Children who have Asperger’s disorder might be aware of some of this, and might find it frustrating. It’s not clear what causes Asperger’s in children. It’s likely that genes play a part.

Learn more about child development. Visit the healthdirect website for more information on Asperger's disorder.

What to do if your child has Asperger’s disorder

If your child has been diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder or autism spectrum disorder, it is important to get help and support as soon as possible.

A tailored early childhood intervention program can help your child to communicate more effectively and become less frustrated. It can also help them grow and develop, reduce difficult behaviour, and cope better at childcare facilities, pre-school and while preparing for school.

How to care for a child with Asperger’s disorder

Caring for children with Asperger’s can be challenging. It can affect siblings or other children in positive and negative ways and disrupt family life.

You might try comforting your child by teaching them breathing techniques or playing relaxing music.

It’s good to work as part of a team alongside health professionals. Your child might benefit from:

  • speech and language therapy, to help them communicate better
  • occupational therapy, to help them deal with everyday activities
  • psychological therapy, to help with social skills and regulate emotions and stress
  • support to ease the transition to school

What help is available?

There are programs available that provide skills and support for parents of children with Asperger’s.

More information

The following websites have more information about young children, Asperger's disorder and autism:

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: October 2019


Back To Top

Need more information?

Asperger syndrome

What is Asperger Syndrome?

Read more on WA Health website

Asperger’s disorder signs and symptoms | Raising Children Network

What is Asperger’s disorder? Children with Asperger’s have trouble with social interaction and social cues, but they might have strong language skills.

Read more on raisingchildren.net.au website

Autism versus ASD versus Asperger's, PDD-NOS - Autism Awareness Australia

Posted on June 13, 2018 Autism versus ASD versus Aspergers, PDD-NOS It can be confusing to make sense of the various terms used to describe autism

Read more on Autism Awareness Australia website

Early signs of autism in toddlers - Autism Awareness Australia

Spotting the early signs of autism in toddlers can be hard if youre not an autism expert. Many of these signs are common to all young children but they are seen more often in children who have autism.

Read more on Autism Awareness Australia website

Find your state autism association | Raising Children Network

Australian autism associations support parents raising a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Use our guide to find your state autism association.

Read more on raisingchildren.net.au website

Signs of autism in preschoolers - Autism Awareness Australia

With some children, the signs of autism might not become entirely obvious until they reach preschool (or even school age), when suddenly the developmental gap between them and their peers becomes more pronounced.

Read more on Autism Awareness Australia website

Autism & behaviour | Raising Children Network

Need help with behaviour for autistic children? Get information to help with difficult behaviour, anxiety, confidence and more.

Read more on raisingchildren.net.au website

Helping Children with Autism: a guide | Raising Children Network

The Australian Government’s Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) package helps you get services and support for your child with autism in areas not yet part of the NDIS.

Read more on raisingchildren.net.au website

Autism communicating & relationships | Raising Children Network

Autistic children have trouble communicating. Our resources can help you build relationships and improve communication.

Read more on raisingchildren.net.au website

Autism therapies & services | Raising Children Network

Need info on therapies and services for autistic children and teenagers? Find videos and articles on interventions, financial support and more.

Read more on raisingchildren.net.au website

Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

This information is for your general information and use only and is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes.

The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.

Except as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, this publication or any part of it may not be reproduced, altered, adapted, stored and/or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Healthdirect Australia.