List of Characteristics













List of Possible Characteristics
of a Person with Asperger's Syndrome (AS),High Functioning Autism (HFA) or Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)


NO ONE WILL HAVE ALL THESE CHARACTERISTICS! These are POSSIBLE characteristics!

The “List of Possible Characteristics of a Person with Asperger's Syndrome (AS), High Functioning Autism (HFA) or Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)” is explained and illustrated by the book, TAP DANCING in the night (copyright 2001 by Martha Kate Downey, currently published by Books by MK but originally published by Phat Art 4 Publishing). It was compiled of characteristics the members of AS-Support had seen demonstrated by their children or in themselves.

Many other diagnoses share characteristics with these diagnoses, so the list may help give a more complete picture of the person with dual diagnoses or having neurological differences, not generally found within the original diagnosis. For example, EVERYONE with the diagnosis of Noonan Syndrome will NOT have neurological differences, but many will. This list is helpful to more fully explain behaviors to those persons only familiar with the general characteristics of Noonan Syndrome.

“AS-Support” is a group of adults with Asperger's Syndrome and/or parents of children with Asperger's Syndrome. In order that the list be as accurate as possible, Martha Kate Downey, a member of AS-Support and mother to a daughter with Asperger’s Syndrome, only included those characteristics that were seen in many of the children. It was important that the characteristics be shared by others, thereby ruling out the possibility of including occasional individual habits. The list was edited many times by the members of the group until all felt they stated a clear picture of a person with Asperger’s Syndrome.

The list is helpful in explaining characteristics that individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome have currently or have had in the past. Because autism is within a spectrum, portions of the list also help identify characteristics that other persons with diagnoses within the spectrum might be demonstrating. My recommendation is that you highlight or mark and then date the characteristics that you see present now, as well as those that are no longer seen in the individual. This makes a very useful tool for doctors, therapists, teachers, as well as others, to best know or recognize specific thought patterns and/or behaviors that might not be seen within an office setting or school room.

The “List of Possible Characteristics of a Person with Asperger's Syndrome (AS), High Functioning Autism (HFA) or Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)” may be photocopied as desired; however, it must remain in its original form with credits included.


Drop me a line to let us know if the list was helpful! We sincerely hope it helps others understand these characteristics a bit more and helps to obtain education and medical resources.


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    TAP DAN CING in the night
    the interactive book-on-cd about autism you may:
  • Read online, print or download onto your computer for no cost!
  • Order a cd of TAP DAN CING in the night or other books by Martha Kate Downey from amazon.com

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