Causes & Origins

The causes and origins of Asperger syndrome are an area of debate and controversy. Current thought among most stipulates that the causes of Asperger syndrome are the same as those of autism. Some disagree, arguing that Asperger syndrome and autism are caused by different things. All of this happens while the broader debate over whether Asperger's and other conditions (such as ADHD) are part of the so-called autism spectrum continues.

Among many competing models proposed to explain autistic behavior (and thus, as many believe, Asperger syndrome) are the under connectivity theory, developed by cognitive scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh; the extreme male brain theory, by Simon Baron-Cohen; the pre-operational autism theory; and the social construct theory.

Some theories argue more strongly for Asperger syndrome than autism. It is sometimes argued that some particular theories play a bigger role in Asperger syndrome, such as the social construct theory. However, this is a controversial area.

The etiology of Asperger's Syndrome is unknown. However, as with autism, it is known that it is highly heritable. Many researchers speculate that environmental triggers could be involved. Some suspect environmental factors play a more significant role in classic autism.