Asperger Profiles: Language and Communication

By AANE Staff

Many people with Asperger profiles have complex vocabularies and sophisticated speech, but using language to communicate, also called pragmatics, is a different matter. The rules of everyday conversation that come intuitively to most people have to be actively learned by individuals with Asperger profiles. Difficulties arise in two spheres. First, people with Asperger profiles generally do not notice – or notice but misinterpret – the nonverbal aspects of what other people are communicating to them, including facial expression, vocal expression, body language, gestures, volume, pauses, and so forth. Instead, those with Asperger profiles miss the context and hear only the words that are spoken. The second sphere includes difficulties in areas of expressive communication such as filtering thoughts before they are spoken, and socializing for the sake of interpersonal connection rather than (as many with Asperger profiles do) for conveying information.