Challenges in Emotional Regulation in Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism

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As positive outcomes for children and adolescents with either Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism are related to the development of social communicative competence, recognition of the developmental capacities that contribute to this achievement is essential. Although social communication skills play a central role, developmental milestones in emotional regulation should be considered of equal importance. This article will describe emotional regulatory challenges commonly faced by individuals with Asperger syndrome and individuals with high-functioning autism that hinder success in social interactions. The impact of challenges in social communication (e.g., difficulty sharing and interpreting intentions, recognition of emotional states, and using socially conventional forms of emotional expression) and differences in neurophysiology (e.g., sensory sensitivities and learning style) on emotional regulation will be reviewed.

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