Children with Asperger’s Disorder typically prefer routine and can become quite irritable if things do not go as expected. Anxiety is reduced when they have the sense of control that comes with knowing what is going to happen. Minor changes that seem meaningless to others can result in intense reactions for children with Asperger’s Disorder, who have little ability to adapt to unexpected changes and recover from the upset they feel if things did not go as planned. Tantrums, refusal to cooperate, and aggression can occur for some Asperger’s Disorder children who cannot handle changes.
Children with Asperger’s Disorder may also have set behaviors that they “must” do. Oftentimes these behaviors make no sense to others and serve no purpose. The Asperger’s Disorder child may have to walk down the hall on a certain side or have to touch a chair with his index finger. Attempts to prevent him from doing the behaviors can result in anger, tears, or tantrums.
Movements can be senseless and odd. They may use odd hand gestures repetitively or engage in rocking of their body. These behaviors are generally not thought of as problematic unless they are harmful or causing significant disruption in behavior or teasing by peers.