I am hoping to find some insight and advice here from others more experienced with Aspergers. My cousin seems very normal from most people's perspectives; however, there are a few personality traits that make me wonder if he could have a mild case of Aspergers. He is not socially reclusive at all. In fact, he's almost too outgoing (he'll walk right up to a table of strangers at a restaurant and introduce himself). He's also almost overly affectionate (at random, or seemingly inappropriate times, he'll kiss or hug you and/or say "I love you"). He has lots of friends, and is very, very social. He always wants to be the center of attention, and will do over-the-top things to get there.
The traits he does have, however, are what have brought me here to question the possibility of him maybe having mild Aspergers. He is very sensitive to sound, as well as temperature (mostly with food). He is unbelievably picky about what foods he will eat. For example, he will ONLY eat chicken fingers, or plain cooked noodles, and they always have to be almost cold before he'll eat them. Also, he has little ticks, like clearing his throat, or chewing on his fingers or his tongue (sometimes until they bleed). He gets extremely upset or frustrated when he does it, too... like he can't control himself (obsessive/compulsive). I believe the obsessive chewing started when he was put on certain meds for ADHD (what he's been diagnosed with). He has to wear gloves to keep from chewing his fingers.
Also, he speaks in a high pitched falsetto voice a lot of the time, which I understand some aspie kids do. He also LOVES dinosaurs, but I wouldn't say it's to the point of the other kids I've seen with Aspergers. The ones I've seen know everything there is to know about dinos... even their scientific names. My cousin seems to have a somewhat normal (although high) interest in them, and even carries a plastic dinosaur with him to the movie theater (at nearly 12 years old).
He also throws tantrums sometimes, which he's way too old to be doing. He's nearly 12. He can NOT handle certain things like losing at a game. Another thing that sends him over the edge is if he's trying to learn something totally new, and he doesn't "get it" immediately. If he struggles with it at all, he has a meltdown. A good example would be learning how to ski. If he falls ONCE (maybe twice), he will throw the poles on the ground, throw himself on the ground, get a very angry face on, and either pout, cry or yell (or all three). I've always felt this was more of a parenting thing, but I felt it was worth mentioning here. It's not uncommon for him to throw a tantrum in order to become the center of attention. The whole family will be sitting around having a really great time, playing guitar, singing, etc. and he'll find something to melt down about and go lock himself in the bathroom, slamming the door for extra emphasis. I've always believed he does it because he KNOWS someone will run in after him to coddle him.
That's all I can think of for now... please let me know if you have any questions. I would love to get some feedback & thoughts on this. Thanks!