Autism is a developmental disorder that can range from mild to severe. Asperger's generally is thought of as a mild form. Both autism and Asperger's can be characterized by poor social skills, repetitive behavior or interests and problems communicating. Unlike classic autism, Asperger's does not typically involve delays in mental development or speech.
Experts say those with autism and related disorders are sometimes diagnosed with other mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
"I think it's far more likely that what happened may have more to do with some other kind of mental health condition like depression or anxiety rather than Asperger's," Laugeson said.
She said those with Asperger's tend to focus on rules and be very law-abiding.
"There's something more to this," she said. "We just don't know what that is yet."
After much debate, the term Asperger's is being dropped from the diagnostic manual used by the nation's psychiatrists. In changes approved earlier this month, Asperger's will be incorporated under the umbrella term "autism spectrum disorder" for all the ranges of autism.
AP Writer Matt Apuzzo contributed to this report.
Asperger's information: http://1.usa.gov/3tGSp5