There's been a lot of speculation on the web about the possibility that Julian Assange may have Asperger's Syndrome. Aspects of his behaviour that support this "diagnosis" are (1) his reported social awkwardness and occasional ignorance of obvious social cues and (2) his obssession with computers, technology, justice, and crap like that.
My Assessment: As I've said in the past, I'm a social psychologist, not a developmental or a clinical one. That said, I at least have some idea of where to get information about psychological disorders. Let's look at the diagnostic criteria in the DSM IV This more narrative description of how someone with Asperger might behave on is also quite good. Here are the DSM criteria:
A.Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
(1) marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction
(2) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
(3) a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
(4) lack of social or emotional reciprocity
B.Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
(1) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
(2) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
(3) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
(4) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
C.The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
D.There is no clinically significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years).
E.There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other than in social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood.
F.Criteria are not met for another specific Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Schizophrenia
Other than the scraps he's had with some of his former editor-partners and DDB (who is a rodent and doesn't really count), and the fact that he seems like sort of a d-bag in bed, I see no evidence that Julian is unable to engage appropriately with people. He stays completely focused on the person talking with him, maintains steady eye contact, and responds in a normal manner, except for the content of those responses, which is almost impossibly brilliant. He directs people's attention to things in an appropriate manner, in fact that's a large part of his interactions with the media and members of the public.
As to criterion (B) I haven't seen any reports of ritualistic, stereotyped behaviour. While he may have a preoccupation with computers, technology, and social justice, this is not the same thing as spending 12 hours a day making origami octopuses and ignoring everyone around you.
Clearly criterion (C) is not met, and (D), (E), and (F) are exclusion criteria.
A few people have commented that he has some sort of mild form of Asperger. I don't know if they know this, but the whole disorder is about to get booted from the DSM as a separate category, to be subsumed under Autism Spectrum Disorder, so saying that someone has a mild form of Asperger's is about to make even less sense than it originally did.
So from now on, instead of saying that he has some mild form of a mild form of autism, maybe we can just conclude that he's a pretty introverted person and that you're distracting him from his interactions with his own incredible mind with your idiotic blather (I'm talking to you, Keller). In summary, sometimes it's Asperger's, and sometimes the person just can't fucking stand you.