Vines Frontman Blames Scuffle On Autistic Disorder

Craig Nicholls tells Australian court he suffers from Asperger Syndrome.

Vines frontman Craig Nicholls has revealed that he suffers from Asperger Syndrome, a developmental disorder characterized by problems with social interaction.

Nicholls disclosed his diagnosis on Friday (November 19) during a court appearance in Sydney, Australia, where he was facing charges of assault and malicious damage stemming from a May 27 scuffle with a photographer (see "Vines Drop Off Incubus Tour, Citing Exhaustion"). The charges were dismissed.

Nicholls' condition is also being cited as the reason the band backed out of its spot as openers for Incubus on their North American tour last summer.

The singer was diagnosed after a Vines crew member noticed symptoms of the disorder and brought them to the attention of the band's management. Psychologists and psychiatrists had been attempting to diagnose Nicholls for years.

Asperger Syndrome is a neurobiological disorder that, among other things, affects the way an individual interacts with others. A form of autism, AS is characterized by difficulty with social relationships and communication, motor clumsiness, and sensory sensitivity, according to the Asperger's Syndrome Support Network.

Sufferers of AS may have problems with language development, and they may speak fluently but may not notice the reaction of people listening to them or they may seem insensitive the feelings of the listener. Individuals with AS may exhibit obsessive behavior — for example, a preoccupation with a hobby or extensive memorization.

According to the ASSN, adults with AS are often considered eccentric or peculiar. There is no specific course of treatment for AS, but options include psychotherapy, behavioral modification and medications for specific behavioral symptoms.