OK, first let me say... THERE IS HOPE! Next... YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!
There! My son is now 14. We were so blessed to have had an encounter with a brilliant school psychologist (no, not an oxymoron) when he was 5. Her suggestion was putting my son into BD classes - behavioral disorders. We were strongly opposed until we met the teacher and observed the class. The basic principal of the class was - for every action, there is a reaction. There were very set "punishments" for certain behaviors and a behavior chart. It was a small class and my son ended up being the star student constantly! One thing that helped was allowing him to take something to comfort himself when he was about to "lose it"! He had a stuffed Thomas the Tank Engine that he was allowed to take everywhere and when he got upset, he would talk to it. Over the years this progressed to a Batman action figure, a dinosaur toy and other small things.
As I said, Connor is now 14. He is on the honor roll with all A's and B's. He is about to start high school on a college prep tract. He is currently in two (as he calls them) SPED classes because these particular reg ed classes were just overwhleming to him - too many kids!
I tend to disagree with what Ingrid said about the kids not getting those subtle nuances of facial expression and things like that - my experience is that my DS REALLY gets them! He is an extraordinarly empathic person and takes those nuances to heart. Casual cruelty (rampant in middle school) cuts him right to the core. His intelligence is just terrifying to me! In 3rd grade when he was on a "mummy" kick, he turned in his homework all written in heiroglyphics. Luckily his teacher was amazed and went to the trouble to grade it in that form rather than punish him - it was 100% correct! His retention of information is amazing!
You have quite an adventure ahead of you - and please, consider it an adventure! Everyone is right, do your reasearch! There are some wonderful people out there waiting to be found. And... trust your instincts! You know this kid better than anyone ever will. Believe it or not, you know what's best! You are his greatest asset and ally! Be prepared to fight for him which is not always fun.
Don't forget to take care of yourself throughout this adventure, either! There are, as you can tell, plenty of us who are more than happy to lend an ear or a shoulder whenever you need it. You really are not alone in this. Our experiences are as different as out children but... we do understand and care! I think one of the main problems with Aspergers is that... no two cases are ever alike and there is no simple treatment that works every time.
Sorry that this was so long but... I was you 9 years ago. The difference is that you've reached out and I was embarrassed for so long - never of my DS but of my own short-comings. You are in my thoughts and if you ever need me... I am but a PM away!
With a hug, Angela