Understanding Asperger’s syndrome

Understanding Asperger’s syndrome

One of the most common forms of developmental disorder in children is Asperger’s syndrome. Since it is an autism spectrum disorder it exhibits similarities to autism but it also has important distinctions. Those with this condition are often able to function better than those with autism. This is because such children have more highly functioning patterns of speech and language. Their intelligence level is also often more natural for their age.

Symptoms

Asperger’s syndrome often leads one to be aloof in social situations. A child with Asperger’s may struggle with making eye contact and may isolate themselves socially. This is understandable as the symptoms of this disorder make socialization harder than it would be normally. Asperger’s can cause problems with language as many with the disorder will interpret language literally and conversations with others often don’t develop naturally. Furthermore, when someone with Asperger’s does talk to others, their tone often does not vary and they will struggle with modifying their voice appropriately for each situation.

An individual with this condition will also exhibit a specified interest in a few select subjects such as science or the arts. They will often spend much time learning about a preferred subject of choice and repeatedly disseminating such information to others. Even if details memorized may not seem to have a relevant point; a child with Asperger’s may desire the subject as the primary topic of discussion. Similarly, some may not engage in childhood activities, such as riding bikes, as soon as others. Asperger’s is often dually diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder while issues such as anxiety or depression may act as symptoms for this condition in early adulthood (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke).

Though such symptoms may naturally take special attention to become more manageable, many with Asperger’s Syndrome are able to function fine intellectually though some social difficulties may persist into adulthood. Many are able to work in mainstream employment, though they may need some assistance in being able to live independently. Thankfully, many with Asperger’s are able to learn and adapt as they grow older.

Diagnosis

Oftentimes, a diagnosis will begin with a full medical evaluation to be sure that the child is indeed suffering from Asperger’s syndrome. This will include examining at both neurological and physical symptoms. There are no tests specific to this disorder. However, blood tests and X-rays may help in determining if physical attributes may be responsible. A childhood developmental specialist may prove to be helpful, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. The doctor will look for symptoms in the child and ask adults close to him or her for further clues.

In making a proper diagnosis, no specific genes have been found to be indicators for the Asperger’s syndrome. However, it is believed by many professionals that both a number of possible genetic and environmental factors may indeed lead to the syndrome. \

Treatment

While there is no known cure for Aspergers there is help available for those trying to deal with the syndrome. Children diagnosed with Asperger’s will need to receive special attention in the educational system. Oftentimes, social skills training may help the child interact with others more naturally while physical therapy can help improve motor skill functioning. Speech and language therapy may also aid development. Family therapy will also be encouraged for better understanding amongst parents and siblings. Naturally, accommodations will be helpful in all areas of the person’s life, whether at home, work or school. There is still the opportunity to lead a relatively normal life with proper treatment.

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