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Asperger’s Syndrome – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

What is Aspergers Syndrome?

Asperger’s syndrome is a condition wherein the person has difficulty in socializing with other people as well as doing repetitive and restricted patterns of behavior and interest. It belongs to the Austistic spectrum disorder wherein there are pervasive developmental disorders involving the communication as well as social skills of a person.


Asperger’s syndrome is considered as a milder type of the spectrum because there is preservation of the cognitive and the linguistic development. This conditioned was named after Hans Asperger, a Viennese pediatrician wherein he described the behavioral patterns of the patient which are mostly boys. Accordingly, kids are diagnosed with the condition from ages 5-9. There are many studies conducted as to how many were affected with the condition and more males are affected than females with a ratio of 4:1.

A lot of people have been comparing and asking what is the difference between Asperger’s and high functioning of >70 IQ autism. With Asperger’s the outcome is positive and the onset of symptoms are late rather than those with autism. The patient’s social and communication problem is less severe but clumsiness is often seen in the patient. The family history is more positive and there are lesser neurological disorders with Asperger’s syndrome. Overall, a child with asperger’s syndrome is capable doing their functions and some responsibilities of the everyday life. However, it cannot be denied that some people with this condition may appear immature and eccentric to other people.

Aspergers Syndrome Symptoms

Parents are the first ones who notice that something is wrong with their child. It is very important that they will distinguish or observe what behaviors their children are exhibiting. Thus, children with asperger’s would exhibit:

  • They appear to lack empathy
  • They avoid eye contact and sometimes they stare at others
  • Dislike changes in routine
  • Using formal words when speaking which seems to be advanced for their stage.
  • They lack inborn social skills or lacks picking up of social cues. They cannot maintain having a conversation, they would not understand a person’s body language.
  • The child may not understand what a joke is and take it sarcastically.
  • The picth of their tone appears to be flat or monotonous.
  • Unusual facial expression
  • Unusual posture
  • They only have few interests but they are pretty knowledgeable about it. and the topics they have interest on is unusual.
  • Only engages in one-sided conversation
  • Heightened sensitivity
  • Their motor development is delayed

Asperger’s continue on as the child gets old and the symptoms do not stop in childhood. Thus, asperger’s is also noticeable during adolescent and adulthood.

  • In their teenage years, they appear to be shy or intimidated
  • This results to social isolation with depression and anxiety because they fell like “they don’t belong”
  • They can be too immature or too naïve which puts them to a greater risk for bullying

But as adulthood enters, these symptoms tend to stabilize and improvements are seen throughout their lifetime. With proper education and understanding, they will make use of their strengths and let go of their witnesses. Some people with aspergers become successful in their career specifically in the are where they have interests on.

Aspergers Syndrome Causes

Accordingly, the cause of aspeger’s is mostly linked to the genes however researchers don’t know the specific genes that cause the problem. Aside from that, a family history with incidence of Asperger’s syndrome will most likely be passed on from generation to generation.

Aside from familial tendencies, there are a few cases of Asperger’s wherein exposure to teratogens which causes birth defects in the early stages of conception.

Aspergers Syndrome Treatment

Treating Asperger’s can be challenging to diagnose because the symptoms it present can be mistaken for another problem. Psychological disorders and conditions are challenging because the health care team uses the cues and what they have frequently observed from the person’s behavior in diagnosing the disease. with that, psychologists will ask series of questions and interact with the child and see how they communicate, how they form bond and test the child’s intellectual capacity.

The American Psychiatric Association published the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders to properly diagnose mental conditions. so to diagnose Asperger’s syndrome, the criteria would include:

  • No interest in interactive plays
  • Lack of eye to eye contact
  • They don’t like changes
  • Difficulty making new friends
  • Preoccupied with one subject
  • Unusual body posture
  • No significant language delays

After diagnosing Asperger’s the main focus of the treatment is to address the symptoms and help improve the child’s condition. as soon as Asperger’s is diagnoses, early intervention should be done. treatments include:

Cognitive behavioral therapy

In this therapy, techniques would be made to address the problems and help the child address their outbursts, obsessions, meltdowns and even help them recognize their feelings and overcome anxiety.

Communication and social skills therapy

Here, the child will be taught to interpret the humor presented, establish eye to eye contact with another person. since some patients with Asperger’s tend to be monotonous, they will be taught how to speak more naturally, us the proper pitch and rhythm.

Medications

There are some medications prescribed by the doctor to avoid depression, anxiety, irritability and many others. They may prescribe Guanfacine to help address the child’s hyperactivity and inattention. Other may take Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors to treat depression, and control those repetitive actions; Risperidone which is a medication to treat agitation and many other medications.

Coping and support

Having diagnosed with Aspergers cannot only cause depression and anxiety to the child but to the parents as well. It is very important that parents and the people around will be supportive and show care for the child. As much as possible, parents should also learn about the disease, the dos and don’ts to address the child’s needs. It is also very important to maintain a consistent schedule since they are not adept with change. But if there is a need, the change should be done gradually. The people around the child should understand that he or she is going through something which makes him or her different from others. through that, they will understand the child and help him address his special needs.

Another action that would show support and understanding is that parents as well as teachers would help the child turn their obsession into passion. Although the child may be fixated with their topic of interest, it would be helpful to add more knowledge options when they are interested in that particular field.

Lastly, it is not too late to find support from parents and health care professionals who have kids that are diagnosed with asperger’s or professionals that specifically deal children with this condition.

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