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What is Asperger’s Syndrome? Characteristics and treatments

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Asperger’s syndrome is a developmental disorder within the spectrum of autism.

It has a neurobiological cause and several characteristic symptoms. This syndrome is named after the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger, who was the first to publish a definition of it. Asperger’s syndrome is sometimes known as high functioning autism.

These children find it difficult to deal with others, and although it is something that will accompany them throughout their lives, good training teaches people with Asperger to face their limitations and strengthen their virtues.

What is Asperger’s Syndrome? Autism and Asperger: similarities and differences.

Asperger’s syndrome is often called a form of autism. There are two important similarities between people with classic autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Both have problems with social communication, they also have limited areas of interest and repeated behavior. This is because children with this syndrome, like children with classic autism, have trouble entering and maintaining social contacts and interpreting gestures and facial expressions of others, even though their intelligence is normal or even higher than average.

However, there are also a number of differences, when recognizing the disorder and certain characteristics. Language development and understanding are normal, as is self-sufficiency.

 

Causes

As with other forms of autism, the cause is unknown. Asperger’s syndrome is congenital and does not go away over time. There seems to be a hereditary factor because it occurs more frequently in a family environment.

Asperger is not a common disorder, about three out of every 10,000 people suffer from it. Of the children with Asperger’s syndrome, three quarters are boys and a quarter is girls.

Comorbidity with Asperger’s syndrome is high. This means that it often occurs in combination with another syndrome or disorder. It is often associated with ADHD / ADD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, echolalia and OCD (compulsive neurosis).

A son with Asperger

Parents often notice from the beginning that their child is different and reacts differently to situations than their peers. They realize that their child has problems in social interaction. A diagnosis provides clarity, after which treatment can begin. The Asperger cannot be cured and does not disappear as someone ages but if you can teach him different techniques that can be very positive.

 

10 signs and symptoms for Asperger’s syndrome

How to recognize the signs of Asperger syndrome in your child? This is not so easy, since, each child has different symptoms. But where can you pay attention?

1. Focus on one activity

Many children with Asperger’s syndrome can spend hours in an activity and get completely absorbed in it. There may also be a fixation for certain toys, such as that favorite car, all toys that are blue or books. It is played for an incredibly long time and the toy receives all the attention. When they grow up, they can immerse themselves completely in a specific topic, being good connoisseurs of a specific subject.

2. The speech of the “teacher”

Children with Asperger sometimes behave like little teachers. They are verbally agile, but because they are usually so specific, they may only want to talk about one thing, sometimes obsessing with a topic. Children with Asperger’s syndrome may also be more formal than usual for their age or rather talk with adults.

3. Difficulty with social clues

For children with Asperger’s syndrome, reading body language can be difficult, just like having a conversation. Working in groups at school can also be difficult, for example, because you don’t understand that you should wait for your turn or agree with another point of view. It can be very sociable, but not very good in two-way communication. Because of this, children with Asperger’s syndrome may seem isolated from their peers.

4. Need for routine

Structure plays an important role in the lives of these children. They need routines, otherwise, everything is very confusing for them.

5. Emotional disruptions

Many children with Asperger syndrome cannot handle routines or plans that go wrong, this is due to the inability to control emotions when things are not in order. You may have difficulty expressing emotions. Sometimes, the child reacts in a very violent, unpredictable or impulsive way. Or with an emotion that does not adapt to the situation.

6. Lack of empathy

Another sign of Asperger’s syndrome is the lack of empathy for others. They find it hard to understand that other people in their environment have feelings or desires and needs. They live a little in their own bubble.

7. Do not understand the subtlety

Some people with Asperger syndrome have difficulty understanding the tone or stress of others. They can take words literally and find it hard to understand sarcasm or jokes. The child often does not understand proverbs, sayings, and sarcasm or takes it literally.

8. Unusual body language

Other signs of Asperger’s syndrome are unusual facial expressions or attitudes. In addition, children with Asperger also tend not to look at others or avoid full eye contact.

9. Motor development

From handwriting to cycling, low or slow motor skills can be a sign of Asperger’s syndrome.

10. Sensory Sensitivity

Many children with Asperger syndrome are extra sensitive. As a result, they can be overstimulated quickly, for example, with intense light, loud sounds or a certain texture. For example, your child may no longer want to use some fabrics because they give him a certain feeling. There are a number of sensations that you simply don’t like. Certain sounds, touches, etc.

 

Some tips to consider and guide for parents

There are several things you can do to help your child with Asperger. As not all children with Asperger have the same problems, not all the advice about your child will apply. But there are probably some tips that may be useful.

– Ensure a structured and predictable environment.

– Prepare your child in time for new events or changes in the rules. Keep in mind that children with Asperger syndrome cannot cope with unexpected situations/changes.

– Teach him the rules of social interaction by literally indicating how and what to say in different social situations. This can, for example, be based on role-playing games or while playing with puppets or dolls.

– Because children with Asperger have a hard time understanding the feelings of others, you must teach them how to react in the right way. If your child responds differently to what is appropriate or usual, explain how he can do it differently and give the right example.

– Encourage him to play with others and participate in activities with his teammates.

– Don’t let him talk about his unilateral interests all the time. Try to limit the time when you perform your monologue without letting the rest interact in the conversation.

– If it is possible to have a pet in the family environment, it can be a great companion that encourages and stimulates it.

 

Let’s not forget the positive characteristics of Asperger

– Children with Asperger have a strong sense of justice and a sense of normality. They are honest and reliable.

– Usually, they can remember a lot of objective information.

– They often have a broad vocabulary.

– They may have very original ideas. Their solutions often have an original perspective.

– They are usually students with a strong visual memory like those with high capacities.

– They are dedicated and persistent. This if carried correctly can be very positive when it comes to achieving your goals.

Most children with Asperger’s syndrome learn to cope better with their limitations as they grow older. The fact that they have Asperger can sometimes even benefit them. Because although your child may have social difficulties, it is most likely that he is super good at something specific that really interests him.

Did you know they were very structured people and it is believed that Einstein, Napoleon, Beethoven, and Elvis Presley had Asperger’s syndrome?

 

Treatments

People with Asperger, whether a child or an adult, suffer from Asperger’s symptoms to varying degrees. The treatment suits that. It may consist of the following:

– Training in social skills and interaction with others. As a result, people with Asperger learn skills, which facilitates social interaction with others.

– Psychotherapy (cognitive behavioral therapy). This therapy teaches you to deal with your own emotions.

– Psychoeducation Explanation about Asperger, the symptoms of this syndrome, about how others can respond to someone with Asperger and the possible misunderstandings that may arise from Asperger. As a result, children with Asperger are better prepared for unexpected situations.

All the information that we give you in this article is for orientation since each person is different, so in order to establish a diagnosis and treatment, it is essential that you go to your pediatrician.

 

Carolina González Ramos

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contacto@tipsdemadre.com
Updated: 2019-12-30

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