Asperger’s Disorder is a milder variant of Autistic Disorder. Both Asperger’s Disorder and Autistic Disorder are in fact subgroups of a larger diagnostic category. This larger category is called either Autistic Spectrum Disorders, mostly in European countries, or Pervasive Developmental Disorders (“PDD”), in the United States. In Asperger’s Disorder, affected individuals are characterized by social isolation and eccentric behavior in childhood. There are impairments in two-sided social interaction and non-verbal communication.
Doctors and researchers don’t understand what causes Asperger’s syndrome, although there seems to be a strong genetic component. The disorder also seems to be linked to structural abnormalities in several regions of the brain.
Signs and Symptoms
The following are a number of signs and symptoms that might be present in a child with AS:
* inappropriate or minimal social interactions
* conversations almost always revolving around self rather than others
* “scripted,” “robotic,” or repetitive speech
* lack of “common sense”
* problems with reading, math, or writing skills
How Common Is Asperger’s Syndrome?
Asperger’s syndrome has only recently been recognized as a unique disorder. For that reason, the exact number of people with the disorder is unknown, although it is more common than autism. Estimates suggest Asperger’s syndrome affects from 0.024% to 0.36% of children. It is more common in males than in females, and usually is first diagnosed in children between the ages of 2 and 6 years.
Asperger syndrome treatment attempts to manage distressing symptoms and to teach age-appropriate social, communication and vocational skills that are not naturally acquired during development with intervention tailored to the needs of the individual child, based on multidisciplinary assessment. Although progress has been made, data supporting the efficacy of particular interventions are limited.
The ideal treatment for AS coordinates therapies that address core symptoms of the disorder, including poor communication skills and obsessive or repetitive routines. While most professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better, there is no single best treatment package. AS treatment resembles that of other high-functioning ASDs, except that it takes into account the linguistic capabilities, verbal strengths, and nonverbal vulnerabilities of individuals with AS.
Hopefully this short article will provide useful information for you of the signs and characteristics of Aspergers and a greater understanding of how this may affect that person’s emotional stability. This will help you to relate better to those people and support you both in planning effective interventions.