Asperger’s syndrome is a disorder classified into the autism spectrum disorders (ASD); it is a developmental disorder that affects a child’s ability to communicate effectively and associate with others. Asperger’s syndrome is on the mild end of this spectrum. Children affected by Asperger’s syndrome exhibit a great degree of social awkwardness and a great and valuable interest in certain topics; they are sometimes referred to as geniuses. There is no cure for this disorder, but there are certainly treatments to help the child interact more successfully in social situations. Learn about the symptoms and types of treatment available for this disorder right here.
Signs and Symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome
Signs and symptoms include: engaging in one-sided, long-winded conversations without consideration of the listener; displaying unusual nonverbal communication; showing an obsession with certain topics; appearing not to understand or empathize with others feelings; difficulty “reading” other people; lacking a sense of humor; speaking in a monotonous and rigid voice; moving clumsily, with poor coordination; and displaying an odd posture.
Treatment for Asperger’s Syndrome
As mentioned above, the treatment is aimed at helping the child develop the proper socialization skills, not at treating the actual signs and symptoms. The most important thing is to get early intervention because many children have showed to benefit from this; the early intervention focuses on behavior management and social skills training. Different aspects include:
Communication and social skills training
Children with Asperger’s syndrome will better learn the “rules” of society by being taught them explicitly or by rote. In this way, they can also learn to speak in a more natural rhythm and how to interpret communication techniques, like gestures and eye contact.
Cognitive behavior therapy
There are many techniques to help restrain problem behaviors. Such behaviors might include interrupting, obsessions, meltdowns, and angry outbursts. Also with this type of therapy, the child can learn how to recognize feelings and to cope with anxiety. It can involve introducing a child to a common social situation, and teaching him or her how to cope in that scenario.
There are some medications that might improve symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome that might be delaying the child’s progress, such as depression, anxiety, or hyperactivity.
Depending on your child’s specific needs, you should find a school program, when it comes time for one, to suit him or her. For example, some may have small work groups, a communication specialist, opportunities for social interaction, and a sensitive counselor accustomed to working with kids affected by the disorder.
Other Types of Support
Support is very important for both the child with the disorder and the parents of the child. There are many services available for support and parents should not hesitate to turn to them. After all, the experts know what they’re doing!
Asperger’s Syndrome in Adulthood
You may find yourself wondering, if you do have a child with Asperger’s Syndrome, will he or she will be able to live a normal life all the way through adulthood? The most honest answer is that it depends in the child. However, if the treatment is effective, and most of the time it is if started early, the child will learn to cope with his or her disabilities and be able to function relatively normally. That’s not to say that it will be easy; more times than not, social situations and personal relationships will be somewhat of a challenge. With the right skills, it should be easier. Many adults with Asperger’s syndrome are quite capable of successfully keeping a job. Keep in mind that love and support are important through all stages of life…never give up on your loved one!