Asperger’s syndrome

Asperger’s Syndrome is a form of autism with specific symptoms that place it in its category. Symptoms of Asperger Syndrome consist of impaired social interaction, repetitive patterns of behavior or movements, and not showing any delays in language development or cognitive development. Children with autism usually share several of the same symptoms, but the one major difference in Asperger’s syndrome is that the language and cognitive development is not hindered by their condition. This is rare in cases of autism and therefore classifies these children in the Asperger’s category. Children with Asperger’s syndrome will hit their milestones on time, usually speaking by age 2. As children grow their language may be expanded when it comes to vocabulary, but the way they use the words and communicate can be quite differently. They tend use the word literally and have a hard time understanding figurative language. The way they use their voice can be very different as well. Often loud, fast or abrupt speaking patterns will surface. Thoughts can be spoken out loud and topics of conversation will pertain to the child’s particular interest or thoughts with disregard to the context in which they are speaking.

There are patterns that are commonly found in both Asperger’s Syndrome and other forms of autism. Marked impairment in nonverbal behaviors such as facial expressions, body postures and gestures, and eye to eye gazing are common. Other social impairments consist of failure to develop relationships with peers that are developmentally appropriate, lack of social or emotional responses, and lack of enjoyment in activities or interests. A general disregard for others feelings, interests and achievements is also common. The patterns of repetitive behaviors, activities and interests are seen in several cases of autism as well as Asperger’s syndrome. Children are constantly preoccupied with particular interests and are intensely focused or become obsessed with certain items or nonfunctional rituals and routines. There are several other symptoms that can be associated with Asperger’s Syndrome as well. Again it may be different from child to child.

Parents with children that have Asperger’s Syndrome may be able to notice signs of this disorder by the age of 2 ½. This is typically the age in which developmental challenges will surface. For this reason it is important to see your doctor for all routine pediatric checkups that follow the developmental milestones of children. This way your doctor will be able to spot delays or signs that may be associated with Asperger’s Syndrome. The diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome is not always clear since the symptoms often overlap other medical conditions. Conditions such as ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorders, nonverbal learning disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, major depressive disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorders all can have symptoms that can be similar to one or more of those with Asperger’s Syndrome. Your doctor will have to run several diagnostic tests in order to determine your child does in fact suffer from Asperger’s Syndrome. This can be very frustrating and challenging for parents. Parents with children of Asperger’s Syndrome tend to be much more stressed in day to day living while trying to figure out how to manage and deal with their child.

Once your doctor has diagnosed your child with Asperger Syndrome he or she will be able to decide what type of therapies or treatments will best suite your child. Since the severity of symptoms can vary from one patient to the next, some treatment methods may work better for your child than others. Children with a more mild case of Asperger’s may outgrow several of the impairments once they hit adulthood. The life expectancy of a child with Asperger’s syndrome is no different than a person without the condition.

Last updated on May 12th, 2009 and filed under Mental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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