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Aspergers syndrome

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Aspergers Syndrome by definition is a mild form of autism, which is a simple definition but can also be misleading. Whilst it does fall under the autism umbrella, the learning difficulties associated with autism are not usually present with Asperger Syndrome (AS).



What are the Symptoms?

Although people without aspergers may show similar characteristics to these this does not necessarily mean they have Aspergers Syndrome. And this is by no means a comprehensive list.

 

Common Characteristics of those who have Aspergers Syndrome are,

Difficulty with social relationships.

People with Asperger Syndrome may have difficulties with

·        Understanding none verbal signals (including mannerisms and facial expressions)

·        Socialising-most people with Aspergers Syndrome do not dislike human contact, and try hard to socialise, however it is difficult for them to make friends and form new relationships.

 

Difficulty with communication.

·        Often take things literally, and have difficulty understanding jokes or sarcasm.

·        Although they can speak fluently, they have trouble taking in reactions of there listeners, carrying on about one topic even if other people are showing no interest in it.

·        May seem insensitive to other peoples feelings.

·        Flat/ unusual facial expressions and tone of voice. People with Aspergers Syndrome may have very few facial expressions.

·        Odd gestures, poor or no eye contact are also apparent in people with Aspergers Syndrome.

 

People with Aspergers Syndrome may also be recognised by the following

·        Routines.  They often have to follow a set pattern, or example sitting in the same chair at lunch or walking the same way to school. Any change in routine can be unsettling and upsetting for them. Coping with change can be difficult for them.

·        Also have problems with spacial awareness, can be clumsy.

·        Can also be oversensitive to sounds, tastes, smells and sights, may prefer soft material in clothes, and certain foods etc.

·        May have specific interests that could be said to be bordering on obsessive. These usually involve arranging or memorising facts. They in fact can excel at this but abstract thinking can be very difficult for them.

·        Despite normal or above average intelligence common sense can also be an issue for people with Asperger Syndrome.

 

How is it diagnosed?

 

Gaining a diagnosis is not always easy however the first step is to go visit your Doctor. This may be your first stumbling block as it is not always heard of or understood by them. However ask for referral to a physiologist or a Clinical psychologist, from there they can diagnose or refer you onto the right people. In England the National Autistic Society (http://www.nas.org.uk)

 can offer advice on who can offer proper assessments for diagnosis.

 

 

How can it be treated/ is there any cure?

 

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Asperger Syndrome; if you have it as a child youre going to have it as an adult. However there are a number of treatments to improve characteristics of Asperger Syndrome. However as it is treated on a case by case this is just general information we can offer.

 

Treatments may include behaviour therapy, special needs provisions, physiotherapy, and medications such as Ritalin may be prescribed. Counselling may also be considered.

 

What causes it?

 

This is still being investigated, however there are many different theories being floated around. One is that it is a biological development in the brain, another involves genetics, and another school of thought is that it is down to a number of physical factors. However none of these should be taken as proof, what is known however it is not down to emotional deprivation or the way the parents have brought the child up!

 

The history of Asperger Syndrome,

 

The first person to recognise Asperger Syndrome was Hans Asperger, a Viennese Doctor in the 1940s however the first person to define it was Lorna Wing in 1981. It was her work that increased interest and research in the condition. It was not until as late as 1994 it became officially recognized by the DSM IV and only in the past few years that it has become known and recognized to parents and professionals alike.

 

Where can I get more information?

 

This page was compiled using information mainly from the following sites,

 

http://www.asperger-syndrome.com/

http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/aswhatisit.html

http://medicalwisdom.com/health/disorders/asperger_doc.htm

http://www.childdevelopmentinfo.com/disorders/asperger.shtml

http://users.wpi.edu/~trek/aspergers.html

http://info.med.yale.edu/chldstdy/autism/aspergers.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger's_Syndrome

http://www.tonyattwood.com.au/

http://ericec.org/faq/asperger.html

 

 

However there is a huge amount of websites that have information about Asperger Syndrome. This is by no means a comprehensive list and if you would like to recommend me a site then feel free.