Asperger’s Syndrome 101

Asperger syndrome (AS) is a developmental disorder that is characterized by obsessive interest in a single object or topic, repetitive routines or rituals, peculiarities in speech and language, socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior that results in an inability to interact successfully with peers, problems with non-verbal communication and clumsy and uncoordinated motor movements.

The syndrome mostly affects boys and are diagnosed during the the elementary school years because the symptoms of the disorder become more obvious at this point. School children who have Asperger’s Syndrome often have a difficult time in school because they lack the social skills and are just “weird”. While most of them have average to above average I.Q’s, they do not posses the social and emotional skills needed to deal with people in general. They are also prone to bullying and manipulation by other kids because of their apparent gullibility.

The causes, diagnosis and treatment for Asperger’s Syndrome are currently at a very early stage and lacks scientific certainty, though there are researches and studies being conducted. But what is certain is that Asperger’s Syndrome is a lifelong but stable condition and the prognosis for sufferers are relatively good compared to other autistic individuals.

Adults with AS are productively employed in a wide variety of fields, including the learned professions. They do best, however, in jobs with regular routines or occupations that allow them to work in isolation, this is why it is sometimes called as “the geek syndrome”. This rigid attention to detail, isolation and overall “geekyness” is also why some of the best computer programmers and engineers probably have AS.

The most obvious negative effect of Aspergers Syndrome involves the inability of the sufferer to form meaningful or even simple relationships with “new people”. They lack the skills to form bonds because of the fact that they cannot empathize or read and understand peoples facial expressions and body language. They also do not perceive other peoples emotions, which makes it hard for them to relate and or even have a short conversation without sounding like a self obsessed know it all who keeps on ranting about things that are not interesting. They tend to talk at people rather than talk with them.

Though there is no current cure for Asperger’s Syndrome, there are treatment options that focuses on an individuals specific symptom pattern. Medication is an option though most children do not require any. The most effective form of treatment is psychotherapy using different approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. The best time to start therapy is as soon as the the child is diagnosed with the syndrome, AS children do best in structured learning situations in which they learn problem-solving and social skills as well as academic subjects.

Comments

  1. Debra Collins says:

    I agree that this blog gives a great overview of information on Aspergers disease.  I think the blog's interest to address difficulty for people with Aspergers in the work place is very insightful.

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