What is Asperger's Syndrome?
Asperger's syndrome (AS) is a neurobiological disorder that is part of a group of conditions called autism spectrum disorders. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome share many of the same symptoms as those with “high-functioning autism.” While Asperger’s is often difficult to diagnose, with today’s awareness and early identification, milder cases are being identified more frequently. Therefore, the prevalence of AS appears to be on the rise. More than 400,000 families are estimated to be affected by this affliction.
About Asperger's Syndrome
The Syndrome was first described by a Vienese pediatrician named Hans Asperger in 1940. He noticed that some of his patients had a set of behavior patterns that set them apart from their peers. This occurred mostly in males and was characterized by normal intelligence and language development but severely impaired social schools. These children were generally lacking in coordination and did not communicate effectively.
AS is generally diagnosed between the ages of 5 and 9 and is characterized by poor social interactions, obsessions, odd speech patterns, and other peculiar mannerisms. These children tend to display unusual sensitivity to external stimuli such as light and sound and may display other obsessive behaviors.
While those suffering from AS tend to be a bit eccentric and somewhat immature, they are capable of functioning in society. Asperger’s tends to last throughout life with symptoms waxing and waning. Other symptoms of AS include peculiar preoccupations, eccentricities, poor social skills and clumsiness.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of AS?
Because the symptoms of AS are often hard to differentiate from other behavioral problems, AS is often misdiagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is best to let a doctor or other health professional evaluate your child's symptoms. These signs and symptoms might be present in a child with AS:
Treating Asperger Syndrome
Because there are no “typical” Asperger’s patients, treatment modalities vary from patient to patient. They include: