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DEFINITION

What Is Asperger's Syndrome?

Asperger’s syndrome is a term sometimes used to describe a developmental disorder that’s part of the autism spectrum disorder (ASD). People who have this type of ASD tend to have a hard time relating to others socially. They usually stick to a very specific routine, have a narrow set of interests, and act in repetitive ways such as flapping their hands.

Doctors sometimes call Asperger's a "high-functioning" type of ASD, which means its symptoms tend not to be as severe as other kinds of autism spectrum disorder.

2.7%

About 1 in 36 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

4x

ASD is nearly 4 times more common among boys than among girls

CHARACTER BIOGRAPHY:

Name: Andrew

 

Special Need: Asperger's (Autism)

Age: 14

Best Friend: Lil’ Bud

Birthday: December 2

Hobbies: Computers and Magic

Favorite Movie: Toy Story 1, 2, and 3

Favorite Vacation Spot: Florida

Favorite Quote: “Hey Lil’ Bud”

About Asperger's:

Overview:

Andrew is a pictorial essay on Asperger’s disease, one part of the 5 components of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In my description of Andrew, I’ve identified three distinct areas of Asperger syndrome: communication, behavior, and social skills. Generally, Asperger's disease has higher functioning. People with this condition may be socially awkward and have an all-absorbing interest in specific topics. Communication training and behavioral therapy can help individuals with the syndrome learn to socialize more successfully.

Rett’s Syndrome:

Affects females and is caused by a non-inherited gene mutation. Rett syndrome is rarely inherited. Infants seem healthy during their first six months but, over time, rapidly lose coordination, speech, and the use of their hands. Symptoms may then stabilize for years.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder:

Is characterized by a loss of previously acquired language and social skills, resulting in a persistent delay in these areas. For example, a child who was previously able to speak in 2- or 3-word phrases gradually or abruptly loses the ability to communicate using words or fragments of words.

Kanner's Syndrome:

A serious childhood disorder of higher brain function in which the child is withdrawn, self-absorbed, aloof, interested in objects but not in people, prone to repetitive movement and sometimes self-injury, and often unable to communicate by normal speech.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder:

The diagnostic category of pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) refers to a group of disorders characterized by delays in the development of socialization and communication skills. Parents may note symptoms as early as infancy, although the typical age of onset is before 3 years of age.

How common:

Autistic Spectrum Disorder, ASD is a disorder affecting 1 in 68 children with a mean average of 1 in 52-55 children. Which means that about 36,500 of every 4 million children born each year in the U.S. will have autism. ASD is more common among boys than girls. It is characterized by alterations in a child’s Communication, Social Skills, and Behavior. This alteration is due to the way an Autistic child’s brain is wired as compared to other children who do not have Autism. Asperger’s Syndrome is included in the condition called autism spectrum disorder (ASD) which is now the name given to each of the 5 different disorders listed above.

Communication

Children within ASD can be taught communication skills of verbal and non-verbal communication.  But this is most successful when done early in their life.  In any language weather English, Spanish, Pidgin, Swahili. Mandarin, or Italian is either verbal or non-verbal. Verbal communication starts in Utero. The difference is in the interpretation of language. Children within the ASD brain is wired differently than children not in this spectrum and they interpret language differently.  They have more time to learn, less to learn, fewer inhibitions, and a brain designed for language learning. It is because of the brain's elasticity and rapid neural formation that babies and young children are able to learn languages at a faster rate. 

Language skill is an extremely complicated issue because it uses a combination of verbal and non-verbal responses. Because it is earliest to teach language at an age earliest as possible, it is important to recognize early that a child may have an ASD.

 

Whatever a person’s heritage or culture, language is a cultural by product. Because a child within the ASD brain is wired differently, this interaction of language learning cannot be one sided such as the persons interacting with the ASD child thinking that they are going to straighten the child out by teaching this child correct communication skills.  A person’s culture or heritage has to often be taken into consideration.

 

Understanding language helps us to understand behavior and social skills. Non-verbal communication is more important than verbal communication.  Non-verbal communication is often more subtle and more effective than verbal communication and can convey meaning better than words. For example, perhaps a frown, smile or tone of voice conveys our feeling much easier than words.

Non-verbal language consists of many things. It varies from the way we use are body as language as well as the things we put on our body.  Such as body gestures, eye contact, gaze, facial expressions, appearance, clothes, the way we walk, speak, personal space, hygiene, paralinguistics (such as loudness or tone of voice), or jewelry, including body art, such as tattoos and the music we listen too.

 

In a social or behavior setting, the child with ASD may be able to communicate but a different manner.  To get attention they may yell or urinate on themselves or just stand extremely close to a person they are talking to. Verses children outside this spectra when seeking attention may be learning , “Do you have a moment to talk?”, or “Are you busy?”, or “what’s happening?”, versus an inappropriately yell or just standing extremely close to a person they are communicating with or even urinate on themselves for attention.

 

In summary Children who are exposed early to other languages display more positive attitudes to the cultures associated with those languages. The experience of learning a language introduces them to the world in ways they might otherwise have not experienced. It is because of the brain's elasticity and rapid neural formation that babies and young children are able to learn languages at a faster rate. This is sometimes referred to as the “critical period”

 

Regarding verbal communication, there are few absolutes in the world, but ASD children do not ask “fillers” or meaningless questions like, “How are you doing?” or “how do you feel?”  Although they may ask these questions as older children in their attempt to become “normal”

 

Due to the abnormality in the way the brain is wired, a child who has Asperger’s or the other four Autistic Spectrum Disorders have extremely poor non-verbal communication skills. It is extremely important that the child with any of the 5 ASD be treated as being normal in their world. It is completely wrong for anyone to think that

they are going to teach the child in the Autistic Spectrum correct communication skills by ignoring the fact that in their world, they do not think that they are wrong in their approach to communication, behavior, or social skills.

 

The child with ASD lives in their own world the same as people who are not in the ASD live in their own world. They do not think that they are wrong in their approach to communication. Because their brain is wired differently, they believe in their mind that they are normal in their communication and simply don’t understand the person not in the ASD disorders such as an Asperger’s Syndrome child. Understanding this fact is of utmost importance. It is important that anyone on the therapist team understand this fact. It is also important that people within the ASD and those who are treated with dignity despite their differences.

 

Behavior

Children within any of the ASD’s have behavior abnormalities such as:

 

  • Tie their shoelaces

  • Button their clothes

  • Urinates on themselves

  • Does not look at people they are talking to.

  • Stares at people they are not talking to.

  • Doesn’t listen to /others

  • Temper tantrums

  • Difficulty playing sports due to lack of coordination

  • Fear of animals

 

Social Skills

 

Children within any of the ASD’s have Social Skills abnormalities such as the following.

 

  • Stands too close to others

  • Does not look at people he is talking to.

  • Stares at people he is not talking to.

  • Talks too much, one sided conversation

  • Makes inappropriate comments

  • Does not say fillers, i.e. How are you today; Are you having a nice day?

  • Doesn’t listen to others

  • Temper tantrums

 

As a result of these Behavior and Social Skills children with ASD may have difficulty following simple commands. They may not have a social smile, or they may smile most of the time and often are often unable to tell others of their desires or needs. At all ages they may have long and severe temper tantrums, repetitive or odd behaviors. They show an unusual attachment to inanimate objects with difficulty playing with toys and prefer to play alone.

 

Another obstacle of learning communication skills is that most all children within the ASD have some a form of a learning disorder that will either disable or enables them to process information in either a deficient or accelerated manner.  There are also 5 types of learning disorders including:

 

  • Dyslexia also called a reading disability and affects areas of the brain that process language. Children have slow and labor-intense reading. It is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). Dyslexia affects 1 in 10 children and is the most common learning disorder.

  • ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is a medical condition that causes differences in brain development and brain activity that affects attention, the ability to sit still, and self-control. It affects millions of US children. The estimated number of children diagnosed with ADHD is 6.1 million up to age 17. Boys 12.9% are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls 5.6%.

  • Dyscalculia is severe difficulty in making math calculations. It affects about 7% of elementary school children and some research suggests it’s as common as dyslexia. It is estimated that 11% of children with dyscalculia have ADHD.

  • Dysgraphia is a specific learning disability that affects written expression. Dysgraphia can appear as difficulties with spelling, poor handwriting, and trouble putting thoughts on paper. … Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder that generally appears when children are first learning to write. In elementary school settings, it’s estimated that approximately 4 percent of children suffer from Dysgraphia. By middle school — when the complexity of written assignments starts to increase dramatically — estimates can get as high as 20 percent.

  • Processing deficits are problems with the processes of recognizing and interpreting information taken in through the senses. The two most common areas of processing difficulty associated with learning disorders are visual and auditory perception.

Although people with ASD have a different wiring of their brain, everyone’s integrity should be the same.

 

Einstein was viewed an idiot and responded.

“The world’s greatest invention is compound interest! E=MC2.”

 

Salvador Dali was viewed as stupid and weird.

His response at age 16, “I am a genius and people will admire me.”

 

Mr. Dali grew up being called stupid and was asked to leave a famous/great art academy.

At age 30 he told the world, “I am surrealism!!!"

 

Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, and Stravinsky all told the World, “I am the music”.

 

Larry Tinsley, “Man, you don’t know who I am. I am the Art!!!”

He was a straight A student at the Pittsburgh Institute of fine Art.

Where To Go For Treatment

Treatment of Asperger's Syndrome should include a team approach.
  • Social skills training.
  • Behavior supports.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy.
  • Parent education and training.
  • Speech-language therapy.
  • Occupational therapy.
  • Special education classes.
  • Medication.
 
What are the treatments for autism? The treatment also includes a team approach.
  • Behavioral management therapy.
  • Cognitive behavior therapy.
  • Early intervention.
  • Educational and school-based therapies.
  • Joint attention therapy.
  • Medication treatment.
  • Nutritional therapy.
  • Occupational therapy. ​

Find a Doctor or Organization Near You!

PLEASE NOTE:
The MircleKid website is not providing any treatment information. We are only providing information about medical conditions.

 

Treatment advice needs to be provided only by YOUR treating physician.

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