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Aspergers Syndrome – Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

What is Aspergers?

Asperger’s is a syndrome classified under pervasive developmental disorder. It has shown to be more prevalent in boys than in girls. One major symptom of Asperger’s is of the relentless obsession in one subject and generally display a high comprehension of the subject. For instance, some who have Asperger’s are obsessed with subjects such as the medical field, trains or dinosaurs. This obsession can last from childhood into adulthood. Asperger’s also has the characteristic of having repetitive and restrictive patterns of interest and behavior as well as difficulties in interacting socially. Some people with Asperger’s may also have problems with regulation in their motor skills. Because of these characteristics, it is categorized as a developmental disorder.

Asperger Syndrome Picture

Asperger’s syndrome characteristics (Symptoms & Signs)

In children with Asperger’s, it is often parents or people who interact regularly with the child who notice the unusual behaviors in the child. The following are the symptoms and signs associated with Asperger’s:

  • Avoidance of eye contract
  • Repetitive, odd or eccentric behaviors such as twisting of the fingers or wringing of the hand
  • Difficulties in communicating, with difficulties in understanding both the context language and body language, as well having problems with the usage of gestures and facial expressions
  • One sided conversation wherein they talk on their one favorite subject. For instance if the child is interested in science, he or she will talk about science only without regard for others or their interests
  • Delays in fine and gross motor skill development such as poor handwriting, a walk that is awkward, late in catching the ball or riding a bike
  • Sensitive to lights, textures, strong tastes or loud sudden noises
  • Coordination problems seen as clumsiness
  • Above average memory skills
  • Strong routine attachment
  • Social withdrawal
  • Inability to sense personal space of others
  • Above average or average skills in vocabulary
  • Abnormal reflexes
  • Inability to empathize with others’ feelings
  • Speaking fast, rigid or monotonous

How to diagnose Aspergers in Children

Normally, to those who are inexperienced, diagnosing Asperger’s syndrome in children can be difficult. The characteristics, signs and symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome may either appear in other disease conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Misdiagnosis of Asperger’s in children is a common problem. The main diagnosing reference for Asperger’s syndrome is the book entitled Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In addition to that, the following tests may be conducted:

  • Medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Blood test

Treatment for Asperger’s

There is no current cure for Asperger’s. The treatment remains as therapies to help reduce the behaviors that interfere with day to day life as well as improvement of the function and health of the child. The treatment may be a combination of either of the following:

  • Pharmacological treatment drugs that may cure depression, obsessive compulsive behavior, anxiety, as well as hyperactivity.
  • Modification of behavior — this suggests positive behavior support and reduction of the problematic behaviors associated with Asperger’s.
  • Special education— this is usually put in place to meet the unique educational needs of the child with Asperger’s
  • Occupational, physical, or speech therapy— this will increase the functional abilities of the child suffering from Asperger’s.

Aspergers in Children Prognosis

For children living in an area that is equipped to handle schooling for children with special needs, intellectual developmental prognosis is good. Generally, the prognosis will greatly depend on the early diagnosis as well as the treatment given. Most of the time, the child with Asperger’s will be able to live a productive and healthy life. However, they is an increased risk of schizophrenia, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, these risks can be treated medically.

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