What is Asperger’s Syndrome?

Children with Asperger’s syndrome often develop behavioral problems at school age, break social rules, and often have special interests. You can find more information below.

What is Asperger’s syndrome?

Asperger’s syndrome is one of a group of childhood developmental problems known as pervasive developmental disorders and belongs to the group of autism spectrum disorders. Neural networks are not sufficiently interconnected during the first years of life, possibly due to a genetic mismatch (this is currently under discussion by researchers).

Related article: Autism spectrum disorder

This means that the information processing of external stimuli occurs differently from unaffected ones. Studies have shown that autistic people have abnormalities in brain functions such as the frontal cortex, amygdala, and basal ganglia.

For example, people with Asperger’s have often been shown to have trouble recognizing faces, they have a different perspective than other people. However, language or object knowledge is above average. This is due to a stronger perception of detail and poor consistency.

Until now, it has been difficult to distinguish Asperger’s syndrome from early childhood autism. Both are serious developmental disorders belonging to the autistic spectrum.

Unlike early childhood autism, Asperger’s syndrome is usually diagnosed only after the age of 3 years, because a key feature of the disorder is good language development and is therefore not initially suspected.

People with Asperger’s disease usually do not have any notable negative changes in their development up to age 3. They look normal but sometimes have high intelligence levels, but they can still be bad students.

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Because they are very concerned with themselves and their inner world, they often show attention deficit. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is the most common symptom in childhood and adolescence.

Related article: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Depression is one of the most common side effects of Asperger’s syndrome in adolescents and adults.

What causes Asperger’s syndrome?

In the 1940s, developmental problems like these were thought to be caused by parents who were unable to connect emotionally with their children. In the 1980s, it was now known that pervasive developmental disorders were caused by a problem in the functioning of the brain.

However, to date, the exact cause of pervasive autism spectrum disorder remains unknown despite extensive research. Currently available tests such as blood tests or magnetic resonance imaging scans have not revealed consistent abnormalities in the brain.

Sometimes, autism spectrum disorder is genetically seen in different family members. This suggests that these disorders may have a genetic component.

However, common asperger’s syndrome also occurs in families without a history of autism spectrum disorder.

What are the symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome?

Symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome can often be:

  • Social interaction: Limited social interaction is the main feature of Asperger’s syndrome. These people generally tend to use nonverbal behaviors, develop peer relationships, share interests and pleasures, and stay away from emotional and social things.
  • Repetitive and stereotyped behaviors: Individuals with Asperger’s syndrome often find themselves doing things that occupy themselves, such as limited interests, inflexible adherence to routines, repetitive motor movements (such as clapping, waving), and preoccupation with parts of objects.
  • Intelligence: Many people with this disorder have above-average cognitive abilities and are very talented in some areas. Areas of exceptional skills often include functions of the right hemisphere of the brain, such as skills related to numbers, math, computers, and music.
  • Language: Children do not show a delayed language development as in other autistic diseases. For example, in the 2nd year of life, they may use certain terms surprisingly. Sometimes he may have unusually good technical knowledge for the age involved. Those affected are often unsuccessful in communication and unable to empathize.
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Appearance in symptoms

Children with Asperger’s syndrome often develop behavioral problems at school age, break social rules, and often have special interests. That’s why they are often alone. This behavior can be compensated for in adolescence and adulthood, but people with Asperger’s syndrome feel “somehow different from the environment . “

Sometimes they turn into a difficult personality, sometimes eccentric, who can show the highest intellectual performance . However, social competence is underdeveloped; The person concerned is emotionally distant from those around him, not very social and unsuccessful in communication.

How is Asperger’s syndrome diagnosed?

There are no laboratory tests that can be used to diagnose Asperger’s syndrome . The correct diagnosis can be made after collecting the developmental history and observing the individual’s social interactions and behaviors.

The diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome should be made by individuals trained in this type of assessment and able to accurately assess an individual’s developmental pattern and relative strengths and weaknesses.

How is Asperger’s syndrome treated?

Individuals with Asperger’s syndrome are generally quite bright and intelligent , but sometimes experience social difficulties that can impair their performance at home or work. Structured, predictable environments are often useful for bringing out the best performance.

Many people with Asperger’s syndrome achieve good academic and personal success . Others need help with employment, living arrangements and social relationships.

Many people with Asperger’s syndrome benefit from individual intervention in the form of a social skills group or behavioral therapy. Many people need special accommodation for their educational placements and are eligible for special education services .

Treatment should be tailored to meet the individual’s needs; to develop their strengths and encourage development in areas of difficulty. To continue to facilitate improvement and success, progress must be continuously monitored and treatment adjusted as necessary.

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There are also therapy options that are good for such children. These are listed under the headings below.

animal therapy

Spending time with their own pets or outside animals is good for these people. For people with Asperger’s disease, animal therapy is well suited for training social skills.

music therapy

Music is a good way to express feelings that those affected often cannot put into words. Listening to music or making music by the person concerned is important in music therapy. Music can also bridge people between social inhibitions. It promotes neural connections, which activates the brain’s reward center.

occupational therapy

Occupational therapy helps treat motor problems. People with Asperger’s syndrome often show impairments in their motor skills. With special sensory integration training, for example, interaction between fingers and hands, body awareness and sensory perception are trained.

social skills training

People with Asperger’s syndrome often have trouble communicating with others or subjecting themselves to social rules. Social skills training teaches in a fun way how those affected can learn to follow rules. Communication skills; ball games, storytelling groups, and sharing their own experiences in the group.

behavioral therapy

During behavioral therapy, some learned habits are trained, such as maintaining eye contact, recognizing and responding to the other’s emotions. One of the important goals of behavioral therapy is to teach the person empathy.

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