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Quick link to the information of your choice on Asperger Syndrome:
Asperger Syndrome (Asperger's Disorder or Asperger's) is one of five neurological conditions autism spectrum disorders (ASD), one of a distinct group of
neurological conditions characterized by a greater or lesser degree of impairment in language and communication skills, as
well as repetitive or restrictive patterns of thought and behavior.
A Viennese physician, Hans Asperger, published a paper in 1944 that described a pattern of behaviors in several young boys who had normal intelligence and language development, but who exhibited these behaviors. In 1981, an English doctor named Lorna Wing published a series of case studies of children showing similar symptoms, which she called “Asperger’s” syndrome.
Asperger's Disorder was defined in 1994 in section 299.80 of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) by six main criteria. These criteria define Asperger Syndrome, Asperger's Disorder or Aspergers as a condition in which there is:
Qualitative impairment in social interaction.
The presence of restricted, repetitive and stereotyped behaviors and interests.
Significant impairment in important areas of functioning.
No significant delay in language.
No significant delay in cognitive development, self-help skills, or adaptive behaviors (other than social interaction); and,
The symptoms must not be better accounted for by another specific pervasive developmental disorder or schizophrenia.
In 2013, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) changed the definition of Autism to include Aspergers symptoms and eliminated the Aspergers definition.
What are the causes of Asperger's Syndrome?
There is no known cause at this time.
What are the characteristics of Asperger Syndrome?
Mild to severe
Deficiency in social skills, communication skills.
Normal or superior intelligence.
Standard language development compared with classical autism.
Obsessive or repetitive routines.
Difficulty with relationships.
Asperger Syndrome may lead to problems in social interaction with peers. These problems can be severe or mild depending on the individual. Children with Asperger Syndrome are often the target of bullying at school due to their idiosyncratic behavior, language, interests, and impaired ability to perceive and respond in socially expected ways to nonverbal cues, particularly in interpersonal conflict. Children with Asperger Syndrome may be extremely literal and may have difficulty interpreting and responding to sarcasm or banter.
What are the statistics concerning Asperger Syndrome?
Two to three of every 10,000 children have the condition, making it rarer than autistic disorder itself. Three to four times as many boys have Asperger Syndrome compared with girls.
Diagnosing Asperger Syndrome is complicated. Professionals do not have standardized screenings and must rely on a battery of screening and diagnostic tools.
It is not known how to prevent Asperger's Syndrome. Early diagnosis and intervention can allow development of skills to prevent behavioral and emotional complications that could be experienced from the syndrome.
"America's health care system is in crisis precisely because we systematically neglect wellness and prevention." - U.S. Senator, Retired, Tom Harkin
Read our NHU Report on the Prevention of Disabilities - Spring 2015
Read about the rising prevalence of developmental disabilities, the impact of developmental disabilities and the need for data for research. ----We all know to move forward on any problem facing mankind requires research. We are stating, in order to protect children of the future, newborns, their parents and society from disabilities, we should broaden the scope of data collected through the U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth. This update to our existing data system would be more easily adopted and is necessary to more effectively meet current research needs for the purpose of preventing disabilities. Existing data collected is vague and not in sync with the rapid advances in medicine for today.
People are more alike than they are different.
Identify and develop an appreciation for each persons strengths and accomplishments.
Become aware of the affect on daily activities.
People First Language from disabilityisnatural.com by Kathie Snow offers insight into society's use of language when using the term disability. The term disability is a societal construct to identify characteristics related to a medical condition that may entitle an individual for services or legal protections. The use of this language encourages freedom, respect and inclusion for all, and recognizes forms of language that can isolate, create negative stereotypes and place attitudinal barriers for individuals. "Using People First Language, putting the person before the disability—and eliminating old, prejudicial, and hurtful descriptors, can move us in a new direction. People First Language is not political correctness; instead, it demonstrates good manners, respect, the Golden Rule, and more—it can change the way we see a person, and it can change the way a person sees themself!" For more articles by Kathie Snow to "help us begin to use more respectful and accurate language and create positive change," visit People First Language and More
The National Information Center for Children and Youth With Disabilities (NICHCY) offers an information package. Link to their Autism/PDD Page, and contact them for an information package concerning Asperger Syndrome.
Neurodiversity: Some professionals contend that, far from being a disease, Asperger Syndrome is simply the pathologizing of neurodiversity that should be celebrated, understood and accommodated instead of "treated" or "cured."
Autistic people have contributed to a shift in perception of autism spectrum disorders as complex syndromes rather than diseases that must be cured. Proponents of this view reject the notion that there is an 'ideal' brain configuration and that any deviation from the norm is pathological. They demand tolerance for what they call their neurodiversity in much the same way physically handicapped people have demanded tolerance. These views are the basis for the autistic rights and autistic pride movements. Researcher Simon Baron-Cohen has argued that high-functioning autism is a "difference" and is not necessarily a "disability." He contends that the term "difference" is more neutral, and that this small shift in a term could mean the difference between a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome being received as a family tragedy, or as interesting information, such as learning that a child is left-handed.
Visit our NHU Community Forum on Asperger Syndrome for more insights, awareness, viewpoints, experiences, needs and solutions.
Needs and Solutions
Develop behavior management strategies and address poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, and physical clumsiness. Many individuals with Asperger Syndrome can adopt strategies for coping and developing relationships.
Treatment and Rehabilitation:
A typical treatment program generally includes:
Social skills training, to teach the skills to more successfully interact with others, understand body language and facial expressions, education in spotting and translating these social cues.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, to help in better managing emotions that may be explosive or anxious, and to cut back on obsessive interests and repetitive routines.
Medication, for co-existing conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Occupational or physical therapy, to assist with sensory integration problems or poor motor coordination.
Specialized speech therapy, to help with the trouble of the "give and take" in normal conversation; and,
parent training and support, to teach parents behavioral techniques to use at home.
Individuals may benefit from individual, group, animal-assisted, or music therapy.
Many studies have been done on early behavioral interventions. Most of these are single case with one to five participants. The single case studies are usually about controlling non-core autistic problem-behaviors like self-injury, aggression, noncompliance, stereotypes, or spontaneous language. Packaged interventions such as those run by UCLA or TEACCH are designed to treat the entire syndrome and have been found to be somewhat effective.
Unintended side effects of medication and intervention have largely been ignored in the literature about treatment programs for children or adults, and there are claims that some treatments are not ethical and do more harm than good.
It is important to focus on maximizing the patient's capabilities at home and in the community. Positive reinforcement helps recovery by improving self-esteem and promoting independence. The rehabilitation program is designed to meet the needs of the individual patient. Active involvement of the patient and family is vital to the success of the program. Parents and teachers can help by providing a structured and supportive environment
The goal of rehabilitation help the person to the highest level of function and independence possible, while improving the overall quality of life - physically, emotionally, and socially.
In order to help reach these goals, Asperger rehabilitation programs may include the following:
patient and family education
Learn More About Asperger Syndrome
Does Your Child Have Social Communication Disorder?
Your Child's Symptoms May Be Too Mild for Autism By Lisa Jo Rudy | Reviewed by Joel Forman, MD
Updated May 18, 2018. This article at Very Well Health explains how Social Communication Disorder, a mild form of Autism, replaces the diagnoses of PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). The 2013 Diagnostic Manual redefined Autism Spectrum Disorder, Aspergers and PDD-NOS. Social Communication Disorder is not included with Autism Spectrom Disorders. If a child has grown out of Autism behaviors, parents may like this diagnoses instead. There is a downfall to no ASD diagnoses. "A person who has "only" Social Communication Disorder may not receive the same level of services as a person with the same symptoms and an Autism Spectrum diagnosis. So even if your child has outgrown or learned to manage autistic symptoms, it may be worth your while to describe past symptoms in order to help your child qualify for a diagnosis that offers more and better services and support."
K12 Academics - Asperger Page includes Characteristics of Asperger Syndrome, living with Aspergers, Prevalance, Definitions & Diagnosis Criteria, Relationship to Autism, Causes & Origins, Criticism & Controversies and much more including camp listings and support services for children with Asperger Syndrome, organization chapters for Asperger Syndrome (both state & national) and resources (books, videos, magazines, DVDs, software, audio cds, mailing lists) on Asperger Syndrome.
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