It was found that Asperger syndrome is a neurobiological condition that is among a group of disorders that are commonly known as autism spectrum disorders. This common term is used to mean or to refer to a number of a wide range of disabilities in the developmental stages that also include autism and other disorders that display the same or almost similar characteristics (Asperger syndrome). Autism, in this case, is said to be one among many disorders that make up and the pervasive developmental disorders. Pervasive developmental stages are referred to as a group of conditions that affect the development process that involves impaired or delayed social and communication skills, cognitive and behavioral skills. Autism is indicated to be among the widely- known condition of all of the PDDs; these conditions are also referred to as autism spectrum disorders (Autism and other pervasive developmental disorders).
These disorders are known as spectrum disorders because of the way the characteristics and symptoms of each can display themselves in combinations that are different and in degrees of severity that also vary. For example, two patients can exhibit a broad variety of abilities and skills though they have been given the same diagnosis, and even when they have similar patterns of behavior. As a result, professionals have come up with a number of general terms that are used to refer to the children patients displaying behaviors that fit with the spectrum. Some of these terms include low- functioning, autistic tendencies, high- functioning, and pervasive developmental disorders among others. It has also been found that children with Asperger syndrome have numerous characteristics and symptoms in common with children with high- functioning autism. Studies have estimated that not less than 400, 000 families have one or more of their members affected by Asperger syndrome. The incidence has currently been increasing and it was found that the reason behind this was not an increase in the condition itself but an increase in the identification of milder cases that were undetectable before. However, the fact still remains that Asperger syndrome is one of the most difficult condition to treat and diagnose among the other conditions (Asperger syndrome). This paper will cover some of the information included in a number of linked websites to find out more information about Asperger syndrome, and the meaning of the information to professionals and students in psychology.
Asperger syndrome derives its name from a Vietnamese pediatrician who was the first to describe some of the common characteristics and behavior patterns associated with patients with Asperger condition in 1940; he was called Hans Asperger. He noticed that his patients had social skills that were severely impaired and were not able to communicate with others efficiently and that their coordination was poor even though their language and intelligence development was normal. The Asperger Coalition of the United States has pointed out that Asperger syndrome starts later than what is expected in cases of autism, with the majority of the kids being diagnosed after they have reached the age of 5 to 9 (Asperger syndrome).
There are several characteristics which indicate the presence of Asperger syndrome. Some of them include such characteristics as social interactions that are poor or underdeveloped, patterns of speech that are odd, obsessions and other mannerisms that are peculiar. It was also found that most children with Asperger syndrome have a number of specific facial expressions and most of them have difficulties in understanding the body language of other individuals. They also might engage in routines or behaviors that are obsessive and show sensitivity to sensory stimuli that might not be displayed by other children. For example, some of them show oversensitivity to light and sounds that other children might be comfortable with. Generally, kids with Asperger syndrome can function normally in life like other children; the only difference is that their social maturity is at times peculiar or limited. Other characteristics might include clumsiness, motor delays, peculiar preoccupations, and limited interests. It was found that these symptoms can continue to adulthood with individuals showing less concern and empathy for others and having limitations with their social skills. However, it was also found that these symptoms and characteristics can greatly diminish if they are diagnosed early and early intervention is included (Asperger syndrome).
symptoms and signs of Asperger syndrome
A site describing the symptoms and signs of Asperger syndrome indicate that a professional is the best individual to evaluate the symptoms of a child if it is suspected that they are suffering from one of these conditions because the condition can be easily confused with other disorders with similar characteristics. It was learned that Asperger syndrome can and is commonly confused with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (Asperger syndrome). Surprisingly, it was found that ADHD is an extremely common behavioral disorder that is prevalent in about 8 to 10 percent of children of the school- going age. It was found that it is more prevalent in boys than in girls with boys being at a risk thrice that of girls of being affected by the condition. Children with this condition are hyperactive, act without thinking and have focusing difficulties. They never follow instruction though they understand them because of the difficulties they have of sitting still, attending to details and paying attention (What is ADHD?).
It is, therefore, essential to have a professional who can differentiate between the symptoms of both conditions to diagnose a child displaying such symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms associated with Asperger syndrome include speech that is robotic, scripted or repetitive, social interactions that are minimal or inappropriate, limited common sense, challenges with writing, reading and math skills, obsessions, limited nonverbal cognitive techniques, movements that are awkward and mannerisms and behaviors that are odd. It essential to note that unlike children with autism, children with Asperger syndrome might not display language development delays; in most cases, they attain grammatical skills that are fair and vocabulary that is advanced at normal developmental stages. However, the use of language in various social contexts is usually common (Asperger syndrome).
Causes of Asperger syndrome
The causes of Asperger syndrome and autism still remain unknown and researchers are still studying some of the possible causes of the conditions. Many scientists, however, speculate that the behavior patterns characterizing children with Asperger syndrome might be as a result of numerous causes. It is, for example, believed that there is a genetic factor to Asperger syndrome, and other studies have indicated that other disorders such as bipolar and depression disorders might be significant causes of this condition (Asperger syndrome). Depression has been characterized as one of the most common and significant mental condition in the US. A child is diagnosed with depression when such things like depressive mood, and state linger for an extended period of time like months and even more, and when these depressive moods limit the child or person to function normally (Understanding depression). Others still think that there is an environmental factor involved. It was found out that the condition does not result from the way people are brought up or from deprivation of emotions as many assume. It is a fully neurobiological order that many scientists have not come to comprehend yet (Asperger syndrome). Current research has, however, made significant advances and found out that Asperger syndrome can be caused by certain abnormalities in the brain. Such revelations have been found using advanced brain imaging techniques that have shown functional and structural differences in certain brain areas of children with Asperger syndrome versus those without (What causes AS?).
It has been indicated that it is extremely challenging to diagnose Asperger syndrome. This is because children with the condition function normally in most life aspects and it common for parents and professionals to attribute some of their odd behaviors to just being different from the other children. Professionals have, however, recommended early intervention for children with Asperger syndrome. Most professionals perform thorough psychological evaluations on children displaying Asperger- like symptoms (Asperger syndrome).
Because children with the condition display varying behavior patterns, there is no one particular treatment or cure for Asperger syndrome. There are different kinds of treatment that might benefit a patient according to the symptoms they display. Some include training and education of parents, training on social skills, language therapy, training for younger children of sensory integration, and medications (Asperger syndrome). Educational interventions for the child can also be beneficial. This only applies to those children who have delayed skills and other kinds of disabilities. These programs might help children with learning disabilities, emotional disorders, autism, cognitive challenges, language or speech impairment and delays in development (Individualized education programs).
It has been understood that with treatment options that are appropriate and effective, children with Asperger syndrome can learn to cope and live with their disabilities but they might at times find it challenging to express competence in social situations and personal relations. Many adults who have successfully undergone these therapies are able to work in mainstream jobs although they might still need continued support and encouragement to live an independent life (Do children with AS get better?). Recent studies are still being contacted to show how different disorders in the nervous system and brain affect and result in symptoms of Asperger syndrome (What research is being done).
This topic is of great interest to my profession, especially because there has been such limited research on some facets related to the issue. The information provided in these websites, therefore, is of major importance because of it further psychologists’ knowledge on the matter, and further, points out areas of interest that need to be researched on for the betterment of the services provided to the patients. The benefits of what was found in these websites are many. One is that we, as professionals, get to know some of the main symptoms of the condition that might be of help to us when it comes to diagnosing the disorder. Another benefit is that we become aware as professionals of the common mistakes that are made during diagnosis and the knowledge on how to avoid such confusions. Misconceptions about causes of the disorder such as deprivation of emotions are also cleared after reading these materials. However, one of the most essential significances of the outcomes of this study was the fact that some gaps were found in the studies available about Asperger syndrome. For example, it was noticed that there are no clear studies that have yet found the causes of the disorder. It is, therefore, a challenge for us as psychologists to take up this task and further explore the causes so that these gaps can be closed.
Asperger syndrome. Retrieved from http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/brain/asperger.html#
Autism and other pervasive developmental disorders. Retrieved from http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/learning/pervasive_develop_disorders.html
Do children with AS get better? What happens when they become adults? Retrieved from http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/asperger/detail_asperger.htm#179723080
Individualized education programs. Retrieved from http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/learning/iep.html
Understanding depression. Retrieved from http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/understanding_depression.html
What causes AS? Is it genetic? Retrieved from http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/asperger/detail_asperger.htm#179693080
What is ADHD? Retrieved from http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/learning/adhd.html
What research is being done? Retrieved from http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/asperger/detail_asperger.htm#179733080
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