Asperger’s Syndrome is part of the Autism Spectrum. Asperger’s affects boys three to four times more than girls and is characterized by a lack of communication and social skills, as well as poor coordination. Individuals with Asperger’s, however, are often high-functioning with normal to high intelligence.
While Autism can be diagnosed as early as 18 months of age, Asperger’s is typically not diagnosed until later. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, it is not normally diagnosed until a child is five or six because many of the early indicators of Autism, such as problems with language development, are not present.
The Autism Society says that a child with Asperger’s “may just seem like a normal child behaving differently.” Those trained to recognize Autism, and Asperger’s in particular, can however notice subtle differences. Some of the signs and symptoms that a child has Asperger’s may include:
- Desire to fit in, but socially awkward
- Little to no eye contact
- Infrequent use of gestures
- Intense interests
- Knowledge of categories of information
- Difficulty understanding abstract concepts
- Lack of inflection or rhythm in speech
- Difficulty understanding humor
- Motor skill delays
Individuals who exhibit these signs and symptoms and receive an Asperger’s diagnosis can be treated to help improve the level on which they function in everyday life. Those with difficulty interacting socially may receive social skills training where they interact with a group to build their social skills or receive speech/language training to help understand the flow of language and how to have a conversation. Some individuals with Asperger’s may also receive cognitive/behavioral therapy to help with emotions such as anxiety or obsessive behaviors and participate in physical therapy to help with motor skill delays.
Informative and enlightening video from a person with Asperger’s that we enjoyed viewing.