Aspergers Syndrome only became known and recognized as a distinct syndrome in the US after 1994. People with Asperger syndrome can show a wide range of behaviours and social skills, but common characteristics include difficulty in forming friendships, communication problems (such as an inability to listen or a tendency to take whatever is said to them literally), and an inability to understand social rules and body language.
There is no cure and no specific treatment. Asperger syndrome doesn't improve, although experience helps to build up coping skills. Social training, which teaches how to behave in different social situations, is generally more helpful than counselling.
Typical Aspergers Symptoms
More males than females have Asperger syndrome. While every person who has the syndrome will experience different symptoms and severity of symptoms, some of the more common characteristics include:
- Average or above average intelligence
- Inability to think in abstract ways
- Difficulties in empathising with others
- Problems with understanding another person's point of view
- Hampered conversational ability
- Problems with controlling feelings such as anger, depression and anxiety
- Adherence to routines and schedules, and stress if expected routine is disrupted
- Inability to manage appropriate social conduct
- Specialized fields of interest or hobbies.
Aspergers Syndrome Causes
Asperger's Syndrome is caused by a neurobiological disorder developed
in the brain before birth. The myths that "bad parenting"
and a "rough home life" cause this disorder are simply
not true, contrary to what some people still believe. Asperger's,
similar to autism, is widely believed to be a hereditary trait passed
on through DNA.
Prognosis for Asperger syndrome
Children with AS have a better outlook than those with other forms of pervasive developmental disorders, and are much more likely to grow up to be independently functioning adults. Nonetheless, in most cases, these individuals will continue to demonstrate, to some extent, subtle disturbances in social interactions.
Treatments for Asperger syndrome
There is no specific course of treatment or cure
for AS. Treatment, which is symptomatic and rehabilitational, may
include both psychosocial and psychopharmacological interventions
such as psychotherapy, parent education and training, behavioral
modification, social skills training, educational interventions,
and/or medications including psychostimulants, mood stabilizers,
beta blockers, neuroleptics, and tricyclic antidepressants.