What is Asperger Syndrome?
Asperger syndrome is an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affecting a person’s social and functional skill development. Individuals with Asperger syndrome may find it challenging to function well in a normal school or work environment, and require a lot of support from parents and guardians during childhood and adolescence.
There are many factors that may contribute to the development of Asperger syndrome, including genetics and environmental factors. While Asperger syndrome can be detected in children, many people aren’t diagnosed until adolescence or early adulthood.
Unlike Autism, individuals with Asperger syndrome typically have advanced language skills and average to superior intelligence. Some other defining characteristics of Asperger syndrome may include, but are not limited to:
- Difficulty initiating or managing close relationships
- Lacking nonverbal communication, such as facial expressions and body language
- Poor eye contact during conversation (too intense or not at all)
- Struggle with empathy; not aware of the thoughts and feelings of others
- Literal interpretation of communication by others
- Avoids social contact; sometimes with high anxiety in society situations
- Does not understand typical conversational cues; will talk “at” a person, without an interchange
- Preference for interacting with objects, rather than peers
- Strong focus on a single field on interest
- Strict daily routines
- Repetitive bodily movements
- Difficulty with change
Additional challenges that may result from Asperger syndrome include anxiety or depression, difficulties maintaining attention, fine motor deficits, and/or poor organizational skills.
Once Asperger syndrome has been identified through an assessment, it is important that the family receives information, services and practical support they need. Dalton Associates can find you a psychologist and mental health professionals that can help you gain the support you need.
Treatment for Asperger syndrome may include counselling, psychoeducation, social skills education, medication, family intervention, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, special diets, etc.
Asperger Society of Ontario. (2016). What is Asperger syndrome?
Retrieved from http://www.aspergers.ca/what-is-asperger-syndrome/
Dingfelder, S. (2004). A dilemma of definition. American Psychological Association, 35, 11.
Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/dec04/definition.aspx