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Asperger’s Syndrome-Overview

Doctors group Asperger'ssyndrome with other conditions that are called autistic spectrum disorders orpervasive developmental disorders. These disorders all entail problems with socialskills and communication.

It is often considered a high functioning form of autism, i.e. itdiffers from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitivedevelopment. People with this syndrome have difficulty interacting socially,repeat behaviors, and often are clumsy.

This disorder was described in 1944 by Hans Asperger, who referred to itas “autistic psychopathy”. He noticed that some of the children in his practicelacked nonverbal communication skills, were very clumsy and demonstratedlimited empathy for the other children. It became a standard diagnosis almostfifty years later, but there are still many questions to be answered when itcomes to this condition.

Causes

The cause of Asperger syndrome is yet tobe found. A genetic component is sure to play some part in it, given that thecondition has been noticed to run in families. However, the specific generesponsible has not been identified. The disorder also seems to belinked to structural abnormalities in several regions of the brain. It is highly likelythat environmental influences play a role as well.

Symptoms

Asperger's in adults is not easily detected at a firstglance as they are normal in their outward appearance. Asperger's syndromesymptoms in adults can only be identified by monitoring the Asperger syndrometypical behavior. Although they might have expressed their symptoms theirentire life, this syndrome is only usually diagnosed when they have reachedadulthood.

The most common symptoms of this condition in adults are:displaying unusual nonverbal communication (such as awkward gestures, fewfacial expressions, and lack of eye contact, etc.), inability to express oneself,clumsiness, inability to understand what others wish to convey (mostly becausethey cannot understand gestures, facial expressions and change in one’s tone), oddposture, monotonous, rigid, or unusually fast speech; showing an intenseobsession with one or two narrow, specific subjects, and having long-winded,one-sided conversations about them; lack of empathy, difficulty controlling emotions(such as anger, depression), etc.

Treatment

There isno cure for Asperger’s syndrome, i.e. the core signs of this condition cannotbe cured. No specific treatment for the core symptoms of Asperger's syndrome isavailable. However, educational and behavioral supports (such as speechtherapy, occupational therapy, sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy, etc.) are theprimary treatments used for individuals with Asperger syndrome. Thiscan only help one manage some of the of the problem behaviors. But, most often, no treatment is needed, for people with this syndromeare often normal and exceptionally talented and intelligent.

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