Aspergers Disorder,Disease and Symptoms

Asperger’s disorder (also called Asperger’s syndrome) is a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) that causes delay in the development of many basic skills in a child. The most notable ones are the ability to communicate, to use imagination and socialize with others.

To some extent, Asperger’s disorder is similar to Autism, which is a more serious condition of PDD. Children with Asperger’s disorder have better motor functions than autistic children. In addition, children with Asperger’s disorder usually have near-normal language development with normal intelligence; however, they might develop problems with communication as they get older.

In 1944, it was the Austrian doctor, Hans Asperger who first described the disorder, and hence the same Asperger’s disorder or Asperger’s syndrome.

Symptoms of Asperger’s Disorder

Common symptoms, which can range from mild to severe, include:

  • Repetitive or eccentric or behaviors: Presence of odd, repetitive movements, such as finger twisting or hand wringing.
  • Problems with social skills: Difficulty interacting with others, does not make friends easily, and difficulties maintaining conversation.
  • Improper eye contact: May not be able to make proper eye contact when speaking to another person. Trouble understanding body language, and use facial gestures and expressions. Also have problems understanding language.
  • Unusual rituals or preoccupations: Develop rituals that the child refuses to alter, for instance getting dressed in a specific order.
  • Coordination problems: Movements of most children with Asperger’s disorder may seem awkward or clumsy.
  • Limited interests: Presence of an intense, obsessive interest in certain areas, for instance in weather, maps or sports schedules.
  • Talents or skills: Many such children may possess exceptional talents or skills in particular areas, such as math or music.

Causes of Asperger’s Disorder

The exact cause of Asperger’s disorder is not yet known. But, it tends to run in families and suggest that this disorder may be inherited (present in someone in family).

Prevalence of Asperger’s Disorder

Asperger’s Disorder is more common than autism, and estimates suggest this condition affects from 2 to 6 out of every 1,000 children. It is usually diagnosed in children aged between 2 to 6 years, and is more common in males than in females.

Treatment of Asperger’s Disorder

There is no cure for Asperger’s disorder till now, but early treatment shows improvement in reducing undesirable behaviors and functioning.

Treatment may include a combination of the following:

  • Behavior modification: Plans to encourage the positive behavior and strategies to decrease problematic behaviors.
  • Special education: Special structured education designed is to meet the unique educational needs of the child.
  • Physical, speech, or occupational therapy: Such therapies are made to increase the functional abilities of the child.
  • Medications: Though research is on, but unfortunately, there are no medications to treat Asperger’s disorder. However, if symptoms of anxiety, depression, hyperactivity or obsessive-compulsive behavior are present, doctor may prescribe adequate drugs symptomatically.

Outlook for People With Asperger’s Disorder

In many cases, the level of intelligence is often average or higher than average, and people with Asperger’s disorder are able to function well, but may have problems socializing with others in adulthood.

Risks for people with Asperger’s Disorder

There are risks for people with Asperger’s Disorder for developing other conditions, such as ADHD, depression, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, but such conditions can be treated.

Prevention of Asperger’s Disorder

Asperger’s disorder cannot be cured or prevented, but, early diagnosis and proper treatment can improve the future quality of life.

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