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Aspergers Forum

The Real Secret To Asperger Syndrome

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Aspergers syndrome is a neurological condition resulting in a wide range of behaviors. Motor development, speech and thought patterns may all be affected with this condition. The unusual behaviours and speech patterns often isolate individuals with Aspergers from society. Persons with Asperger syndrome or AS may violently act out because of anxiety, depression or stress. Diagnosis and treatment are available to modify symptoms and behaviours.

The condition was first noted by Austrian paediatrician Hans Asperger in 1944, but since all his findings were written in German, it was not until the early 1980's that the condition become widely known. Aspergers became an official disease with diagnosis in the early 1990's. Studies show that 2 out of 10,000 children are affected with the condition and boys are 3 to 4 times more likely to have the disorder than girls. Many children are diagnosed by the third birthday, but some develop symptoms as young as infancy.

Suspicions arise when a child experiences developmental delays as evidenced by learning to crawl or walk later than usual, or having difficulties with learning to ride a bike or catch a ball. These children may appear clumsy and develop a strange gait that ranges from stiff to bouncy. Individuals show a limited ability to use gestures when talking and may show diminished or unusual facial expressions.

The youngsters begin to develop strange speech patterns, which range from overly formal to monotone. They also have difficulty comprehending how to adjust volume levels in various situations. Often times they verbalize statements repeatedly. There is a limited capacity to comprehend the difference between literal and figurative language.

Though not always able to express themselves, these children have high levels of intelligence. Many become obsessed with a particular object or topic, absorbing vast amounts of knowledge in an attempt to completely cover the subject.

Due to impaired comprehension, speech and motor skills, these children lack proper social skills. Some express no desire to interact with others. Out of frustration individuals develop anxiety and depression, often causing defiant or violent behaviour.

Asperger syndrome may co-exist with other conditions including ADHD, tic disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Abnormal fetal brain cell development resulting in abnormal neural circuitry and transmission are thought to cause the disorder. Some scientists have discovered an excess of certain proteins. Though the condition is genetic, no single gene is responsible, so the condition and symptoms vary for each individual.

Diagnosis is determined by trained physicians who treat the condition in a variety of ways. Various methods of cognitive behavioural therapy, language and speech therapy, occupational and physical therapy, social skills training, and medication are some of the treatment options. Parent support groups and training allow families to share knowledge and experience to better cope with the condition.

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