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Can you identify Asperger's Syndrome?
On different occasions, you may have noticed unusual attitudes in a child, such as difficulty expressing his ideas and what he feels, but that there is no significant delay.
Most likely, you were in the presence of a child with Asperger's Syndrome. It is a developmental disorder, which most often affects males.
What is Asperger syndrome?
Historically, this disorder was discovered in 1944, when the Austrian-born pediatrician Hans Asperger followed 4 clinical cases of children with autism.
Basically, he realized that these four children had common characteristics such as the ability to do math and biology.
However, these children had strange behavior, their relationships with others were devious, they used very formal language to communicate their thoughts.
At the same time, his tone of voice did not denote any emotion behind each sentence.
It is important to mention that before Hans Asperger showed his findings in the work entitled "Autistic Psychopathies", there were already many files that described autism.
Currently, it is known as a developmental disorder, those who suffer from it have poor affective communication, without this signifying a cognitive delay.
What Causes Asperger Syndrome?
There is no single cause of Asperger syndrome, in fact, the theories raised are not entirely proven.
Therefore, its etiology can be attributed to various risk factors.
In addition, it is not known if the syndrome is due to a genetic cause, but what is a reality is that it has been associated with family inheritance.
Similarly, there is no clarity in the history that can be ingested in the presence or not of the syndrome, such as, for example, prenatal, perinatal, personal and family history.
What can be concluded that the cause is of probable genetic etiology is that it does not depend on the environment or the experiences of people, so that the disease can manifest itself.
Asperger syndrome clinical features
Symptoms of the syndrome are varied, but most of them point to the same direction, emotional disability.
The following clinical characteristics emerge from this in the social environment of a child with Asperger's.
It is difficult for them to socialize with other people, so they are usually isolated from the social environment.
They cannot interpret the different forms of expression of people. It is for this reason that they do not understand jokes, metaphors and any other way of communicating.
It is difficult for them to keep secrets.
They can easily become uncomfortable if their own wishes are not fulfilled as they expect.
They are rigid people with routines, they have a single pattern, so that they alter if they interrupt that order.
They are unable to interpret the non-verbal communication of third parties.
They are easily frustrated by repeated attempts to establish a relationship with another person.
The story is totally different when it comes to your academic abilities. In this sense, the characteristics in the cognitive domain are.
They have above average intelligence.
They are really excellent in numerical sciences.
The investigations that they carry out are not superficial, since they handle extensive knowledge in certain subjects.
The tone of voice is high, they do not modulate the volume of your voice.
They are direct in expressing ideas and have a rich vocabulary.
On the other hand, children with this syndrome have motor disorders such as distorted gait, unusual postures and their movements are limited by how inflexible they can be.
Added to this, they have hearing problems, while 20% have visual acuity alterations.
What are the criteria for diagnosing Asperger syndrome?
This is a long list of criteria, but the most important are.
Qualitative deficiencies in social interaction.
Patterns of behavior, interests, and restricted activities.
Absence of language delay.
Absence of significant cognitive delay.
It is important that the patient does not fit any criteria for any other disorder, especially schizophrenia, since it would not be Asperger's syndrome.
Is there a difference between autism and Asperger syndrome?
Conceptually, they are different pathologies, even though they have similarities in clinical manifestations.
However, one of the differences is the intellectual level of a child with autism and another with Asperger's.
The former has a deficit in intellectual capacity, while in Asperger's syndrome it does not.
Next, children with Asperger's tend to be more independent in their behavior, that is, they do not depend on another person for guidance. In contrast, a child with autism needs constant support.
Also, the interests are different, a child with Asperger has deeper and broader desires, but a child with autism fixes his interest on only one thing in particular.
How to help a child with Asperger syndrome?
The main concern of the parents of a child with Asperger's is how they can better cope with their environment, in order for them to have a "normal" social life.
In this way, the first way in which you can help a child with this syndrome is to teach him all those forms of language that are normally learned intuitively.
You can teach him how to greet, what kind of tone of voice to use for each occasion, how to start a conversation, the interpretation of giving up the moment for the other person to express himself, among others.
In addition to this, it is essential that they can learn to identify when they are upset.
In this way, they can know when attitudes are not correct.
It should be noted the importance of helping them in the school environment, since it is a place that they will frequent. Likewise, it is good that teachers can know how to approach these children.
For their part, it is necessary for teachers to have the support of psychotherapists.
Thus, as they can adopt special measures, an example is not to force them into tasks, but they can be short and very illustrative activities.
Is Asperger syndrome treatable?
The answer is yes, it consists of the implementation of tools to model communication and social relationships, as well as highlighting intellectual skills.