Asperger’s Syndrome: Everything You Need to Know

This is a form of “high-performing autism,” characterized by less pronounced intellectual and linguistic deficits as seen in children with frank autism. Most children with this syndrome have problems with social engagement and understanding social/non-verbal cues, and potentially, may have comparatively delayed motor skills development. 

Some symptoms of Asperger’s include:

Hyperfocus: Many people develop an excessive focus on a niche topic of interest. For kids, that can be an all-consuming interest, such as dinosaurs or train schedules, for example. This interest can trigger one-sided conversations with adults and peers.

Difficulty reading body language or facial expressions: Many autistic individuals have a hard time understanding and recognizing other people’s feelings. They may avoid making eye contact, find body language difficult to interpret, display few facial expressions, and speak in a monotone.

Difficulty recognizing social cues: People with Asperger’s may remain unaware of attempts to alter the topic of conversation, which may be one reason why they’ve difficulties with social interactions. They may also have trouble knowing when to lower their voices in particular locations.

Difficulty with coordination and motor skills: Some kids with Asperger’s might find essential motor skills, such as walking or running, challenging. They may lack coordination and have trouble with riding a bike or climbing.

No single test can identify whether a kid is on the autism spectrum. If parents observe any symptoms of Asperger’s in their children, a mental health specialist or professional can help identify support needs by evaluating key areas, including:

·         Social interactions

·         Language skills

·         Interest in interacting with others

·         Facial expressions when talking

·         Motor skills and motor coordination

·         Attitudes toward change

Asperger’s isn’t a medical condition that needs treatment. Some autistic individuals might need support at work, school, or when doing daily life activities, but support and treatment aren’t the same thing.

Early diagnosis can make it easier to receive the appropriate type of support, which can help improve day-to-day function and social interactions. Various therapy approaches can help people with Asperger’s improve emotional regulation, communication skills, and social interaction. Two of these include:

CBT (Cognitive behavioral therapy): This type of psychotherapy can help find out and change unhelpful and negative behavior and thought patterns. CBT can help with depression, anxiety, and day-to-day difficulties, or other personal challenges.

Speech therapy: A speech therapist assesses and addresses communication and language challenges. For a person with Asperger’s, speech therapy may help with voice control.