Asperger syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder considered to be on the “high functioning” end of the spectrum. Affected children and adults have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behavior. The cause of Asperger syndrome is not known although research points to brain abnormalities.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, children with Asperger syndrome may have speech marked by a lack of rhythm, an odd inflection, or a monotone pitch. Unlike the severe withdrawal from the rest of the world that is characteristic of autism, children with Asperger syndrome are isolated because of their poor social skills and narrow interests. As a result of the disorder, children may gather enormous amounts of information about their favorite subject. They will then talk incessantly about it. For many listeners, their conversation may seem like a random collection of facts or statistics, with no point or conclusion. As a result of the disorder, normal conversation may be difficult since they may exhibit eccentric behaviors or may only want to talk about their singular interest.
There isn’t a single best treatment for Asperger syndrome. However, starting a combination of treatments early can yield the best results. A combination of supportive family services, educational placement appropriate to a child’s intellectual abilities, and consultation regarding medication for children with co-existing conditions such as anxiety or depression is most effective.
Managing Asperger syndrome can be difficult for parents as children with Asperger syndrome typically have average or above average IQs and are expected to assimilate in mainstream classrooms. Yet tips such as working to improve a child’s coordination, minimizing, and managing a child’s sensory overload and anxiety, connecting with your child through his or her special interests, and making healthy eating habits and family dinners the norm can often help. For more tips on managing Asperger syndrome visit Brain Balance.
UCP of Sacramento and Northern California (UCP) provides numerous programs and services for individuals with Asperger syndrome including the Autism Center for Excellence, UCP’s ACE camp, and Family Respite Service.
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