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Asperger’s Syndrome Facts, Statistics


Asperger disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, or Asperger syndrome is a neurobiological disorder that is characterized by major difficulties as far as social interaction is concerned. One also depicts repetitive and restricted patterns of interests and behavior. Asperger’s syndrome belongs to a group of disorders known as autism spectrum disorders. What distinguishes Asperger’s syndrome from other disorders in the autism spectrum disorder group is the individual’s obsessive concentration on a particular topic or object to the exclusion of others.

Here are some interesting Asperger’s syndrome facts that you should know.

  • Asperger’s syndrome is a “spectrum disorder” and affects people to varying degrees and in different ways.
  • People who have this condition have problems in three areas namely social interaction, social communication, and social imagination.
  • People who have Asperger’s syndrome are usually of above average or average intelligence.
  • It is possible for people who have Asperger’s disorder to lead independent lives.
  • Asperger’s syndrome in adults is usually difficult to detect at first glance as most individuals who have this disorder look normal.
  • Asperger’s syndrome statistics indicate that the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome has become extremely popular, and the range of kids who are diagnosed with the problem has grown.
  • It is important to understand the implications of Asperger’s syndrome in children as this helps bring about greater acceptance and level of tolerance with those who have the condition.
  • Asperger’s syndrome in a child is often detected when he/she starts preschool. It is observed that the child has a better interaction with his/her teacher. The child also has problems interacting with his/her peers and exhibits behavior that is loud, aggressive, or silly. The child may also exhibit socially withdrawn behavior.
  • Children with Asperger’s syndrome sometimes seem emotionless and at other times display extreme emotion. They also find it difficult to generalize things.  
  • Children with Asperger’s syndrome give great importance to rules and get angry if their peers do not play a fair game and break school rules.  
  • They are extremely poor as far as human relationships are concerned, but have brilliant thinking skills as far as things are concerned.
  • They want to talk about what interests them with other people, but have no interest in any feedback.

Asperger’s Syndrome Symptoms


There are many symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome, but one main symptom is an inability to fit into social situations. Parents notice Asperger’s syndrome early signs when their child starts interacting with other children in playschool. An adult or child may exhibit few or many symptoms that are given below.

Some Asperger’s syndrome symptoms in children are as follows:

  • Minimal or inappropriate social interactions
  • Self-centered conversations
  • Robotic, scripted or repetitive speech
  • Problems with math, reading, or writing skills
  • Below-average to average cognitive abilities
  • Odd mannerisms or behavior
  • Lacking empathy
  • Disliking any kind of changes in routine
  • Unusual postures or facial expressions
  • One-sided conversations and excessive talking
  • Motor development develops late
Asperger’s syndrome symptoms in teenagers include those seen in children plus a few more:
  • Social isolation
  • Inability to behave like teenagers
  • Sexual issues
  • Criminal activity
  • School failures
Asperger's syndrome symptoms in adults include the following:
  • Inability to manage an appropriate social conduct
  • Anger management problems
  • High intelligence
  • Controlling feelings such as fear, anxiety, or depression
  • Lack of empathy
  • Inflexible thinking
  • Stress on sudden changing of routine
  • Repetitive routine leading to a sense of security
  • Unable to be abstract in their thinking
  • Visual thinking

Asperger’s Syndrome Causes


Asperger’s syndrome causes are unknown. The syndrome could be due to a genetic component as the condition is noticed in the family. Asperger’s kids usually have family members who show Asperger’s like traits. Some possible causes of Asperger’s syndrome could be environmental influences as well. Some people are of the opinion that preservatives for vaccines and/or vaccines could be responsible for the development of Asperger’s syndrome. Conventional knowledge however disputes this theory. It is also noticed that Asperger’s syndrome is four times more likely to develop in males than females. This factor also supports the argument that there is a genetic cause responsible for Asperger’s.   

What are the other causes of Asperger’s syndrome in children?

The brain activity of typical kids and those with Asperger’s when compared suggest that the syndrome results from changes in the embryonic cells that change the thought processes and brain structure.  Most researchers are of the opinion that it is a cluster of genes that are responsible for Asperger’s rather than one single gene.

Asperger's Syndrome Treatment


What are the Asperger’s syndrome treatment options available? The ideal treatment for people suffering from Asperger’s syndrome includes therapies that tackle the three main symptoms of the disorder mainly repetitive or obsessive routines, poor communication skills, and physical clumsiness. We however need to understand that there is no Asperger’s syndrome cure as far as the core signs are concerned. With treatment, many children grow into well-adjusted and happy adults.

An effective Asperger’s syndrome treatment for children works on the interests of the child, offers a schedule that is predictable, teaches the child various tasks in simple steps, and ensures that there is regular behavioral reinforcement. There is no specific Asperger’s syndrome treatment medication used to treat the problem. However, it is found that children who suffer from depression, hyperactivity, anxiety and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder due to Asperger’s syndrome might gain from taking medication to treat these symptoms. In case of Asperger's syndrome treatment for adults, some of the therapies used could be the same as those useful for children. Adults also have access to support groups, books, conferences and resources that give them an insight on various aspects of life associated with Asperger’s syndrome. One can also speak with the dietician to plan out an Asperger’s syndrome diet, as this helps ease some of the physical symptoms related to gastrointestinal problems.

Asperger’s Syndrome Diagnosis


Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis is complicated by several factors. People suffering from Asperger’s syndrome find it difficult to adjust to social situations, and this is accompanied by repetitive and restricted behavior and interests. Asperger’s syndrome is different from other autism spectrum disorders as it has no delay as far cognitive and language development is concerned. There is usually a disagreement as far as Asperger’s syndrome diagnostic criteria are concerned and hence, problems arise in diagnosis. Diagnosing Asperger’s syndrome also becomes a problem as there is a debate over the distinction between other forms of autism spectrum disorders and Asperger’s syndrome. The Asperger’s syndrome diagnostic scale helps doctors determine a child’s chances of having Asperger’s. This Asperger’s syndrome diagnostic test consists of yes/no questions, and the scores are rated and evaluated on a scale. There is a comparative analysis done between the scores of the patient and other children suffering from Asperger’s. Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis is usually done when the child is between the ages of four and eleven. Parents of the child suffering from Asperger’s syndrome can trace differences in the child’s development to a very early age. One needs to understand that children suffering from Asperger’s syndrome develop self-help and language skills on schedule. It may therefore take some time to diagnose the condition. It should be noted that there is hope for those who are diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. With support from their family and health care professionals, they can live meaningful lives.
Submitted on January 16, 2014