Signs of Aspergers
Autism & Aspergers: what's the difference?
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Aspergers is a syndrome that is part of the family of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Sufferers from Aspergers are better off than those with Autism because they are high functioning physically and verbally. People, more often children, with this syndrome, have trouble with social situations and are emotionally deficient, even though their intelligence can be of a very high order.
There are many signs of Aspergers and these symptoms are rarely noticed until children reach school age where there is a higher demand to perform, cooperate and interact socially. It is not necessary that all the symptoms be present in children but even a few of them do point towards the Aspergers condition. Some children rarely start a conversation and will wait to be approached or they might be overly interactive focused on their topics of conversation. This leads to difficulties in socializing with their peers. They quite often use words that are normally used only by adults and consider this quite normal. They cannot appreciate the difference in voice tones and will take everything seriously or they might laugh very loudly in a way that is not congruent with the conversation. They get obsessed with things and try to learn everything about anything that has aroused their interest. Changes, even small ones, in routines can be very upsetting. An Aspergers child going to school will find school holidays difficult to adjust to.
Children who have Aspergers will say whatever comes to their mind, even if it is not appropriate. The subjects they talk about will be those that interest them, and the fact that their friends are indifferent to them, will make no difference to their continuing with a conversation. They find it very difficult to build up friendships, more because they are not able to comprehend how they can do so. Just like autistic children, they will avoid eye contact. Many of these children are habituated to repetitive movements like rocking back and forth or flapping their hands, and they resort increasingly to them when they require calming themselves. Their voices rarely show emotion and the tones when they are talking will be absolutely flat. These children also have problem with co-ordination and may find it difficult to run, and may walk awkwardly.
The signs of Aspergers in children may include not showing any interest in the latest fads when they grow into their teens, and will not have the conventional way of thinking or exhibit social norms that are part of their peer group behavior. They think of themselves as original thinkers who are creative, and thus spend their time pursuing their own interests and perceived goals. They have a tendency to respect rules and structure and this quite often leads to their being excellent in scholastic pursuits. But again here, the syndrome is likely to lead them to concentrating on one particular subject like Math and showing complete disinterest to History or English.
Children with Aspergers need to be encouraged by parents and teachers, and this does call for a lot of patience. There is a need to build up an environment that the child with the syndrome finds safe and trusts. This will in turn enable the child to ask for help when it is required. Aspergers can have comorbid disorders, such as ADHD, resulting in unique behaviors requiring tailored treatments. To learn more, obtain The Essential Guide to Autism.