Asperger’s Syndrome

Asperger’s Syndrome was diagnosed in 1943 by a German doctor who defined the clinical symptoms of the syndrome.  It has taken more emphasis over the last years with more research on the broad spectrum of autism.

 

The DSM-IV is the main diagnostic book in psychiatry, Asperger’s Syndrome was classified separately from autism during the past years.  However, this book gets revised periodically, and Asperger’s Syndrome is now classified as a mild form of Autism.

ASPERGER'S SYNDROME AUTISM NEUROLOGICAL CONDITION

ASPERGER’S SYNDROME

 

The main symptoms of patients with Asperger’s syndrome consists of lack of empathy, and self involvement.  The main characteristic in all types of autism, as well as in Asperger’s syndrome is the lack of social skills, usually these individuals are very smart they excel in school they usually develop an interest in some area that is beyond the average person.

A child may develop expertise in naming all the dinosaurs or naming all the capitals of the world, knowing the presidents of different countries or knowing specific events in world history, they tend to develop an interest in areas where they really have an expertise and they can answer without having to think twice about the topic that they have a great interest in, so they do stand out.

Very different than the average child, the main problem though is in the areas of social skills, they are not able to read nonverbal social cues, because they lack the ability to make friends easily. Some of the Asperger’s syndrome personalities  and I shouldn’t say personalities because it is a neurological psychiatric illness is the ability to be able to excel in Cognitive areas and not in the social aspect.

Another one of the very common Asperger’s Syndrome personality is the inability to tolerate change.  Usually an individual with Asperger’s Syndrome is able to finish a career and lead a productive life, however, they need to have a rigid schedule, if an individual with Asperger’s Syndrome is attending school and they have to switch schools, classes or teachers, this becomes a major problem for them.

When everyday living activities are not met at the expected time, for  a patient with Asperger’s Syndrome, the patient become easily frustrated, angry and is unable to calm themselves.  Asperger’s Syndrome patients lack social skills, this does not mean that they do not want to engage socially with others, their difficulty is that they do not know how to do it. They look at social skills as something black-and-white that should be determined without any emotion and this is the part where they lack their social skills. .

People with diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome mostly have additional psychiatric disorders that accompany them such as anxiety panic attacks these are developed in patients when they are in large crowds or when they have to meet new people or work in different environment or even school environment, anything that makes changes becomes a major problem for them, developing a great deal of anxiety and the best way they deal with this is by avoidance.

The patient in school setting decides to not go to school, or class; sometimes when the patient is not understood, the patient is looked at as rebellious or difficult.  If the patient is receiving supportive cognitive therapy the patient is able to break the obstacle/s that impairs their  ability to get a good education.

Most of the treatment of these patients has to do with explanation, therapy, patience, and getting them to understand that even though they are different from the average individual, they have a lot to contribute to society, they are highly intelligent and obtaining an expertise in anything to do with computers like programming, they are comfortable because in those fields of work there is no need to have social contact.

MEDICATIONS

The medication for this type of patient is not is not really singled out to treat the syndrome itself of Asperger’s syndrome but mostly to treat the symptoms that are developed as a consequence of developing the syndrome such as if you have anxiety that you can use benzodiazepines, if the patient becomes extremely aggressive then you try to Treat the patient with mood stabilizers if the patient becomes too obsessive-compulsive then you try to use medications that reduces the obsessions and so on but you treat the individual as the symptoms develop in his or her illness You can’t make it a one recipe for all, each individual has to be diagnosed and treated for the symptoms that each individual is showing

One key factor in the treatment is to include the family because even the family has no understanding of the syndrome and once it’s explained to them they’re able to cope better with what before the diagnosis they would think as rebellious or that he had a bad temper or that the person was a bipolar, the patient has been labeled with multiple different type of diagnoses that are inadequate and are wrong but once a family is involved in the diagnosis and treatment then there is  an easier harmony within the structure of the family and it helps both the patient and the family to cope with this illness

What causes the syndrome? actually the Asperger’s syndrome etiology is unknown, there are multiple theories that it has to do with chemicals in the mother’s womb, but none of them has been proven and is all speculation, resources have not been able to come up with a true answer why a child develops Asperger’s syndrome and if you really look at when we speak with parents and analyze the individual, the signs and symptoms where always since childhood there this is a child who prior to kinder garden  had difficulty in pre-K they had difficulty getting along with other children, they cried when they were  school they us were unable to work at the same pace as other children and usually families and teachers may think “well the child is too attached to the mom and this is why he or she is unable to perform at the same pace” but it is not that, it is that they’re missing the fact that the child really has Asperger’s syndrome

 

In the early stages it is difficult to diagnose it takes a while of development of the child to be able to pick up on these issues because as a child is growing another symptom is the lack of fine motor coordination these children tend to be a little bit more clumsy than others that doesn’t mean they can’t play sports, they do, but with more difficulty, sports is not really an area that they develop as well as the average child

 

Another symptom of Asperger’s is that they have very poor handwriting because it takes fine motor coronation in order to write correctly and I don’t want people to think my son or my daughter has poor handwriting therefore they have Asperger’s syndrome, you have to see an expert that deals with this type of illness to be able to come up with the diagnosis and then develop a plan of care that will help the family and the individual cope better in society and become more productive again this is nothing to do with the intelligence these individuals can go very far in fact not to make a bad but on the opposite a good example is Albert Einstein who had Asperger’s syndrome and look what he offered to the world so mainly that focus is on the poor social skills but the intelligence is superb above the average

 

So with this we pretty much covered the symptomatology, diagnostic and the treatment for Asperger’s syndrome that it needs to be a combination of therapy cognitive therapy, social supportive therapy, and medications to treat the different symptoms associated with Asperger’s Syndrome