Asperger’s syndrome is a neuro-biologic disorder that originates anomaly. It mainly affects social behavior. It is relatively common. After all, it affects between 3 and 5 children, between 7 and 16 years old, out of every 1000. This syndrome is more common in the male sex.
Hans Asperger discovered the disorder. The Austrian pediatrician discovered it 1944. This doctor noticed that certain anomalies in the behaviors of children followed some patterns. Recently, Asperger’s syndrome shows that it follows a constant course and can last one’s entire life. The symptoms can improve with the help of the treatment that the patients receive.
The fourth edition of the Manual of Diagnostic Statistics of Mental Disorders, or DSM 4, approached Asperger’s syndrome as a disorder itself. However, in DSM 5, this syndrome falls into the a subcategory of autism. After that, any person that suffers from it is receives an autism diagnosis.
Currently, a large variety of diseases fall into the autism spectrum. This category includes different anomalies, with different levels of severity. People that suffer from Asperger’s syndrome are in the extreme of the high performance of the autism spectrum.
Asperger’s syndrome is not very well known among the general population, even with medical personnel. It is not easy to detect since the disability is not evident. In fact, those who have it have a completely normal appearance. Their intelligence is normal and it is even normal for them to have special abilities in certain areas.
The difficulties are seen through social behaviors that are not completely appropriate. Their performance is normal in every day life, but they are immature when it comes to social relationships. This can easily be looked at as if the person is just eccentric. Certain motor skills are also difficult, but at first glance this can just be seen as clumsiness.
Symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome
Brain images of those with Asperger’s syndrome do not show common patterns. Scientists suspect that the cause of this disease might be genetic. This is because it is normal for many people from the same family to suffer from it. However, they are still not certain about this. What they do know are the typical symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome. They include:
- Reduced interests
- Lack of motor skills
- Low tolerance for frustration
- Difficulty making friends
- Great ability for recognizing patterns
- Disproportionate emotional reactions
- Need for a routine (and distress if it is broken)
- Emotional demonstrations that have little to do with the situation
- Difficulty establishing eye contact or forcing said contact
- Selective muteness. These people only speak with those they feel comfortable with (this symptom usually stops with therapy).
- It is also normal for these people to talk a lot in a very strange manner. They can talk with a musical tone, with an accent that seems foreign or artificial.
- Literal interpretation of language (they don’t understand figurative speech).
- Lack of interest in what others have to say and it takes a lot out of them to have long conversations.
- They don’t understand the rules of games and want to make up their own.
- Inability to feel empathy. They have a difficult time understanding the body language of others and their feelings.
Diagnosis and prognosis
Asperger’s syndrome is very difficult to diagnose. When a child presents symptoms, others usually interpret them as problems with their character. This represents a serious problem since early intervention significantly improves the prognosis.
The professional that makes this diagnosis is a child mental health specialist. What this specialist does is an exhaustive psychological evaluation of the child. They will examine their communication abilities and establish a thorough history of the detected symptoms.
Many people with Asperger’s syndrome are able to successfully perform the majority of their activities. During childhood, affected children need a lot of support from their parents and teachers. Ideally, the adults that are around the child with Asperger’s should know how to act in certain situations.
Confederación Asperger España. Un acercamiento al síndrome de Asperger, https://www.asperger.es/documentos_publicaciones_recursos_biblioteca.html
¿Qué significa trastorno neurobiológico?, http://www.tdahytu.es/portfolio-item/que-significa-trastorno-neurobiologico/
Wikipedia, Manual y diagnóstico de los trastornos mentales, https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manual_diagn%C3%B3stico_y_estad%C3%