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What is Asperger’s syndrome?
• Asperger’s syndrome is named after an Austrian pediatrician, Hans Asperger (1906-1980). He identiﬁed a group of children and adults who had characteristic problems in the areas of social interaction andcommunication. He called them autistic, and emphasized their narrow special interests, good language and idiosyncratic learning styles: like a “little professor” or “a child just landed on earth”. • The term Asperger’s syndrome has been adopted recently to cover those individuals who, although may have many of the same difﬁculties as other people with autism, are different in certain ways whichmake professionals unwilling to use the term “autistic”. • Asperger Syndrome is a developmental disorder falling within the autistic spectrum affecting two-way social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and a reluctance to accept change, inﬂexibility of thought and to have all absorbing narrow areas of interest.
What causes Asperger's syndrome?
• Hans Asperger labeled this disorder"autistic psychopathy" in 1944. The exact cause is unknown. More than likely, an abnormality in the brain is the cause of Asperger syndrome. • There is a possible link to autism, and genetic factors may play a role. The disorder tends to run in families. A speciﬁc gene has not been identiﬁed. • The condition appears to be more common in boys than in girls.
How Common Is Asperger's Syndrome?• Asperger's syndrome has only recently been recognized as a unique disorder. For that reason, the exact number of people with the disorder is unknown, although it is more common than autism. Estimates suggest Asperger's syndrome affects from 0.024% to 0.36% of children. It is more common in males than in females, and usually is ﬁrst diagnosed in children between the ages of 2 and 6 year • Personswith Asperger Syndrome are commonly known as Aspies
What are the symptoms?
• Asperger’s syndrome is usually noticed at age 3 or later. Symptoms vary, so no two children are the same. • Children with Asperger’s: • Become over-focused or obsessed on a single object or topic, ignoring all others. They want to know everything about this topic, and often talk about little else. Areas of interestmay be quite narrow, such as an obsession with train schedules, phone books, a vacuum cleaner, or collections of objects.
• They may show delays in motor development, and unusual physical behaviors, such as; delays in being able to ride a bicycle, catch a ball, or climb play equipment.Clumsiness when walking or doing other activities. Repetitive behaviors, in which they sometimes injure themselves.Repetitive ﬁnger ﬂapping, twisting, or whole body movements
The main areas affected by Asperger Syndrome
• 1. Social interaction • 2. Communication • 3. Narrow interests/ Preoccupation’s • 4. Repetitive routines/ rituals, inﬂexibility
• Children with Asperger Syndrome have poor social skills. They can not read the social cues and, therefore, they don't give the rightsocial and emotional responses. They can lack the desire to share information and experiences with others. • They ﬁnd the world a confusing place. They are often alone, some are happy like this, others are not. They are more noticeably different among peer groups in unstructured settings i.e. playgrounds. Their naivete can cause them to be bullied and teased unless care is taken by assistants orbuddies to integrate and help protect them.
• Both verbal and nonverbal communications pose problems. Spoken language is often not entirely understood, Metaphor s (non-literal expressions - 'food for thought') and similes (ﬁgures of speech - 'as ﬁt as a ﬁddle') have to be explained as children with Asperger Syndrome tend to make literal and concrete interpretations.
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