Monday, November 14, 2011

Is Asperger Syndrome Similar to Autism?

Asperger syndrome is a pervasive developmental disorder listed amongst those of the autism spectrum disorders. It is often closely compared with high functioning autism and some arguments dictate that it should be negated altogether and simply classified with high functioning autism. This syndrome is classified by a pattern of symptoms instead of just one symptom, such as impairment in social interaction, restricted patterns of behavior, activities and interests, there is no delay really in cognitive development however a significant delay in language is present. Those diagnosed with Asperger display an intense preoccupation or interest with particular subjects. They display a habit of excessive language defined as one-sided. They however also display a tendency towards restricted rhythms in their speech patterns. Sometimes those with Asperger can be physically clumsy and prone to accidents.

Life with this syndrome can be difficult but not impossible. In fact, there are those of a certain mind that consider any form of disorder from the autism spectrum to be a difference, not a disability. These of this persuasion advocate the necessity of treating such people as having mere differences, believing that both sides should simply take steps at accepting the other and working towards an easy cohabitation. Children born with this disorder or any other of this nature are not sick. They were born and began developing differences in their neural make up. Their brains began developing at a different rate as their bodies progressed steadily at the norm. These children are faced with altered factors in life, but this in no way makes them negatively different. Yes, children with Asperger and other such disorders will develop differently from other children. They will learn things differently, see things differently, and react to outside stimuli in a different manner. Still, these children, while living with a neuro-developmental disorder should not be considered a stigma.

It is important for any parent or caregiver of an Asperger child to know that these feelings of anxiety, fear, depression and anger towards the unfairness of it, are normal and that a diagnosis of Asperger is in no way a reflection on the parent(s) themselves. To help matters there are a variety of support groups and educational materials available to the public regarding this disorder and those like can look it up. Finding someone to talk to, a therapist, close friend, or the parent of another Asperger child is essential and can help with piece of mind. In fact, finding a support group made of parents for children with developmental disorders such as this can be beneficial to the parent and the child, as well as the siblings.

While there is no cure so to speak for Asperger syndrome, there are therapies that can be administered to alleviate the major difficulties a child will have functioning in normal life. Integrating them into a learning situation with others like then will help. And working at compromise throughout their daily schedules can be of great importance. It can be stressful for caregivers at times, but it is stressful for those with Asperger as well. Patience and a nurturing attitude will help all around.

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