Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Asperger's Checklist

Named after Hans Asperger, Asperger's Syndrome, also known as AS, is a lifelong disability that is manifested by different symptoms associated with autism but still exhibits normal intelligence and language development. There may be a lot of similarities between a person with autism and one with AS, however they are completely different.
What is AS?
Asperger's Syndrome is a lifelong disability that belongs in the autism spectrum. The autism spectrum is a classification of autism-like symptoms that vary from a combination of symptoms and severity. One person with AS, may exhibit intense aloofness while another may not.
AS was discovered by Hans Asperger while noticing that most of his patients exhibit symptoms of autism. Individuals with AS still have the normal capacity or intelligence of an average person, and language development. It is estimated that approximately 2 out of 10,000 children have AS and it is more prevalent in males.
A checklist of Symptoms
Since Aspergers Syndrome is considered to be a spectrum disorder, it may be hard to classify them based on the symptoms. However, there are three areas where individuals with AS have a main problem with. These areas are social communication, social interaction and social imagination.
In social communication, though individuals with Aspergers have no deficiency in language development, they have a hard time in communicating their thoughts and feelings. They also have a difficulty in understanding other people's thoughts, expressions, gestures, tone of voice and sometimes people's rationale. They are able to learn and use complex words and they may use it in a sentence but, they will fail to understand the meaning of the word or sentence they just said. People with Aspergers will also fail to recognize jokes, sarcasms and idioms, for they will take it literally which will eventually confuse them.
Many individuals with Aspergers try to be sociable, but most often they fail to establish and maintain relationships. They would struggle to interact and make friends. If they succeed in making friends they would fail to maintain them. They have little understanding about social rules and boundaries. They are oftentimes withdrawn and would prefer to be alone. People with AS behave in a peculiar manner and perceive others to be unpredictable, thus, a fear of socializing manifests.
In social imagination, people with AS find it hard to predict and understand other people's thoughts and actions. Common sense isn't that common to them. They have a limited imagination, thus inhibiting creativity and produce more repetitive and rigid activities. The checklist above can be use to determine the likelihood of person having Aspergers syndrome. Not all of the items of the checklist are necessary but they do serve as indicators.
Is There a Cure?
As of the meantime, no cure is known to treat Asperger's Syndrome. However, there are therapies and interventions available for people with this disability. Early diagnosis with the use of an Autism Spectrum Quotient or AQ test may help in early intervention. These interventions and therapies can help these individuals to reach their optimum growth and potential, for them to live their everyday lives. People with AS may grow to become responsible adults, and can have regular jobs, have a family and lead normal lives, with the help from therapies and especially with support from their families.
Mark Henry Blakey is a blogger and contributor of the Aspergers Test Site. He regularly contributes and writes on the subject, helping others to understand the nature of Aspergers Symptoms. Check out the website for more resources and articles on Aspergers.
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