Asperger's Syndrome :
Do you think there’s something off with your child and you cannot place your finger on it? Does your child resist eye contact? Is your child socially awkward i.e., shy, nervous and uncomfortable in social settings etc? Read on.
Kids and Children with Asperger’s often tend to be just as smart as other kids, only that they have some kind of trouble with social skills. Often, kids with Asperger’s tend to have difficulty reading the body language of others. They also tend to connect more with adults than with their peers.
Asperger’s is characterised by poor social skills, obsessions, few facial patterns, odd speech patterns and other abnormal mannerisms. They may function normally and appear to have normal intelligence. Kids with Asperger’s are considered to be on the Autism Spectrum since 2013 by the DSM V.
Experts say that Asperger’s syndrome follows a continuous course and can last a lifetime. However, symptoms may increase and decrease over time and early intervention certainly helps.
Signs and Symptoms
These are some of the signs and symptoms kids or children with Asperger’s may show:
- The Kids have difficulty making friends with kids of their own age.
- They cannot empathise and may seem insensitive to others feelings.
- They have a hard time ‘reading’ other people and may have difficulty understanding humour.
- They do not engage in small talk.
- They are always in their own world- may seem to be self-absorbed or egocentric.
- They may speak in a monotonous rigid, jerky or unusually fast manner.
- Most of the times they may hold long one-sided conversations without noticing if the listener is listening or without any notion of time and on the same topic.
- They have a good vocabulary but have difficulties understanding the nuances in language.
This starts from around 5 years of age and is more common in boys than in girls. If you notice that your kid has difficulties in holding your gaze, has difficulty understanding your physical stance/behaviour or has trouble showing any kind of emotion; meaning even while talking they adopt a single tone and continue in the same flat tone, and also has difficulty when presented with change in routine, do consult with us for a proper diagnosis. Remember, early intervention helps.
It is of utmost importance that unlike in autism, there is no delayed milestone developments. They may have minimal delay in cognitive development as well.
As with other disorders, the exact causes for Asperger’s are not clear. There may be many causes including genetics. Some believe that Asperger’s is associated with other disorders such as bipolar disorder or also depression. It is a neurological disorder that has no specific cure. Most of the times kids with Asperger’s tend to become adults with Asperger’s. But it is possible to lead a happy, content and normal life by choosing early intervention, appropriate education and parental support.
Most of the kids who display Asperger’s show a dislike toward social activities and may have different moods. They may or may not suffer from depressions as a result of being different from others. There is also an increased risk of developing psychosis at a later stage.
How to help?
- Educating the parents of kids who have Asperger’s really helps.
- Help the kids learn life skills that will help them in going about day-to-day lives with maximum independence.
- Take help and get support.
Remember that there is no stigma in getting or seeking help. Early intervention is the key in discovering and treating Autism Spectrum Disorders.