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Autism Spectrum Disorders

Asperger Disorder

Asperger disorder is a developmental disorder that is believed to be a milder form of autism. Some common symptoms include social withdrawal as well as eccentric behavior. These symptoms are commonly noticed in childhood. Some of the symptoms may also be noticed in the way that a child speaks. For example, a child suffering from Asperger disorder will usually speak in a monotone voice or have a bizarre inflection in their voice.

Children with this disorder are usually very active. However, they will not establish certain skills until a much later age. This can be noticed in basic activities such as biking or catching an object such as a ball. Some of this may be attributed to the fact that they are usually less coordinated than other children.

Signs

Individuals suffering from Asperger disorder will commonly exhibit multiple symptoms instead of a single one. They will also vary depending on the individual. However, one common symptom is social withdrawal. This could be due to the fact that the individual’s communication skills take a longer time to develop, or because individuals suffering from Asperger disorder have a reported lack of empathy.

Another common sign is that the individual will only show interest in one narrow area of a subject. They will commonly spend a great deal of effort collecting information on this narrow field without any interest in the bigger picture. For example, an individual may memorize model numbers for a specific object such as bicycles without having any interest in biking as a hobby.

Causes

Although current research indicates that Asperger disorder is caused by a brain abnormality, the exact cause of this abnormality is unknown. It is believed that there is a very strong genetic component that plays a role in developing this disease, however an individual gene has not been singled out. Instead, it is believed that the disease is caused by a group of genes. In addition, it is also believed that many functional systems of the brain are affected meaning that the effects are not localized.

Although certain environmental factors may play a role, it is believed that an individual’s life experiences and upbringing play a very minimal, if not non-existent role in developing the disease. Some research also indicates that Asperger disorder may be linked to other mental disorders such as bipolar disorder.

Management

There are different therapies and prescription drugs available to help an individual deal with Asperger disorder. The appropriate type of therapy will vary depending on the symptoms shown by an individual.

For example, an individual that exhibits coordination problems as a result of Asperger disorder may find physical therapy highly beneficial.

Since many individuals with Asperger disorder exhibit social withdrawal and communication problems, some form of behavioral therapy may be beneficial. Different support groups will teach individuals how to control their stress levels and how to effectively interact with others.

In some cases, prescription drugs may also be necessary. Anti-psychotic drugs have been shown to be an effective way to minimize some of the more extreme symptoms of Asperger disorder. However, since each case is different, the right combination of therapy and medication will be determined by a physician.

Prognosis

If an individual has been diagnosed with Asperger disorder as a child, it is almost certain that the disease will also stay with them throughout adulthood. However, it is very common for the symptoms to become less intense as the individual ages. This is likely due to the fact that the individual will have a better understanding of their condition and how to effectively manage it.

Asperger disorder does not affect an individual’s lifespan. However, it is believed that it may increase the chances of developing other mental health disorders such as anxiety disorder or depressive disorder. This is commonly attributed to the fact that individuals suffering from Asperger disorder have a difficult time interacting with others and integrating into society. Therefore, it is believed that effectively learning how to manage the disorder is the best defense against developing other mental health problems.

 

 

 

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