It isn’t clear what the causes of Asperger”s syndrome are, even though alterations in specific genes might be involved. This disorder additionally seems to be connected to alterations within the structure of your brain. A factor which is not related to the development of Asperger”s syndrome or additional autism spectrum disorders includes childhood immunizations.
Asperger’s Risk Factors
Males are more likely to develop this syndrome than are females.
Diagnostic Criteria for Asperger Syndrome
The DSM-IV (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual, 4th Edition), most recently published within 2000, includes the official mental disorder diagnostic manual. It features certain diagnostic criteria for this disorder (additionally referred to as Asperger syndrome), alongside data concerning related factors.
For the initial time, it’ll include mention of sensory and anxiety disorders related to Asperger syndrome, although these disorders aren’t required for diagnosis. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual describes unique differences in between Asperger syndrome and additional autism spectrum disorders, claiming that:
‘The essential Aspergers Disorder features of include sustained and severe impairment within social interaction… as well as the development of repetitive, restricted behavior patterns, activities and interests …. The disturbance has to cause medically substantial impairment in occupational, social, or additional vital functioning areas. In contrast with Autistic Disorder, there aren’t any medically significant deviances or delays in language acquisition (that is, single non-echoed phrases are utilized communicatively by age two, and spontaneous communicative words are utilized by age three)…even though more subtle elements of social communication (that is, normal give and take within conversation) might be affected.
As those sound like substantial differences in diagnosis, the fact is that, in the quote of Asperger syndrome specialist Doctor Tony Attwood, ‘the difference in between high-functional autism and Asperger syndrome will be mostly in the spelling.’
It’s especially the case as kids grow up and differences within language capability at the age of 3 will become irrelevant. By the time individuals who have high-functioning autism or Aspergers syndroms are teenagers, these distinctions have virtually vanished, making it extremely challenging to distinguish in between the diagnoses.
These criteria are from the Diagnostic and Statistical manual. Asperger”s disorder includes 1 of 5 certain ‘Pervasive Developmental Conditions’ listed:
A.The qualitative impairment within social interaction, as manifested by a minimum of 2 of these:
- A marked impairment in the usage of several nonverbal behaviors like facial expression, eye-to-eye gaze, gestures and body postures to regulate social interaction
- Unable to develop peer relationships suitable with developmental level
- A lack of spontaneous searching to share interests, enjoyment, or accomplishments with additional individuals (that is, by lack of bringing, pointing out, or showing objects of interest to others)
- A lack of emotional or social reciprocity
B. Limited stereotyped and repetitive patterns of interests, activities, and behavior, as manifested by a minimum of one of these:
- Preoccupation with more than one restricted and stereotyped patterns of interest which is not normal either in focus or intensity
- Inflexible adherence to certain, nonfunctional rituals or routines
- Repetitive and stereotyped motor mannerisms (that is, finger or hand twisting or flapping, or complicated whole-body movements)
- Preoccupation with object parts
C. Disturbance causes medically substantial impairment in occupational, social, or additional important functioning areas.
D. There isn’t any medical substantial general delay within language that is, single words utilized by age 2, communicative phrases utilized by age 3.
E. There isn’t any medically substantial delay within cognitive development or within the development of self-help, age-appropriate skills, adaptive behavior (besides in social interaction), as well as curiosity concerning the environment within childhood.
F. Criteria aren’t met for an additional specific pervasive developmental condition or schizophrenia.
Symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome include:
- Being involved in lengthy, one-sided conversations, without checking if a listener is attempting to change the subject or even listening
- Exhibiting abnormal nonverbal communication, like lack of eye-to-eye gaze, very few facial expressions, or uneasy gestures and body postures
- Displaying an intense obsession with more than one narrow, specific subjects, like train schedules, baseball statistics, snakes or weather
- Not understanding, empathizing with or being sensitive to other people’s feelings
- Having a difficult time ‘reading’ others or understanding humor
- Talking in a voice which is unusually quick, rigid or monotonous
- Moving around clumsily using poor coordination
Diagnosis and Test
Due to Asperger”s syndrome widely varying in signs and severity, making a diagnosis could be challenging. If your youngster exhibits a few Asperger”s syndrome signs, your physician might recommend a comprehensive evaluation by a staff of experts.
This assessment likely will involve observing your youngster and speaking with you concerning your youngster”s development. You might be asked about your youngster”s social interaction, friendships, and communication skills. Your youngster also may have numerous tests to decide her or his level of intellect and academic capabilities. Tests might assess your youngster”s capabilities within the areas of language, speech, as well as visual-motor problem solving. Tests also can identify additional psychological, behavioral, and emotional issues.
To become diagnosed with Asperger”s syndrome, your youngster”s symptoms and signs have to match the criteria that are spelled out in the DSM (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), a manual that’s published by the APA (American Psychiatric Association) and utilized by mental health professionals to diagnose mental disorders.
Again, a few of the Diagnostic and Statistical manual criteria for this syndrome include:
- No substantial language delays
- Lack of eye contact
- Abnormal social expressions or body posture
- Hard time making friends
- Preoccupation with a single subject
- Avoids interactive play
- Inflexible attitude towards change
A few kids who have Asperger”s syndrome, unfortunately, initially may be misdiagnosed with an additional problem, like ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) or obsessive-compulsive disorder, potentially due to the symptoms of a few conditions being similar to the ones of Asperger”s. In addition, those additional conditions might coexist with Asperger”s that could delay the diagnosis.
Drugs and Treatments
The central signs of Asperger”s syndrome cannot be cured. But, most kids who have Asperger”s syndrome grow up into well-adjusted and happy adults. Many kids benefit from earlier specialized interventions which concentration on social skills training and behavior management. Your physician could assist in identifying resources in your locality which might work for your youngster. This syndrome treatment options might involve:
Social Skills and Communications Training
Kids who have Asperger”s syndrome might have the ability to learn the unwritten regulations of communication and socialization while taught in a rote and explicit fashion, similar to the way students study foreign languages. Kids who have Asperger”s syndrome might also study how to talk using a more natural rhythm, and how to interpret communication methods, like eye contact, gestures, sarcasm, humor, and tone of voice.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
The term encompasses most techniques targeted at curbing problem behaviors, like obsessions, interrupting, angry outbursts, or meltdowns, and developing skills like coping with anxiety or recognizing feelings.
There aren’t any medicines which specifically treat this syndrome. However, some medicines might improve certain symptoms — like hyperactivity, depression or anxiety — which could occur in most children who have Asperger”s syndrome. Examples involve:
Abilify (Aripiprazole): Effective for treating irritability associated with this syndrome. Side effects might involve: increase in blood sugar levels and weight gain.
Intuniv (Guanfacine): Useful for the issues of hyperactivity, as well as inattention in kids who have this syndrome. Side effects might involve: irritability, drowsiness, constipation, headache, and bedwetting.
American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic criteria for Asperger’s disorder. In Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (Fourth edition—text revision (DSM-IV-TR). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 84.