Asperger Syndrome is a well-known disorder that is on the autism spectrum. This is one of the milder forms of autism and may affect children and people differently. For some people, the condition is very mild, only producing a small amount of symptoms. People with Asperger syndrome typically have trouble with social interaction, become focused on routines, have repetitive behavior, and are firm in their line of thinking. Some people who suffer from this condition are high functioning and do not have delayed cognitive development or delayed language skills. In years past, it was thought that people with this condition did not have normal intelligence and had mental issues. This has been found not to be true. Many people with Asperger’s have normal or enhanced intelligence and can live and thrive like anyone.
Causes of Asperger’s
Unfortunately, the root cause of Asperger’s is not known at this time. It is thought that there are more than likely many different causes of the disorder. Many doctors believe that the causes include genetic factors and environmental factors.
There are several genes that appear to be present when the autism spectrum disorder is. For example, those that have fragile X syndrome or Rett syndrome may have Asperger’s. Genetic mutations may also increase the risk for this condition. Some children have this condition due to inheritance, while others get the condition spontaneously. Some scientists currently believe that medications, complications during pregnancy, viral and bacterial infections, and air pollutants can trigger Asperger syndrome. There is ongoing research in this area to see if a cause can be determined.
Signs and Symptoms of Asperger’s
The symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome will vary from person to person. Children that have Asperger’s may have an obsession with one thing like dinosaurs or comic books. Adults may have an interest in one subject and only want to discuss that subject. People with this condition do not do well reading body language or facial expressions. They may not recognize other people’s feelings and may have trouble with eye contact. With this condition, people may speak louder than what they normally should because they do not know how to lower the volume of their voice. They may also only have a few facial expressions. Children with Asperger syndrome may have difficulty with motor skills like walking and running. They may have difficulty in riding a bike or climbing. The severity of the symptoms will range from mild to severe. If a parent sees their child having difficulty with these things, they should make an appointment for testing.
Living with Asperger Syndrome
Living with Asperger syndrome can be simple. There are several treatment options that can help to minimize symptoms. While there is no cure, these treatment options can help a person suffering from this condition to lead a normal life. Treatment options include:
- Medications - There are medications that can help to reduce irritability, hyperactivity, and agitation. These medications will need to be closely monitored by a doctor. Some people choose to go unmedicated and are able to handle their symptoms with no intervention.
- Social skill training. Some people who suffer from Asperger syndrome see benefits when they go through social skills training. This training helps them learn how to interact with no problems.
- Therapy. There are several different therapy options available for people with this condition. Therapy can help to alleviate many of the symptoms.
- Diet and exercise. People with Asperger’s will need to avoid foods that help increase hyperactivity. Foods that are loaded with chemicals can make the symptoms worse. Moderate exercise can help to reduce some hyperactivity.
While there is no cure for Asperger’s, many people live completely normal lives with this condition. It is an often misunderstood condition, but as research grows, this disorder will be understood better.