Asperger Syndrome

Asperger syndrome (AS) is an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Like ADS there is no known cure for Asperger Syndrome.

Asperger syndrome is a form of autism, which is a lifelong disability that affects how a person makes sense of the world, processes information and relates to other people.

Autism is often described as a ‘spectrum disorder’ because the condition affects people in many different ways and to varying degrees.

There are three main difficulties that people with Asperger syndrome share. These are:

  • Social Communication
  • Social Imagination
  • Social Interaction

While there are similarities with autism, people with Asperger syndrome have fewer problems with speaking and are often of average, or above average, intelligence.

They do not usually have the accompanying learning disabilities associated with autism, but they may have specific learning difficulties.

These may include dyslexia and dyspraxia or other conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and epilepsy.
With the right support and encouragement, people with Asperger syndrome can lead full and independent lives.

What to look for – Some signs of Asperger Syndrome.

People with Asperger syndrome sometimes find it difficult to express themselves emotionally and socially.

For example, they may:

    • Have difficulty understanding gestures, facial expressions or tone of voice
    • Have difficulty knowing when to start or end a conversation and choosing topics to talk about
    • Use complex words and phrases but may not fully understand what they mean
    • Be very literal in what they say and can have difficulty understanding jokes, metaphor and sarcasm. For example, a person with Asperger syndrome may be confused by the phrase ‘That’s cool’ when people use it to say something is good.

Many people with Asperger syndrome want to be sociable but have difficulty with initiating and sustaining social relationships, which can make them very anxious.

People with the condition may:

  • Struggle to make and maintain friendships
  • Not understand the unwritten ‘social rules’ that most of us pick up without thinking. For example, they may stand too close to another person, or start an inappropriate topic of conversation
  • Find other people unpredictable and confusing
  • Become withdrawn and seem uninterested in other people, appearing almost aloof
    People with Asperger syndrome can be imaginative in the conventional use of the word. For example, many are accomplished writers, artists and musicians.

But people with Asperger syndrome can have difficulty with social imagination.

This can include:

  • Imagining alternative outcomes to situations and finding it hard to predict what will happen next
  • Understanding or interpreting other people’s thoughts, feelings or actions. The subtle messages that are put across by facial expression and body language are often missed
  • Having a limited range of imaginative activities, which can be pursued rigidly and repetitively, eg lining up toys or collecting and organising things related to his or her interest.
    (information taken from the National Autistic Society Website)

Other common signs include:

  • Prefer structured routines and rules
  • Special interests
  • Unable to respond well to change and unpredictability
  • Have difficulties filtering out background noises and become distracted by them
  • Have hyper or hypo Sensory processing in areas of Auditory, Tactile, Visual, Symmetry, for example – they may see patterns in things that others do not recognise, or feel very confused and anxious in busy environments.
  • Have difficulties recognising emotions and managing them

It is important to remember that no two people with Asperger Syndrome are the same – they just share similar traits.

If you, or you suspect a loved one has Asperger Syndrome, remember that the best thing you can do is gather enough information about the condition.

If you want to talk to me in confidence my telephone number is 07830 302 907 or you can complete the contact form, or get in touch via Skype.

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