What is Aspergers Syndrome?
When Nicky was diagnosed I had to tell everyone what Autism was. Then as I got more involved and knew the difference between autism and other autism spectrum disorders I found myself explaining the differences. So many more people know about ASD today, I don’t get asked the question so routinely. But lately I’ve been asked “What is Aspergers”? alot. I’m thinking all those folks who may of wondered but never knew, are hearing so much about it in the news they now feel curious or comfortable enough to ask. So for those of you who are still wondering here’s a definition:
What Is Asperger's Syndrome?
Asperger's syndrome is a form of autism - it is a developmental disorder that impacts on the individual's ability to communicate and socialize, among other things. It begins in childhood and persists through adulthood and affects the way the person reaches "common sense" perceptions, as well as the way they process information related to other individuals. People with Asperger's syndrome find human interaction challenging, and may interpret creative thought and use their imagination in different way from others.
Autism and Asperger's syndrome are both part of autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). It is a range of related developmental disorders that affect people in many diverse ways and various degrees. However, people with Asperger's syndrome tend to have average or above-average vocabularies and reach speech milestones at the same time as children in the general population.
Unlike other children (and adults) with an ASD, those with AS (Asperger's syndrome) have average IQs and are pretty much just as likely to have learning disabilities as those without AS. However, their learning requirements may be different from other childrens'.
Asperger's syndrome was named after Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger, who first described the disorder in 1944. However, the syndrome was not recognized as a unique disorder until later on.
According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary, Asperger's syndrome is:
1. "a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by severe and enduring impairment in social skills and restrictive and repetitive behaviors and interests, leading to impaired social and occupational functioning but without significant delays in language development; however, constructs of Asperger disorder other than those in DSM include the criteria of less social impairment than in autism and in impaired communications."
2. "a DSM diagnosis that is established when the specified criteria are met."
A child with AS may show signs of the disorder during the first year of life. Parents or caregivers may sense that there is something unusual about their infant - their motor skills may appear uncoordinated, the way they crawl or walk might be awkward or clumsy, or just slightly different. As the baby grows into a toddler, there may be a certain amount of clumsiness.
Experts say that Asperger's syndrome is much more common in males than females.
Asperger's syndrome is not a disease, it is a syndrome. A syndrome is a collection of symptoms that occur together with a condition. People with AS have the same life expectancy as in the general population, and are no more or less susceptible to diseases or infections as others. The likelihood of developing depression later on in life is higher for those with AS, but this is probably a consequence of years of living with the stresses and anxieties that come with coping with life in a "non-AS" world.
What are the signs and symptoms of Asperger's syndrome