Asperger's Syndrome

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on Asperger's Syndrome.

Asperger's Syndrome

Asperger's Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism, was first identified in the 1940s by Viennese physician Hans Asperger. But it wasn't until the 1990s that parents and medical professionals began widely recognizing the neurobiological disorder.

Experts say it's hard to know exactly how many kids have Asperger's, although there have been more diagnoses in Seattle and the Bay Area than anywhere else in the country.

The syndrome often starts to surface at around 18 months old and grows more pronounced as a child grows older. Although children with Asperger's often have strong verbal skills and normal intelligence, many display some autistic-like behavior and have pronounced deficits in social and communication skills.

Symptoms can include:

Children with the syndrome also may adhere strongly to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals or display stereotyped and repetitive movements, such as hand or finger flapping, rocking or complex full-body motions.

As with other forms of autism, there is treatment but no known cure. Researchers have found success treating some people with Asperger's with a combination of one-on-one therapy and social-skills groups. But since programs aren't yet widely available nationwide, some kids can be forced to wait a year or more for treatment.


Asperger syndrome - Wikipedia

Asperger syndrome (pronounced /'æs?p?rg?r ?s?ndro?m/; also called Asperger's syndrome, Asperger's disorder, Asperger's or AS) is one of several autism spectrum disorders (ASD) characterized by difficulties in social interaction and by restricted, stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities. AS is distinguished from the other ASDs in having no general delay in language or cognitive development. Although not mentioned in standard diagnostic criteria, motor clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported.[1][2]

Asperger syndrome is named after Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger who, in 1944, described children in his practice who lacked nonverbal communication skills, failed to demonstrate empathy with their peers, and were physically clumsy. Fifty years later, AS was standardized as a diagnosis, but questions about many aspects of AS remain.[3] For example, there is lingering doubt about the distinction between AS and high-functioning autism (HFA);[4] partly due to this, the prevalence of AS is not firmly established. The exact cause of AS is unknown, although research supports the likelihood of a genetic basis; brain imaging techniques have not identified a clear common pathology.[1]

There is no single treatment for Asperger syndrome, and the effectiveness of particular interventions is supported by only limited data. Intervention is aimed at improving symptoms and function. The mainstay of management is behavioral therapy, focusing on specific deficits to address poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, and clumsiness. Most individuals with AS can learn to cope with their differences, but may continue to need moral support and encouragement to maintain an independent life.[5] Researchers and people with AS have advocated a shift in attitudes away from the notion that AS is a deviation from the norm that must be treated or cured, and towards the view that AS is a difference rather than a disability.[6]

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