Thursday, February 24, 2011

Data on Asperger Syndrome

Asperger syndrome: An autistic disorder most notable for the often great discrepancy between the intellectual and social abilities of those who have it.
Asperger syndrome is a pervasive developmental disorder that is characterized by an inability to understand how to interact socially. Typical features of the syndrome also may include clumsy and uncoordinated motor movements, social impairment with extreme egocentricity, limited interests and unusual preoccupations, repetitive routines or rituals, speech and language peculiarities, and non-verbal communication problems.
The syndrome is named for Hans Asperger who in 1944 published a paper that described a pattern of behavior in several young boys who had normal intelligence and language development but who had autistic-like behavior. Hans Asperger (1906-1980) was a pioneering pediatrician in Austria. He headed the play-pedagogic station at the university children’s clinic in Vienna in 1932 and became director of the children’s clinic in 1946. His special interest was in “psychically abnormal” children.

There is no specific course of treatment or cure for Asperger syndrome. Treatment, which is symptomatic and rehabilitation, may include both psychosocial and psycho-pharmacological interventions such as psychotherapy, parent education and training, behavioral modification, social skills training, educational interventions, and/or medications including psycho-stimulants, mood stabilizers, beta blockers, and tricycle-type antidepressants. Common misdiagnoses or multiple diagnoses for Asperger’s include: Depression, Bipolar disorder, ADHD, ODD, OCD – all adjoining to the Autistic Spectrum.

The following five criteria primarily characterize Asperger’s Disorder.
1. A significant, ongoing impairment in social interactions with others, as demonstrated by at least two of the following symptoms:
  • Significant difficulty in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as the lack of eye contact, few facial expressions, awkward or clumsy body postures and gestures
  • Failure to develop friendships
  • Lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
  • Failure to express appropriate and corresponding social or emotional reactions, such as when conversing or playing with others.
2. Restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as shown by at least one of the following symptoms:
  • A significant and encompassing preoccupation or obsession with one or two restricted topics, that is abnormal either in intensity, subject or focus
  • Seemingly inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals that serve little purpose
  • Repetitive motor mannerisms.
  • A persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
3. The set of symptoms causes significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
4. There is no significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by age 2, communicative phrases used by age 3).
5. There is no significant delay in cognitive development (such as reading or math skills) or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, behavior, and curiosity about the environment in childhood.

This information contributed via Brittany M Dauzat

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