Asperger is part of the autism spectrum disorders. What most people think is that Asperger and autism are very similar to each other. This is true to some extent, although there are some very important differences. For example, children with Asperger either have a normal or a high IQ. This makes it so that some symptoms can be compensated by their IQ. How this works, we will explain later on this page.
Just like children with autism, children with Asperger have difficulties with communication and social interactions. Furthermore, we see a lot of repetitive behavior and limited interests in children with Asperger. However, there is no slowed development, which does occur in children with autism.
What are the symptoms of Asperger?
As mentioned earlier, children with Asperger have normal or high intelligence. Thanks to this intelligence, they have the capacity to minimize the intensity of certain symptoms by learning. For example, they can more easily than children with autism learn that staring is impolite. This might not cause the symptom to disappear, but it can reduce its intensity.
Oftentimes, children with Asperger seem very robotic. This is because certain social functions are not as easy for children with Asperger. For example, they have difficulties when it comes to:
- Starting and maintaining relationships
- Looking at someone when they talk to them
- Dealing with and expressing emotions. Showing empathy (imagining someone else's situation) is included in this.
- Understanding and applying social rules
- Expressing themselves through non-verbal behavior. For example, they might speak in a monotonous fashion.
Hobbies and interests
Just like children and people with autism, children and adults with Asperger suffer from rigidity. This means that they frequently show the same behavior. They love patterns. Furthermore, they also tend to focus on one hobby, which they therefore become very good at or know all about.
Motor skills and senses?
Children with Asperger sometimes can seem motorically inapt. For example, it often is so that a child with Asperger suffers from:
- A stiff appearance
- Problems with coordination
They can also be overly sensitive to certain sensations such as sounds or touch.
Strong sides of a child with Asperger?
Except for symptoms there of course are several strong suits which someone with Asperger can experience. For example, because of the rigidity and focus on one hobby, they can learn a lot and know a lot about a certain subject. There are cases, for example, in which a boy with Asperger teaches himself to learn to play the piano in one evening.
Well-known figures with Asperger include Leonardo Da Vinci, as well as Albert Einstein. People with Asperger thus can also sometimes think far out of the box and be very creative.
How do I minimize symptoms and strengthen the positive sides of Asperger?
People with Asperger can be very creative and innovative. Some symptoms add to the development of the personality of someone with Asperger, like preferring to be alone. Some symptom, however, can have a large influence on the daily life and the daily functioning of someone with Asperger. These symptoms can have an influence in both directions. For example, hypersensitivity to certain sensations can lead to negative habits and stress, or to looking for calm places. THe same symptoms can express themselves differently in everyone and therefore have different consequences
The way in which Asperger symptoms and their consequences express themselves thus can differ a lot from person to person. It therefore is useful to work on a positive results from these symptoms or learning to work with these symptoms. It namely is useful to keep an eye on a negative consequence from certain symptoms, because they can severely affect your quality of life. On top of this, the negative consequence can create some sort of vicious cycle, in which stress might be produced, which in turn leads to the symptoms getting worse, for example.
As of yet, there is no perfect treatment for Asperger. What does exist, however, are ways to reduce/prevent stress and learning to work with the symptoms, so that you can avoid negative expressions of them.
"15Minutes4Me.com" is an online self-help program, developed by doctors and psychologists, which can help you to work on different facets
- Learning to accept that not all symptoms can be eliminated. Acceptance is a well-known and important technique in psychology, which in turn can help with the reduction of stress.
- Learning to solve stress, so that the intensity or expression of certain symptoms can be dealt with
- Learning basic skills, such as setting priorities, thinking in a solution-focused way, et cetera, which can help you to live a more balanced and healthier life.
Asperger syndrome? Take the free stress test!
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