According to the World Health Organisation, around 30 million people worldwide have Asperger syndrome.
It appears to be more common in men than women.
The disease is named after the man who described it, an Austrian paediatrician named Hans Asperger.
Asperger syndrome or Asperger’s is a disorder in which people with Asperger’s syndrome have impairment of social skills; behaviour and communication.
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People with Asperger’s syndrome see, hear and feel the world in ways different to other people.
Asperger’s syndrome is now part of a group of disorders called Autism Spectrum Disorders.
However, Asperger’s syndrome is milder than other forms of Autism Spectrum Disorders as people with Asperger’s syndrome have normal language and average or above-average intelligence.
Possible causes Asperger’s syndrome
A cause for this syndrome is unknown. Several factors are thought to play a role in the development of this condition.
The presence of these factors (called risk factors) do not necessarily mean that the condition will develop.
They, however, increase the possibility of the development of the disease.
It is important to note that social upbringing, circumstances, early education and vaccines; do not cause Asperger’s syndrome.
People with Asperger’s syndrome often have a pattern of symptoms but they differ from person to person.
These symptoms generally impair them from having quality social interactions; causing them to exhibit stereotyped and repetitive behaviour and interests.
They may also have difficulty establishing or making friends; difficulty with social interactions and behaviour.
They may appear strange or insensitive to others; difficulty with reciprocating social or emotional interests.
Others are difficulty with developing shared joy or achievements; or understanding non-verbal cues like eye contact, facial expression or gestures.
Difficulty in understanding changes in tone of voice, sarcasm, irony or jokes and vague or abstract descriptions; social withdrawal or disinterest, uncoordinated movement or clumsiness; anxiety or depression, increased sensitivity to light.
More so, repetitive behaviours or activity such as lining up objects to form patterns; or sticking to a routine way of carrying out their daily activities.
Highly focused interests in specific and restricted areas such as collecting data about camera types without any interests in photography or in collecting pens with no interest in using them.
Abnormalities with speech such as miscomprehension or abrupt transitions in intonation and rhythm of speech but there is no delay in speech
How can Asperger’s Syndrome be treated?
There is no single treatment method or a cure for Asperger’s syndrome. A combination of methods – usually speech therapy, social skills training, physical therapy or behavioural therapy; help improve communication, reduce obsessive or repetitive routine, improve social skills by teaching them these skills.
Generally, the earlier therapy begins, the better the outcome.
Medications may also provide to address associated problems such as anxiety or low mood.
Parents often trained to help with physical clumsiness and physical therapy.
While some children may function well, others need special schools because of their social and behavioural difficulties.