Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) is a developmental disorder that is a part of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Every child is different, and no two children diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome have the same challenges, abilities, or delays. In general, kids with Asperger’s are considered to be on the “high-functioning” end of ASD. Like other kids on the spectrum, a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome is more common in boys than in girls.
Indications of Asperger’s Syndrome
Autism can affect how your child interprets language, communicates, and socializes with others. Asperger’s Syndrome is considered to be a milder form of autism, and diagnosis is usually made later in a child’s life compared to kids on the opposite end of the ASD spectrum. The common indications of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome include:
- Trouble reading body language
- Trouble interpreting social cues
- Trouble with empathy for others
- Sensitivity to sensory stimuli (lights, sounds, etc.)
- May have a high need for structure, rigidity
- May engage in obsessive routines
- May have odd speech patterns
- Problems with reading, writing, or math skills
- Problems with attention span and organization
- Motor delays, awkward or clumsy movements
Diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome
Parents who suspect their child may be on the autism spectrum should schedule an evaluation with a qualified professional who can assess their child’s behavior and abilities in order to make a diagnosis. Because the signs of being on the autism spectrum can be similar to other behavioral problems and disorders like ADHD, it is necessary to have your child seen by a doctor or other health professional for a definitive diagnosis.
In 2013, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-5) updated the classification of Asperger’s Syndrome as a part of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Prior to this, Asperger’s Syndrome was its own separate diagnosis.
Once a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome or ASD has been made, your child will have access to a variety of behavioral and educational intervention services and resources.
Living with Asperger’s Syndrome
AS can affect your child’s everyday life, but early intervention services can help. Social development, communication skills, language development, and other aspects of your child’s personality and behavior can be helped with early invention.
Kids and adults with Asperger’s Syndrome are often able to live independent and happy lives, especially when they have received help through the right resources, education, and support. These services may include:
- Parental education and support
- Educational interventions
- Social skills training
- Language therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Behavioral or cognitive therapy
It is important to note that children with ASD may be at a higher risk of developing other mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. Keeping your ASD child under the care of qualified health professionals will help your child succeed.
If you think your child may be living on the spectrum of ASD, give us a call today and schedule an appointment to speak with one of our friendly pediatricians about diagnosis.