Asperger's Syndrome

In 1944, Asperger's Syndrome was first described and named after the Austrian doctor, Hans Asperger. He described individuals who showed odd-like behaviours, a lot like the symptoms thought to be shown by Albert Einstein and Bill Gates.

Asperger's Syndrome is a form of autism that affects how a person communicates and relates with others. This means that they commonly have difficulty in social relationships, in communicating, and have limitations in imagination and creative play

Individuals with Asperger's Syndrome are quite often easily understood, and have intelligible speech before being 4 years old. Their grammar and vocabulary are usually very good, but they often repeat what they say and partake in conversations that revolve around themselves. They are usually obsessed with complex topics like patterns, weather, music, and technology.

IQ's of people with Asperger's Syndrome fall along the full spectrum, but many are above normal for verbal abilities and below average in performance. Many have dyslexia, writing problems and difficulty with mathematics. They mainly have concrete thinking and often lack common sense.

 People with Asperger's Syndrome have odd forms of self-stimulatory behaviour and their movements are often clumsy and awkward. They are often overly sensitive to sounds, taste, smells, and sights; preferring soft clothing, certain foods, and can be bothered by sounds or lights no one else can see or hear.

They have a great deal of difficulty reading body language, have trouble determining personal body space, and are socially aware but often react the wrong way. It is because of this that those with Asperger's Syndrome are often viewed as eccentric or odd and can easily become victims of teasing and bullying.

 People with Asperger's Syndrome are often punctuality, reliability and dedication.

Sometimes people assume everyone who has autism and is high-functioning has Asperger's syndrome. However, it appears that there are several forms of high-functioning autism, and Asperger's syndrome is one form. Asperger's Syndrome is probably hereditary in nature as many families report having an "odd" relative or two. It is often reported in those also with depression and bipolar disorders.

 Asperger's syndrome is a neurobiological disorder that affects the brain and the people who have it seem very "normal" and people with Asperger's Syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. As a guess there is about 1 in every 500 people in the US have this dysfunction which can include everything from language disabilities to sensory problems and physical awkwardness. These people are very intelligent, extremely structured and have no social awareness; they are often very literal. Individuals with Asperger's Syndrome can exhibit a variety of characteristics and the disorder can range from mild to severe. Persons with Asperger's Syndrome show marked deficiencies in social skills, have difficulties with transitions or changes and prefer sameness. They often have obsessive routines and may be preoccupied with a particular subject of interest.

 It's important to remember that the person with Asperger's Syndrome perceives the world very differently. Therefore, much behaviour that seems odd or unusual is due to those neurological differences and not the result of intentional rudeness or bad behaviour, and most certainly not the result of "improper parenting".

 Most individuals (although not all) exhibit exceptional skill or talent in a specific area. Because of their high degree of functionality. People with Asperger's Syndrome often develop an almost obsessive interest in a hobby or collecting. Usually their interest involves arranging or memorising facts about a special subject, such as train timetables, Derby winners or the dimensions of cathedrals.

 As soon as we meet a person we make judgements about them. Just by looking we can guess their age or status, and by the expression on their face or the tone of their voice we can tell immediately if they are happy, angry or sad and respond accordingly. Not everyone has this natural ability. People with Asperger's Syndrome find it more difficult to read the signals which most of us take for granted. As a result they find it more difficult to communicate and interact with others and have a large problem with social interaction. Meanwhile they often develop overwhelmingly obsessive interests, which can preoccupy them (but may form an ideal basis for a job).

 People with Asperger's Syndrome often find change upsetting.

Young children may impose their routines, such as insisting on always walking the same route to school. At school, sudden changes, such as an alteration to the timetable, may upset them. People with Asperger's Syndrome often prefer to order their day according to a set pattern. If they work set hours then any unexpected delay, such as a traffic hold-up, or a late train, can make them anxious or upset.

 The causes of autism and Asperger's Syndrome are still being investigated. Many experts believe that the pattern of behaviour from which Asperger's Syndrome is diagnosed may not result from a single cause. There is strong evidence to suggest that Asperger's Syndrome can be caused by a variety of physical factors, all of which affect brain development - it is not due to emotional deprivation or the way a person has been brought up. There is not treatment.

Asperger's Syndrome is most likely hereditary in nature as many families report having an "odd" relative or two.

 As they get older, they may realise that they are different from other people and feel isolated and depressed. People with Asperger's Syndrome often want to be sociable and are upset by the fact that they find it hard to make friends. But Adults with Asperger's Syndrome can and do go on to live fulfilling lives, to further education and employment and to develop friendships. Many lead productive lives, living independently, working effectively at a job (many are college professors, computer programmers, dentists), and raising a family.

A Visitor Commented that "Those with Asperger's Syndrome have normal scores on IQ tests and are of average or above average intelligence. You should know that normal menas a score above 70. You create the impression that those with AS are all very bright. This is not so. Incidentally, current research suggests that there are good reasons for not differentiating between autistism and Asperger's Syndrome."

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