Asperger’s Syndrome: Symptoms in Children and Adults

Asperger Syndrome (AS) also known as Asperger Disorder is considered to be a distinct form of autism.

Asperger's syndrome symptoms

Named after Dr. Hans Asperger, a pediatrician who first described Asperger’s, always believed that patients diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome are said to possess intense obsession in terms of interest and knowledge toward a specific subject.

What is Asperger’s?

Asperger Syndrome (AS) also known as Asperger Disorder is considered to be a distinct form of autism. It is considered to be a high-functioning neurological disorder. This condition affects an individual’s behavior, as well as its social interaction which includes the use of language and communication skills.

People diagnosed with AS either have a normal or above level of intelligence. Even up to this very day, there is still no proven cure for AS. However, early prevention on this condition could help a child with AS, be able to develop good communication and interaction skills.

What causes Asperger’s?

The causes of Asperger’s Syndrome haven’t been identified yet. However, some experts suggest that since AS is somehow classified as a disorder then causes could’ve been due to chemical changes in the brain.

Some doctors also believe that another possible contributor to this condition could be genetics. Since most cases of disorders are due to the fact that it runs in the family already. While some also believe that environmental factors could also be another cause for AS. Exposure to toxins, chemicals, viruses, and vaccines could also be possible contributors as well.

Asperger’s symptoms in children

Said symptoms are most likely to occur during infancy. However, it is kinda hard to detect such behavioral issues. That’s why diagnosis with these children usually start when they’re school-aged already. Common symptoms in children include the following:

  1. Lack of interest in making friends
  2. Lack of social awareness
  3. Obsessive interest on certain topics
  4. Disorganized speech or thoughts
  5. Changes in voice and speaking
  6. Avoiding eye contact or gazing intently
  7. Lack of use of gestures
  8. Sensitive to noise, taste, smell, or visual stimuli
  9. Dependent on routines
  10. Repetitive motor patterns

Children with AS are usually high-functioning. When it comes to school, some do not have any problems arising. However, most children with AS are said to start experiencing difficulty in school as they grow older. Since it’s always a case-to-case basis, some experts would suggest for a special education support for children with AS. Although this is optional, others would still prefer to have it.

Asperger’s symptoms in adults

Since Asperger’s and Autism are somehow similar in features, there are also some areas where Asperger’s is distinct.

The symptoms of this condition in adults vary from person to person. As mentioned above, people with AS usually have problems when it comes to the emotional aspects. While if we try to look at their intellectual capacity, they’re pretty normal.

To further understand the characteristics of an adult with AS, check out the following symptoms.

  1. Difficulty in communicating feelings
  2. Social Isolation
  3. Intellectualization
  4. Difficulties in motor activities

Some adults with AS could also suffer some psychiatric symptoms due to their condition. Hence, other conditions could also take place. To name a few, refer to the list below.

  1. Anxiety Disorder
  2. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  3. Depression
  4. Other mood disorders

How is Asperger’s diagnosed?

There is no single test that could confirm AS. Most especially for children, either the parents or the teachers at school could attest to the behavioral patterns or changes that they noticed. For adults, it is possible that the people around them could also identify some behavioral issues. However, experts usually check for the following signs when it comes to diagnosing AS:

  1. Facial expression when communicating
  2. Changes in attitude
  3. Social interaction
  4. Motor skills

How to treat Asperger’s Syndrome?

As mentioned above, there is no cure for Asperger’s. But it is possible for children with AS to take prescribed medications and undergo therapies in order to control their behavioral issues. To know how to treat children with AS, parental training is also advised.
Medicines given to children solely depend on their symptoms. However, some of the common drugs used to treat AS include:

  • Abilify: for irritability
  • ReVia: for hyperactivity
  • SSRIS
  • Risperidone: for insomnia

Therapies could also be given to children with AS. These recommended activities include:

  1. Physical therapy
  2. Psychotherapy (Talk Therapy)
  3. Speech and Language Therap
  4. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Adults with AS could also receive the same medications and therapies. Unlike children, diagnosed adults are most likely to be successful at combating the symptoms. Most especially if they are cooperative enough with their doctors. It is only a must that they work hand in hand with their doctors so their behavioral changes could be tracked and assessed every time.

Seeking professional help most especially when it comes to disorders that could affect your entire being and the people around you won’t hurt. So if you or someone you know could possibly be diagnosed with AS, then make sure to get the help you need.

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