What is Asperger's Syndrome?

Friday, 03 Jan 2014 01:28 AM

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Asperger's syndrome is the common name for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Patients with this developmental disorder display a lower degree of autism with varied ranges of behavior and social skills. ASD may affect communication and emotional skills. Individual characteristics of ASD patients vary. Some people with ASD may be very talented in their fields as they can focus intensely. Asperger's syndrome is not an illness contracted in life but a disorder present from birth, though its symptoms usually go unnoticed during infancy.

Symptoms of ASD may include speech characterized by a lack of rhythm, speaking in a monotonous voice and unusual nonverbal communication. Various other symptoms may be a lack of eye contact during conversation and intense obsession about single or specific subjects. Depression and anxiety may be other related symptoms. Some symptoms of other disorders may coexist with the symptoms of ASD.
 
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The causes of Asperger's syndrome are still not clearly identified. However, they are believed to stem from genetic and neurological reasons. Changes in the genes and the structure of the brain may be possible reasons of Asperger's syndrome. Due to varying symptoms of ASD, diagnosing this disorder is difficult. The diagnostic test used for identifying ASD may involve asking caregivers and parents questions about the affected child. Various tests to determine academic and intellectual abilities of the child may be performed to diagnose the disorder and distinguish it from autism. If the symptoms noticed in the test match with that of abnormal mental conditions as per the autism spectrum disorder but fall short of autism, the patient is diagnosed with ASD.
 
Similar to Asperger's syndrome, autism is also a developmental disorder that lasts from childhood to adulthood. Asperger's syndrome is a kind of autism that affects the ability of the person to process information. Symptoms associated with ASD include problems in social interaction, communication, and unusual behavior. Asperger's syndrome is more common in boys than in girls. Diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome may involve questions related to the person’s emotional and behavioral skills. A skill test to diagnose the disorder is performed by a specialist or a psychologist. The diagnostic test may involve examining the ability of ASD patients for language, speech, and visual motor skills. Asperger's syndrome may be mistaken for other disorders like ADHD. There is no cure for Asperger's syndrome but social-skill training can be beneficial. Behavioral therapies and other alternative therapies can be used for treating the symptoms of ASD under the supervision of medical professionals.
 
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