Asperger’s syndrome is a disorder that is a mild form of autism. It is a condition that is under a group of developmental disorders more popularly known as Pervasive Developmental disorders or PDD. People with Asperger’s disorder have impaired social abilities and it is a condition that is diagnosed in childhood.
It is different from autism since patients with Asperger’s are able to function more normally than those diagnosed with autism. There is usually a normal level of intelligence and well as verbal skills.
Here are some signs to watch out for to help you assess if your child has this condition.
- Observe if your child makes eye contact. Does your child look at you when you are speaking or presenting something or does he look at your from the corner of his eye? Does it seem like he’s looking at something else?
- Observe your child’s motor skills. Does your child seem clumsy? Do his movements seem strange to you? Does your child repeat certain mannerisms or actions? Does he prefer doing the same thing over and over again and thrive on routine? Is he able to walk normally? Can he handle his pen properly so that his writing is legible? How is your child’s posture?
- Observe your child’s social skills. Does your child prefer to be alone and engage in behaviors that don’t require help or involvement from other people? Examples are looking out the window for extended periods of time. Instead of playing side by side with other children or parallel play, does your child prefer to be alone? This disorder is characterized by difficulties with social interaction among peers. In adults, someone with Asperger’s Disorder will be able to talk and have verbal skills but may seem a little off.
- Observe how your child reacts to stimulus. In normal children, flashing lights and sounds will be investigated. In patients with Asperger’s disorder, a patient will be unable to handle or process stimuli. Loud noises, strong smells and flavors as well as other stimuli will cause sensory overload.
- Is there a history of mental illness of other developmental disorders in the family? Medical science has not been able to pinpoint the exact cause of this disorder. However, it does seem to run in families. If you have a family history of schizophrenia, depression, attention deficit disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or other psychiatric problems, you need to be aware that there is a possibility your child may be diagnosed with a disorder if he exhibits other symptoms.
- Bring your child to the pediatrician. A good pediatrician should be able to make an accurate diagnosis on any delays in the developmental milestones of your child. If your doctor suspects that there’s a developmental disorder, he may refer you to a specialist to get a more accurate diagnosis and evaluation.
Only a doctor or other medically trained specialist can make a proper diagnosis on this condition. If you suspect your child has this disorder or any other PDD, you must discuss your concerns with your health care provider. There are resources available to help families with members diagnosed with Asperger’s and other developmental disorders.
If you would like to learn more information on Asperger’s disorder, you can go to the website aspergers.com.