Does Your Child Have Aspergers Syndrome: Characteristics of Aspergers Children
For more information on Aspergers Syndrome See:
- What it's Like to Have Aspergers Syndrome: A Story
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For more information on children and asperger's syndrome see:
Books about Aspergers Syndrome
As a parent do you sometimes feel your child is different than other children? Are you perplexed by peculiar behaviors? Do you sometimes feel sad because your child shrinks away from hugs and doesn't want to kiss and cuddle? Are you surprised by sudden outbursts or temper tantrums? Are you confused by your child's actions or lack of action?
Parents always want to recognize the positive traits in their child; it is harder to recognize when your child experiences difficulties. Children with Aspergers Syndrome experience many difficulties, and to complicate the situation, many of these difficulties are associated with other disabilities. Ultimately, Aspergers Syndrome is hard to diagnose and is frequently misdiagnosed. Also, children with Aspergers Syndrome frequently have other disabilities as well. Following are some traits to help clarify what Aspergers Syndrome is and how you can recognize it in your child.
Delayed or Impaired Language Skills. If your child starts talking late and exhibits lagging language skills, this may be a sign of Aspergers Syndrome. My son, who has Aspergers Syndrome, talked late, but when he did, he began with full phrases and sentences. He also mixed up pronouns. The aspergers child also fails to understand the "give and take" of communication; in other words, the child may want to monopolize a conversation and fail to acknowledge the comments of others. The child with aspergers understands communication as a way to share information but fails to recognize communication as a way to share thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Difficulty with Social Interaction. Although the aspergers child may want to interact with others, s/he lacks the skills. The asperger child fails to understand both verbal and nonverbal cues, and communication with others breaks down. The asperger child may lecture others, fail to ask questions to continue a discussion, or simply not even acknowledge the other person by looking at them. The desire to communicate may be there. but the language abilities others seem tyo develop naturally just don't develop easily for the aspergers child. But aspergers children develop these skills with early interventions and teaching.
Motor Clumsiness. Sometimes, but not always, children with Aspergers Syndrome display poor coordination because they experience difficulties with either or both fine and gross motor skills. This problem is due to difficulties with motor planning in completing the task. For example, the child may experience difficulty in riding a bike because of planning the different steps to successfully complete the task.
Sensory Sensitivity. The child with Aspergers Syndrome may be underactive to a sensation, or s/he may be intensely reactive to a sensation. The sensitivity could involve one or involve many of the senses. For example, before my son was diagnosed, as a parent I was appalled when he wanted to run outside in the middle of winter with no shoes or boots. I was so afraid he would sneak out of the house and get severe frostbite. I also remember he was fascinated by lights. Some parents of asperger children detail how their child may scream when the vacuum is turned on or how their child refuses to brush their teeth due to the sensation caused by the toothbrush.
The Need for Routine. Perservation is a common characteristic of the child with Aspergers Syndrome. Perservation involves repetition in language and/or behavior. For example, with language a perservative tendency is to repeat certain phrases over and over. In terms of action or behavior, the asperger child may line objects up and insist the objects not be disturbed. Completing a certain set of rituals in a specific order also demonstrates perservation.
Development of a Narrow Range of Interests. If a child seems stuck on a certain topic and seems a bit obsessed about always talking about that topic, s/he demonstrates narrow interests; this a characteristic of Aspergers Syndrome. Often the child learns everything s/he can about this special interest and then feels compelled to share information about the topic with everybody around them. Usually focusing on narrow interests affects social interactions negatively.
Cognitive Difficulties. Frequently the aspergers child experiences difficulty with empathizing with others and says inappropriate things because the child fails to consider others' feelings. A significant problem for the aspergers child, mindblindness occurs when the asperger child is unable to make inferences about what others are thinking. Mindblindness hinders communication with others.
Although some of these traits are common to other disabilities, the whole bunch together certainly suggests further investigation into an aspergers diagnosis . A professional, like a psychologist or a psychiatrist, should be consulted because early intervention is very important. There is help out there for those diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome.
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