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Know More About Asperger's Syndrome

Updated on December 10, 2015

Introduction

We have often heard of Asperger's syndrome. What is Asperger's actually? Does it affect the daily life of a person? Actually you view Asperger's syndrome as a milder form of autism which provides some good characteristics to the person although the person may show a bit of eccentricity.

The movie "Adam"

The word "Asperger's" is very popular today. One of the most popular movies is "Adam", with Hugh Ducy stars as Adam, a young man with Asperger's syndrome. Due to this condition, Adam faced difficulties in socializing with people. He had an intense interest in space exploration. However, he found new love after he met his beautiful neighbor, Beth. This movie shows that how people with this syndrome can lead a normal life and even begin a new family!

Adam
Adam

A wonderful movie about Asperger's syndrome

 

How common is Asperger's as compared to autism?

Ratio of autism to this syndrome is about 1.5 to 1. So, for every 2 Asperger’s, there will be 3 people has autism. Do note that such syndrome is a mild form of autism. Men is 4 times more likely to get this disorder as compared to women. This mild autism normally goes undiagnosed because the children is normal except for social skills that parents think that it is due to the shyness of their children.

Possible mechanisms that causes Asperger's syndrome

The hypersystemising theory suggests that the brains of people with Asperger syndrome can process only highly governed information but not the flexible information presented during their social life. Another theory called "Under connectivity theory" suggests the under functioning of high level neural connections with excessive low-level connections in brain. Other mechanisms include the defect in embryonic cells migration during brain formation in early embryonic life. Serotonin, also known as "happiness hormone" is also thought to malfunction. Cerebellum,part of the brain that controls motor functions, languages, and emotions may also be malfunctioning. Genetic heredity is also thought to associated with this disorder.

Asperger in Vienna clinic
Asperger in Vienna clinic

Famous personalities who thought to be associated with Asperger's

Although Asperger's syndrome is classified as a disorder, others argue that we should thought of it as an extraordinary personality, not a medical syndrome related to autism. Apart from problems in social interactions, he is actually an expert in the field that he is extremely interested in. That's why Hans Asperger, the doctor who first describe these symptoms, call his young patients "little professors". Even Hans himself showed similar symptoms. In his early years, he was so interested in poems written by Franz Grillparzer that he often quoted these to his uninterested friends. The ability to concentrate on a specific field of interest for a long time has resulted in a number of Nobel Prize laureates. Albert Einstein (famous for his theory of relativity), Marie Curie (discovered radioactive element Radium) suspected to have Asperger's. The great American poet, Emily Dickinson also had signs similar to such syndrome although they are never confirmed. Please look here at paragraph number 5 and herehere for more information.

Some symptoms related to Asperger's syndrome

Here are some symptoms related to this syndrome:

1. Physical clumsiness, facial expressions, and gestures are limited.

2. Atypical use of languages.

3. Insensitive to people's emotions and body languages during conversations.

4. Using metaphors which are meaningful only to the speaker himself. For example, he may say that "I wish that we may talk like pulsars". What he means is that he hoped that he and his friend can talk regularly like pulsars emitting radiation regularly.

5. He may have excellent hearing or visual perception. For example, he can quickly find out the difference between the two extremely similar objects.

6. He is extremely sensitive to certain sounds, taste, sight, or changes in temperatures.

7. Resists any changes in daily routine.

. It is also linked to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), where the patient has an urge to do some petty things repetitively for temporary relief.

These shortcomings can cause patients to isolate themselves because of their weird interests and their friends are easily offended because of wrong usage of languages. Depression may result which leads to difficulty in falling asleep during night. Reluctance to talk can also make the child vulnerable to bullying by his peers.

However, there are some good qualities related to such syndrome, including honesty, reliability, dedication, and determination.

Asperger Syndrome and Anxiety: A Guide to Successful Stress Management
Asperger Syndrome and Anxiety: A Guide to Successful Stress Management

This book is particularly important for those who experienced anxiety and stress due to Asperger's syndrome.

 

Some interesting tests to diagnose Asperger's

You can take the preliminary test here to know if you are having Asperger's. Please do consult doctors to have their last say on this matter.

Another interesting preliminary test for a child, adolescent, or an adult is the usage of two dolls. A clinician shows doll A putting a marble inside a basket and then the clinician remove the doll and lock it outside the room. The physician then shows doll B removing the marble from the basket and put it into a box. After that, clinician carries doll A into the room. Clinician then asks the person if doll A will search its marble in the basket or in the box. Typical child, adolescent, or adult will say that doll A will search for the marble in the basket because the doll didn't know that the marble was relocated to somewhere else. If the person is saying that doll A will search for the marble in the box, he is thinking that since he knows the last location of the marble, and so do the doll A. The second response shows that of "theory of mind" is absent in Asperger's syndrome.

Current treatment for Asperger's

People with Asperger's may need treatment for enhancing effective interpersonal interactions, and better speech. Relaxation training and a consultation to a neurologist also helps to cut depression. A group dedicated for this syndrome can also be set up to motivate the related patients to talk more with each other. Furthermore, people having similar symptoms tend to gather together to because of similar backgrounds and hardships. There is no medication that can treat this disorder directly but there are drugs used to treat symptoms such as depression, hyperactivity, and aggression.

Conclusion

So this is how Asperger’s syndrome looks like. If you do have this disorder, please do feel proud of yourself because you are unique and you have certain good qualities that other people don’t have!

What do you think about Asperger's syndrome?

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