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Asperger Syndrome Autism Facts and Figures. Associated Conditions Sensory Issues.
High-functioning Autism: Understanding Different Autism Levels
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A Robotic Tutor of Sign Language for Children with Autism
Deteccion De Autismo Deteccion Temprana. What Is Autism? Like adults, many children find cognitive behavioral therapy helpful. Group programs can be particularly helpful for social skills training. Speech and language therapy — either in a group or one on one with a therapist can likewise help with conversation skills. Many children with Asperger syndrome also benefit from occupational and physical therapy.
Most experts feel that the earlier interventions are started, the better the outcome. However, many persons who receive their diagnosis as adults make great strides by coupling their new awareness with counseling.
In addition to behavioral interventions, some persons affected by Asperger syndrome are helped by medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs , antipsychotics and stimulants to treat associated problems such as anxiety, depression and hyperactivity and ADHD. With increased self-awareness and therapy, many children and adults learn to cope with the challenges of Asperger syndrome. Social interaction and personal relationships may remain difficult. However, many affected adults work successfully in mainstream jobs, and some make great contributions to society.
In , an Austrian pediatrician named Hans Asperger described four young patients with similar social difficulties. Although their intelligence appeared normal, the children lacked nonverbal communication skills and failed to demonstrate empathy with their peers. Their manner of speech was either disjointed or overly formal, and their all-absorbing interests in narrow topics dominated their conversations. The children also shared a tendency to be clumsy. Asperger's observations, published in German, remained little known until In that year, the English physician Lorna Wing published a series of case studies of children with similar symptoms.
There can be considerable overlap in the diagnostic symptoms of Asperger and that of other forms of ASD among children and adults who have normal intelligence and no significant language delay. In recent years, such high profile authors and speakers as John Elder Robison and animal scientist Temple Grandin have shared their stories of life with Asperger syndrome.
In doing so, they have helped raise awareness of its associated challenges and special abilities. Many persons affected with Asperger syndrome take pride in their special abilities. Robison eloquently describes his take on the wider autism self-advocacy movement in the following excerpt from an article he wrote in Psychology Today. However, at other times they may be disturbed by even the softest sounds. Sudden noises such as a ringing telephone can be upsetting, and they may respond by covering their ears and making repetitive noises to drown out the offending sound.
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Children on the autism spectrum also tend to be highly sensitive to touch and to texture. They may cringe at a pat on the back or the feel of certain fabric against their skin. Emotional difficulties — Children with autism spectrum disorders may have difficulty regulating their emotions or expressing them appropriately. For instance, your child may start to yell, cry, or laugh hysterically for no apparent reason. When stressed, he or she may exhibit disruptive or even aggressive behavior breaking things, hitting others, or harming him or herself.
The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities also notes that kids with ASD may be unfazed by real dangers like moving vehicles or heights, yet be terrified of harmless objects such as a stuffed animal. Uneven cognitive abilities — ASD occurs at all intelligence levels. However, even kids with normal to high intelligence often have unevenly developed cognitive skills. Not surprisingly, verbal skills tend to be weaker than nonverbal skills. In addition, children with Autism spectrum disorder typically do well on tasks involving immediate memory or visual skills, while tasks involving symbolic or abstract thinking are more difficult.
The most common savant skills involve mathematical calculations, calendars, artistic and musical abilities, and feats of memory. For example, an autistic savant might be able to multiply large numbers in his or her head, play a piano concerto after hearing it once, or quickly memorize complex maps.
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The road to an ASD diagnosis can be difficult and time-consuming. In fact, it is often two to three years after the first symptoms of ASD are noticed before an official diagnosis is made. This is due in large part to concerns about labeling or incorrectly diagnosing the child. In order to determine whether your child has autism spectrum disorder or another developmental condition, clinicians look carefully at the way your child interacts with others, communicates, and behaves.
Diagnosis is based on the patterns of behavior that are revealed.
If you are concerned that your child has autism spectrum disorder and developmental screening confirms the risk, ask your family doctor or pediatrician to refer you immediately to an autism specialist or team of specialists for a comprehensive evaluation.
Since the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is complicated, it is essential that you meet with experts who have training and experience in this highly specialized area.
Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder is not a brief process. Medical exam — The medical evaluation includes a general physical, a neurological exam, lab tests, and genetic testing.