Asperger’s Syndrome Therapy in Hurst, TX
First discovered in 1944, it wasn’t until 1994—some forty years later—that Asperger’s syndrome finally became a common, diagnosable and recognized condition. Characterized as a high-functioning form of autism, sufferers have difficulty with social interactions, but also present with above average intelligence in narrow topics of choice.
What is Asperger’s Syndrome?
Asperger’s is a pervasive development disorder (PDD), within the spectrum of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). PDD is a group of five or so disorders that center around, or stem from, developmental limits in social interaction and/or communication. ASD are a progression of autism, Asperger’s residing on the spectrum as the least severe of the bunch.
Those who have Asperger’s are often first misdiagnosed with ADHD due in large part to troubles with social interaction. It isn’t until further investigation however, does the severity and nature of social difficulties associated with Asperger’s become truly apparent. While the trouble with social interaction and limited range of interest is often readily observed, even the impetus for seeking treatment, the language and/or cognitive issues commonly seen in other ASD are absent from Asperger’s.
People with Asperger’s often have average or above average language skills. Many are specialists in their chosen field or area of interest.
Symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome
Symptoms may not be the right word to describe the presentation of a mental illness like Asperger’s, there are no “hard-and-fast” symptoms to observe; instead let’s call them “characteristics.”
- Limited/poor social interactions (like listing facts in place of conversation)
- Repetitive speech (speech characteristics can also be overly loud and/or monotone)
- Difficulty reading non-verbal communication (a lack of interest, shock, concern, hand motions to move, and many more may elude those with Asperger’s)
- Average/above average vocabulary and speech (particularly within their area of interest)
- Communication that is often self-centered
- Limited eye contact
- Course movements/mannerisms (those with Asperger’s tend to be clumsy)
- Obsession with topics (often highly specialized or narrow topics)
- Can be overly emotional (crying, laughing and so on, with little provocation)
- Trouble grasping social and/or emotional issues (like sarcasm and taboo topics)
Treatment for Asperger’s Syndrome
While there is no cure, specific therapy and treatment options have been shown to greatly help those with Asperger’s Syndrome. As is the case with many conditions, psychological as well, early detection and treatment is always best. The social habits of children are easier to modify than those of an adult. That said, it’s never too late to find relief for Asperger’s.
Cognitive behavioral therapy has proven very helpful in teaching those with Asperger’s how to cope with the magnified social stressors. CBT also teaches social interaction rules and tips, something many people beyond those with Asperger’s could probably use.
Speech/language therapy has been used to help train those with Asperger’s and other conditions the delicate art of communication as well as the basic mechanics of effective speech. On the other side of treatment options, physical therapy has shown effective in helping, as have selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a form of depression medication (Asperger’s often presents with comorbid conditions like depression and anxiety).
For parents of children with Asperger’s, several tips may prove helpful in guiding and teaching your child to independently navigate social interactions. Emulation can be incredibly helpful. By encouraging a child with Asperger’s to emulate other children in uncertain situations you give them, not only a great teaching tool, but a way to reduce the anxiety that often surrounds the uncertainty in social situations. Demonstrate the importance of eye contact with practice and patience. Teach them common colloquial phrases and figures of speech, their literal interpretation of these can cause misunderstandings and anxiety. Give praise when they’ve done something right. Give them common phrases to use in everyday life (ice breakers), asking for help, asking to play, and so on. The key is patience.
If you or someone you know suffers from social interaction difficulties or may have Asperger’s syndrome, it’s never too late to learn new coping strategies and ease the burden of living with conditions like these.
Request more information about Asperger’s therapy today. Call (817) 203-2760 or contact Dr. Jessica Stangenwald online.
The New You Medical & Infusion Clinic
Address100 Grapevine Highway
Hurst, TX 76054
10:00AM - 07:00PM
Wed: 10:00AM - 07:00PM
Thu: 10:00AM - 07:00PM
Fri: 10:00AM - 07:00PM
Sat: 08:00AM - 12:00PM