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Features of the behavior of children with Asperger syndrome

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For a long time, SA has been recognized as a form of autism. Only thirty years ago, experts began to isolate this disease separately. Having fairly similar symptoms, children with AS differ in their state from children with early autism.

It is characterized by latent dysfunction, since the appearance of the child does not allow at first glance to determine that he has any deviations in behavior. Asperger's syndrome in children does not affect the loss of intellectual abilities, on the contrary, often aspi, as these children are called, can achieve great success in creativity and the exact sciences. As a rule, difficulties arise in interpersonal communication and the field of socialization. It is characterized by the so-called triad of social disorders inherent in this condition:

  • Interaction. Children have difficulty establishing contacts not only with adults, but also with peers. Infrequent eye contacts occur, but in most cases, aspi children do not have such forms of relationships as friendship, they rarely perceive social rules that are recognized by society, which is expressed, for example, in tactlessness and importunity. At the same time, they are characterized by detachment from the people who surround them, they can strive for solitude.

  • Communications. A characteristic feature is the lack of emotions, children do not understand the facial expressions, gestures that accompany the interlocutor's speech. Everything is perceived by them literally. You will not find sarcasm, jokes and metaphors in their arsenal. In addition, it is not easy for them to start a conversation and the ability to finish it in a timely manner.

  • Imagination. Such a feeling is not excluded from them, on the contrary, they are able to show the talents of the painter and writer. However, empathy is inaccessible. They are not able to suggest alternative options for resolving the situation, to form opinions about someone, based on his emotional experiences that are not verbally expressed.

Some other symptoms:

  • Compliance with the schedule, traditions, the desire for orderliness.

  • Passion for a certain topic, having a pronounced character.

  • The presence of excessively high or opposite low sensory sensitivity.

Many children with this condition, experiencing difficulties in communication, begin to suffer from ADD - this is the attention deficit disorder. Asperger's syndrome in children causes a feeling of anxiety, babies get depressed, experience fear. Often, other mental disorders appear on this basis. Here parents need help.

Diagnostics

It can manifest from an early age. However, the diagnosis, as a rule, is made later - at school age, when the peak of problems associated with social skills sets in.

In early childhood, as a rule, there is no way to identify abnormalities in development, since the child can develop on time and have a calm temperament, without giving parents any concern. He plays on his own, without requiring too much attention.

Asperger's syndrome in children does not affect the intellectual abilities of the child and should not cause anxiety - they are at an average level or even higher. With the development of speech in most cases, there are also no problems - it is at the level of age norms or even higher.

To establish a diagnosis, testing, neurological examinations and other methods are used.

If characteristic features are found by teachers or educators, parents, you need to consult a specialist - pediatrician, neurologist, child psychologist and speech therapist.

To timely identify Asperger Syndrome in children, parents should sound the alarm if the child has:

  • A negative reaction to strangers, he begins to cry, does not want communication.

  • Reluctance to listen to funny tales and watch cartoons, their misunderstanding.

  • Nervousness with tactile interaction and touch.

  • A huge desire to do one thing, he is distracted from it with difficulty and can do it alone for several hours.

  • A pronounced preference for food, and limited.

  • If in a new environment, he completely becomes not his own.

An effective way to cure the syndrome has not yet been invented. To correct severe symptoms, drug therapy can be prescribed, for the remaining manifestations of this condition, treatment is recommended by psychologists, teachers, speech therapists.

In the early stages, with the timely detection of symptoms and diagnosis, it is possible to achieve significant results, although complete recovery does not occur. Psychologists and educators are carrying out work that helps aspi-children develop the right behavioral stereotypes, and teaches behavior in society.

It should be noted that there are no consequences for a full life in adult patients with Asperger syndrome. They can start families, work and achieve high results. Of course, this is mainly achieved by people who have passed the correction for successful adaptation in society.

Parent Tips

The child must develop in an atmosphere of goodness, understanding and love.

  • Keep your baby obsessed with it. Set the child time for hobbies and do not break the schedule.

  • Eliminate complex turns of speech by communicating with him - the words should be simple and clear.

  • From an early age, teach your child the rules of conduct among friends and society.

  • No threats and promises that you are not able to fulfill. They perceive everything literally.

  • Approve any right actions and communication with others.

And most importantly - believe that there is no reason for the frustration that your baby is not like everyone else. The well-developed logic of thinking and the ability to concentrate extremely on tasks is often leads people with the syndrome to tremendous success, especially in areas of interest to them. It all depends not on your child, but on how much you love him and want to help him. As soon as possible, start practicing with him, draw up a daily routine so that the baby clearly understands when he will eat, and when to watch cartoons or walk on the street. Read some books for general development on interaction with such children and understand a simple and main rule. No one is interested in the success of adapting your child as much as his parents!

After Asperger, most often they put RAS, RDA and other unpleasant abbreviations for our children.

Disease characteristics

The disease refers to highly functional autism. The syndrome is characterized by communicative disorders and the problem of social adaptation.

The disorder is diagnosed in primary school age. Suspecting a child’s syndrome at 3-4 years old is quite difficult, since speech skills develop normally, and, at first glance, the baby is no different from peers. A cause for concern is the violation of social interaction and communication:

  • “Lifeless” speech without emotional color,
  • isolation, isolation from peers,
  • clumsy movements
  • unsociality
  • problems with imagination.

A characteristic feature of patients with Asperger syndrome is the inability to understand the actions and words of other people. Such children literally perceive any word, even a joke. The syndrome is characterized by the so-called verbal-non-verbal disturbance - speech is well developed, but the ability to understand non-verbal signals is almost completely absent.

The main difference from autism is a typical development of speech and a rich (above average) vocabulary.

Reasons for violation

The causes of the disorder are reliably unknown. One hypothesis is an autoimmune reaction of the mother during pregnancy, which provokes damage to the fetal brain. Among the likely causes of the development of the violation:

  • prematurity
  • genetic predisposition
  • head injuries resulting from passage through the birth canal,
  • intoxication in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Among the likely risk factors for the development of the disease in the child are toxoplasmosis, rubella and other intrauterine infections in the first trimester of pregnancy.

According to statistics, in 3 out of 4 cases, the syndrome develops in a male child.

Symptoms of the disease

Signs of violation are divided into three groups. Children have a lack of imagination and creative thinking. As a rule, patients are unable to demonstrate strong emotions, which affects the manner of conversation - dry, “robotic” speech.


Social disabilities

GroupSymptom
• problems with etiquette,
• a sense of anxiety and self-doubt while in a social group,
• difficulties in the need for a change of activity,
• excessive sensitivity to ridicule of others,
• inability to accept criticism.

Communicative Disorders
• any phrase is taken literally,
• difficulties in understanding idioms, humor, recognition of hidden meaning,
• the difficulty of maintaining dialogue.

Behavioral Disorders
• a tendency to repeatedly repeat any action (self-stimulation),
• obsessive interest in one industry,
• strict adherence to the daily routine.

A violation of communication skills is especially noticeable when a child falls into a social group (for example, kindergarten, school). Children have a poor conversation, preferring to talk about themselves. Despite the desire to have many friends, with Asperger Syndrome, patients demonstrate anxiety and insecurity in dealing with unfamiliar people.

Particularly strong signs of violation become noticeable in elementary school, when children are often subjected to ridicule by peers. Inability to perceive criticism is a characteristic feature of Asperger syndrome.

In children, sensory sensitivity is noted - an aggravated reaction to loud sounds and bright light. As a rule, with age, sensory reactions become dull. In adolescents, this symptom is absent or mild. The vast majority of children with Asperger Syndrome show clumsiness and impaired fine motor skills.

The characteristic behavior of a child with the syndrome

Quite often, children with Asperger syndrome initiate communication with other people. They have a need for communication, but children cannot fully realize it. Often, parents can observe the following situation: the child starts a conversation on his own and carries the other kid into the game on the playground, but after a while he stops this activity and leaves.

An interesting feature of patient behavior is that if another person initiates communication, the child will try to avoid contact in every possible way. Communication is possible only when the child himself wants it, feeling the need, for example, to ask something, or to take a toy from another baby.

During the conversation, the child shows a lack of emotion. With Asperger syndrome, facial expressions are rather scarce, gestures and other manifestations of emotions during a conversation are absent. Another feature of patients with this violation is the rejection of etiquette, which is expressed in interrupting the interlocutor in the middle of the phrase.

Children demonstrate a lack of creative thinking, prefer games with a clear algorithm of action.

Features of behavior in older age

Starting in adolescence, social isolation develops. A teenager cannot find common interests with his environment and feels uncomfortable in a large company. Patients have no personal lives, most often they don’t have friends.

Patients with high-functioning autism are good employees who prefer to do the same job for years. Careers are not within the scope of their interests; they never hold leading positions due to communicative violations.

Such people demonstrate a complete lack of a sense of humor. Any phrase is taken literally, metaphors remain incomprehensible. A person does not know how to "read between the term" and does not understand the veiled hints.

The characteristic features of people with Asperger's syndrome are suspicion, straightforwardness, fear of illnesses. In childhood, these character traits are expressed implicitly, but become more noticeable as they grow older.

In adulthood, Asperger Syndrome takes on other forms and is at risk of developing phobias and mental disorders. Quite often, against this background, obsessive-compulsive disorder develops.

Pathology treatment

The goal of treatment is the social adaptation of the patient. It is achieved through cognitive-behavioral psychocorrection and training of social skills. Additionally, children need classes with a speech therapist. Physical exercise helps to normalize motor skills and get rid of clumsiness.

Drug therapy for Asperger Syndrome is secondary and helps normalize sleep and relieve anxiety. Drugs of the antipsychotic group, sedatives and antidepressants are selected by the doctor individually.

How to live with Asperger Syndrome?

It is impossible to cure the disorder, however, timely correction in early childhood gives a high chance of successful socialization. According to statistics, about 10% of patients in adulthood do not have difficulty communicating. Identify violations can only be done through a neuropsychological test.

Intelligence in patients is usually above average, children can attend a comprehensive school, however, psychological and pedagogical support and a special approach to the learning process significantly increase the chances of social adaptation.

Timely detection of the disorder and correction of behavior in the future allow you to create strong families and achieve success in the selected industry. Patients demonstrate a number of strengths and weaknesses. As a rule, they reach certain heights in the field of interest to them, thanks to attention to detail and research interest. Often children and adults demonstrate truly encyclopedic knowledge in the chosen field.

Strengths include:

  • developed logical thinking,
  • independence from other people's opinions,
  • honesty,
  • atypical thinking.

Famous people

Often people with Asperger Syndrome demonstrate a conceptually new approach to solving various problems, thanks to the independence of thinking. They tend to evaluate any situation from a slightly different angle, which allows them to solve complex problems. Often become good mathematicians, engineers, and scientists.

Famous people who have lived with Asperger's disorder are Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman. About the disease openly said actor Dan Ackroyd. Symptoms of the disorder were observed in economist and Nobel laureate Vernon Smith.

Some psychologists argue that Asperger Syndrome needs to be seen as a different cognitive style, but not a neurobiological mental disorder. As history shows, people with this feature are able to make a significant contribution to the development of society, despite communicative disorders.

Typical Symptoms of Asperger Syndrome

The condition for this syndrome is called latent dysfunction, since in appearance it is usually impossible to understand that something is wrong with the person. The syndrome does not affect the safety of intelligence, often aspi children, as they are called, have significant successes in the field of exact sciences or in creativity. Problems are manifested in the field of socialization and interpersonal communications.

Typical of this condition is the "triad of violations":

  1. Social interaction
    Difficulties are manifested in establishing contacts with others. In addition to rare eye contact, aspi children do not know how to maintain friendly relations, do not perceive social norms accepted in society, and may seem tactless or annoying. At the same time, they are distinguished by a tendency to solitude and some detachment from others.
  2. Social communications
    Emotions are something that is not accessible to people with Asperger syndrome. They understand everything literally. Facial expressions, gestures that accompany our speech, they do not understand. Sarcasm and metaphors, jokes are not used by them. In addition, great difficulties are caused in general by the very beginning of the conversation and the ability to complete it in time.
  3. Social imagination
    Asperger does not rule out imagination in the broad sense. The carriers of this syndrome can be writers, artists, but empathy is not available to them. They cannot suggest an alternative solution to the situation; they do not rely on the feelings and emotions expressed non-verbally in the opinion of another person.

Another characteristic signs of Asperger syndrome:

  • Adherence to a certain order of things, schedule, traditions.
  • Pronounced enthusiasm for a certain topic.
  • Features of sensory sensitivity - excessively increased or, conversely, reduced.

Asperger Syndrome Treatment

There is currently no absolute cure for this condition. For the correction of severe manifestations of the syndrome, drug therapy is prescribed, in other cases, work is carried out by psychologists, teachers and speech therapists, defectologists.
Несомненно, чем раньше удастся выявить симптомы и провести диагностику, а значит и начать применять коррекционные меры, тем больших успехов можно добиться. Однако говорить о полном излечении нельзя.

Стоит все же отметить, что взрослые с синдромом Аспергера живут вполне полноценной жизнью, создают семьи и находят для себя работу, добиваясь в ней немалых результатов. Of course, these are those people who were able to adapt in society and went through some corrective work.

Psychologists and teachers help aspi children learn to behave in society, help develop the right behavioral patterns.

Why does a child with Asperger Syndrome have a speech therapist / pathologist?

Logopedic correctional work is of great importance. Despite the fact that speech in children with Asperger syndrome develops on time, it is distinguished by many violations, which a speech therapist-defectologist must solve:

  • The accelerated development of speech leads to a rather extensive vocabulary, but even such an “academic” dictionary does not give the child the opportunity to build communication and sometimes even scares off peers. In addition, the narrow focus of his interests leaves its mark on vocabulary.
  • Repeated repetition of individual words or entire phrases is also a hallmark of Asperger syndrome. Correctional classes are aimed at building correct oral speech.
  • A characteristic symptom of the syndrome is also semantic dyslexia (mechanical reading). The child can read the text well and quickly, but do not understand its content.
  • The speech of aspi-children is distinguished by an accelerated or, conversely, slowed-down pace, monotony. In order to eliminate this drawback, various games and tasks are used that allow the child to take control of this area. In the classes, methods of log rhythmics, tasks on a combination of movements and speaking are used.
  • Here we come to another characteristic feature of the syndrome - impaired motor skills and coordination. Aspi children have significant problems with tying shoelaces, have poor handwriting, clumsy and awkward. Exercises for the development of fine motor skills and coordination of movements will allow them to cope with these difficulties.
  • Most of the speech therapy work is the development of communicative speech. In the classroom, didactic games are used in which children learn to build a dialogue, are aware of the rules of communication and building social communication.
  • Sometimes dysarthria occurs in children with aspi, which also requires correction and development of the articulation apparatus.

Asperger Syndrome is also called High Functional Autism. Many qualities of aspirate people can become their strong point, allowing them to achieve much in life - logical thinking, attention to detail, independent thinking, high intelligence. Parents who seek to help the child correct the negative manifestations of the syndrome give him the opportunity to successfully build his life. In principle, he is in good company - next to Newton, Einstein and other outstanding personalities.

Medical expert articles

Asperger syndrome in children is a disorder whose nosological independence is not defined, characterized by the same type of qualitative impairment of social interaction as typical childhood autism, against the background of normal cognitive development and speech.

Asperger’s syndrome in children is one of the forms of developmental disruption — an autism type of nervous system disorder that manifests itself in the psycho-emotional characteristics of a child’s behavior when interacting and communicating with other people — parents, peers, teachers, educators, etc.

Synonyms: autistic psychopathy, schizoid disorder of childhood.

Causes and pathogenesis of Asperger syndrome

To date, the causes of Asperger syndrome in children are not known to science for certain, and scientists continue to study possible factors that may be involved in the development of this syndrome. These factors, first of all, include gene mutations and teratogenic effects of exogenous (external) nature, as well as negative environmental impact on the process of embryo formation and embryo development during pregnancy.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders, the Asperger Syndrome in children is considered an autism spectrum disorder, and the name of the syndrome has been discontinued since mid-2013 when determining the diagnosis.

The emergence of Asperger syndrome in children, as well as Kanner's syndrome (autism), neurophysiologists associate with abnormalities of various structures of the brain and impaired their interaction at the level of synaptic connections during the early embryonic development of the unborn child. However, at present, there is no convincing, scientifically substantiated evidence in favor of this version.

Most likely, Asperger's syndrome in children arises from a combination of many factors, but there can be no doubt about its genetic etiology.

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Symptoms of Asperger Syndrome in Children

So far, no physiological signs have been found with this kind of mental disorder, therefore, the symptoms of Asperger syndrome in children can only be detected by observing the child’s psychiatrist for the child’s behavior and reactions.

Moreover, in the field of pediatric psychiatry, the diagnosis of Asperger syndrome is not always differentiated from autism due to the significant similarity of the manifestations of both disorders. Some experts call Asperger Syndrome in children highly functional or non-syndromic autism, substantiating their point of view with a higher level of cognitive ability in children with Asperger Syndrome.

Symptoms of Asperger Syndrome in children can manifest as:

  • isolation and isolation,
  • increased awkwardness of movements inappropriate to age (clumsiness when moving, manipulating objects, maintaining a certain posture, etc.),
  • violations of fine motor skills (difficulty in fastening buttons, tying and untying, grabbing small objects with your fingers, etc.),
  • reduced adaptability of behavior (often ignoring standard norms and rules of behavior and inadequate behavior in case of any change in external circumstances),
  • inability to perceive facial expressions, gestures and intonations of people's speech during communication, to feel and correctly understand their emotions (empathic underdevelopment),
  • monotony of speech and difficulties in expressing one's own feelings (the so-called verbal-nonverbal insufficiency),
  • lack of sociability and difficulties in establishing contact with other children and maintaining relationships with them,
  • difficulties in participating in imagination games, for example, depicting animal habits or human actions,
  • sensory disturbances (increased negative reaction to too bright light, increased sound volume, strong odor, etc.),
  • literal perception of what was said (lack of understanding of comparisons, figurative meanings of words, etc.),
  • increased tendency to sequential and repetitive movements (limbs or the whole body) and actions (including the stereotypical order of their implementation, for example, a permanent route to school, etc.),
  • manifestation of an overwhelming interest in any one area (robots, dinosaurs, space, etc., and the child will talk a lot about this with enthusiasm).

Unlike autism, most children with Asperger Syndrome do not lag behind peers in mental development and do not have speech disorders. And those that can be detected, according to the majority of children's psychiatrists, do not have clinical significance and are leveled with age.

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