Asperger’s syndrome can affect people of all ages, and the symptoms can vary. The condition can be mild or severe.
However, the main symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome are social communication difficulties, anxiety and depression, and a lack of emotional expression.
Other symptoms include:
- Unusual physical movements or speech
- Repetitive or stereotyped behavior
- A strong desire to use hand gestures, or body language
- Social awkwardness, discomfort talking to others
- Having difficulty understanding nonverbal cues, such as posture and facial expressions
- A lack of interest in activities
- Having a “fidgety” nature
- Sensitivity to noise, or discomfort with loud environments
- A fear of being touched
- Difficulty relating to others
What causes aspergers syndrome?
Asperger’s syndrome is an autism-like condition that involves a lack of social interaction and emotional expression. It may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
There is currently no known cause for Asperger’s syndrome. However, research suggests that the condition may be inherited, but more research is needed to confirm this.
Some people may be born with the condition, and others may develop it later in life. Environmental factors may also contribute to Asperger’s syndrome.
Genetic factors may include:
- A family history of autism
- Exposure to toxins
- Low levels of serotonin
According to a 2014 review, Asperger’s syndrome is more common in men than women, with an estimated prevalence of about 1 in every 22 people.
What are the risk factors for aspergers syndrome?
While scientists do not know the cause of Asperger’s syndrome, they do know that certain factors may increase people’s risk of developing the condition:
- Exposure to toxins such as lead, mercury, and other heavy metals can increase the risk of autism.
- A family history of autism can increase the risk of developing Asperger’s syndrome.
- Poor diet high in sugar, saturated fat, and salt may contribute to ASD.
- Environmental toxins may increase the risk of Asperger’s syndrome. For example, exposure to air pollution may increase the risk of ASD.
How is aspergers syndrome diagnosed?
Asperger’s syndrome is diagnosed based on a person’s symptoms and behaviors. It is not always possible to diagnose the condition using a blood test, but a doctor may use a psychological assessment to help to determine the diagnosis.
They can also use an interview with the individual to determine whether the symptoms are typical of Asperger’s syndrome.
How is aspergers syndrome treated?
The treatment for Asperger’s syndrome depends on the severity of symptoms.
The doctor may recommend:
- Speech therapy to help the person improve their communication skills
- Cognitive behavioral therapy to help the person develop coping strategies in order to manage and cope with their symptoms
- Social skills training to help the person improve their social communication and relationship skills
- Medication to help with anxiety or depression
- Medication to treat seizures
If the person is having seizures, their doctor may recommend medication to reduce the risk of a seizure.
How can aspergers syndrome be prevented?
According to the National Asperger’s Association, there is no known way to prevent Asperger’s syndrome. However, there are some things that can help to manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life for those with the condition.
For example, people should:
- Eat a healthy diet with a focus on carbohydrates, proteins, and fats
- Keep physical activity within reasonable limits
- Avoid smoking or using tobacco
- Reduce stress
- Avoid exposure to toxins such as lead, mercury, and other heavy metals
The National Institute of Health recommends that people with ASD should:
- Practice good communication skills, such as eye contact and body language
- Avoid social isolation
- Avoid exposure to environmental toxins
How to manage anxiety and depression?
People with Asperger’s syndrome are at increased risk of developing anxiety or depression.
There are a number of methods that people can use to help manage their symptoms:
- Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can help people improve their emotional and social skills.
- Exercise can help to reduce the risk of anxiety and depression.
- Medications may be prescribed to help with anxiety, depression, or seizures.
- Support groups can help people develop coping strategies for managing their symptoms.
What is the long-term outlook?
It is difficult to predict the course of Asperger’s syndrome. However, the symptoms may vary widely.
Some people with the condition may have few or no symptoms. Other people may experience significant symptoms for their entire lives.
For the most part, the symptoms may improve with a combination of therapies and lifestyle changes.
Experts estimate the average length of time someone with Asperger’s syndrome will live is between 20 and 30 years.
However, the exact length of life is dependent on the severity of symptoms.
Asperger’s syndrome is not considered to be a fatal condition. However, it is possible for the condition to cause:
- Physical disability
- Social isolation and withdrawal
- Severe behavioral issues
- Cognitive difficulties
- Delayed learning
- Delayed development
The condition can also cause anxiety and depression, which can lead to suicide.
People with Asperger’s syndrome can take steps to help manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
How can people find support?
People with Asperger’s syndrome may find it difficult to find support.
For example, they may feel rejected by others because they do not meet the criteria for autism or Asperger’s syndrome.
Additionally, they may feel that their symptoms are not severe enough to cause them distress.
People should seek support from friends, family, and professionals. They can also contact the Asperger’s Association.
The Association can provide free or low-cost support groups.
The National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) also supports people with Asperger’s syndrome. The organization also provides a directory of support groups.
The National Asperger’s Association has created a support group for people with Asperger’s syndrome, called Asperger’s Corner.
The group provides peer support for people with the condition and provides information on:
- The causes and symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome
- How to cope with Asperger’s syndrome
- The long-term outlook for people with Asperger’s syndrome
The National Asperger’s Association also provides a financial help line.
The National Asperger’s Association also has an online support group for people with Asperger’s syndrome, called Autism Beyond Diagnosis.
The group provides information on:
- The causes and symptoms of Asperger’s
- The long-term outlook for people with Asperger’s
What else can people do to support someone with Asperger’s syndrome?
People can also find ways to support a loved one with Asperger’s syndrome.
Some people find it helpful to:
- Get to know their loved one’s strengths and interests.
- Support them in their social activities.
- Help them find new interests.
- Help them with their career goals.
In addition, many organizations can provide low-cost support groups. These can help people with autism learn to cope with Asperger’s syndrome.
The following organizations may be able to help:
- Autism Beyond Diagnosis
National Society of Genetic Counselors
National Asperger’s Association
Autism Beyond Diagnosis
For people with Asperger’s syndrome, self-advocacy may be important.
People can educate themselves about the condition and communicate their concerns to their loved ones.
For example, they may want to learn more about:
- Causes and symptoms
- Coping skills
- Causes and treatments
People can also sign petitions and talk to their family and friends.
The National Autistic Society also provides information on:
- Coping with Asperger’s syndrome
- Living with Asperger’s syndrome
- Online support groups
What else can people do to help someone with autism?
People can also learn how to:
- Find out more about the condition and how to help someone with Asperger’s syndrome
- Learn more about the signs of Asperger’s syndrome
- Learn more about self-advocacy
What happens after diagnosis?
People diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome may be diagnosed at any time during their lives.
However, the condition most commonly appears between the ages of 4 and 7.
The symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome may not appear until the person reaches puberty. This is when:
- The first signs of puberty appear.
- The body produces hormones that affect the development of the central nervous system.
In addition to the symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome, people may also have:
- Autism symptoms
- Anxiety issues
- Behaviors that may be considered attention-seeking
In some cases, people may not have any symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome. Instead, they may have other developmental delays.
However, it is possible for people to have autism and Asperger’s syndrome.
People may have other developmental delays, such as:
- Developmental coordination disorder
- Hand-eye coordination issues
People may also experience a wide range of physical and mental health conditions, including:
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Cerebral palsy
- Learning disabilities
- Neurological impairments
- Mental health conditions
Some people may develop a condition known as “neurotypical” autism. This condition causes a person to develop similar characteristics to those of people with autism.
A person may also develop a condition called Asperger’s syndrome. This is a similar condition that causes a person to develop similar characteristics to those of people with Asperger’s syndrome.
The symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome may not appear until the person reaches puberty.
For most people, the symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome do not significantly impact their daily lives.
However, for some people, the symptoms may cause them to:
- Feel socially isolated
- Have difficulty making friends
- Have difficulty participating in certain types of activities
Images by Freepik
Generated by AI