There are many different stops on the autism spectrum train, where, since 2013 with a new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, things like Autism and Asperger Syndrome all fall into one distinctive range.
Where Asperger Syndrome was once a subtype of autism, it is now a part of the spectrum and we are learning more and more about it all the time. Asperger Syndrome is named for the Austrian pediatrician who brought it to the forefront as he worked with children who were experiencing autism symptoms and did much research into the disorder. He found that the area of the spectrum that now bears his name was a higher functioning aspect of autism and one with many characteristics and traits all it’s own.
Typically, those affected face most of their problems when it comes to social interactions. This means that they have limited or inappropriate social interactions, robotic or repetitive speech patterns, challenges in nonverbal communications like failing to understand gestures and facial expressions, and an inability to understand emotional and/or social issues or cues. They may also have a problem learning to discuss others rather than always discussing themselves, they may have a lack of eye contact and they may develop an obsession with specific and sometimes unusual topics.
Some people with Asperger syndrome tend to have one-sided conversations, not realizing that the people that they are talking to aren’t listening, have lost interest, or have shown using other cues that they need the conversation to stop. They also may have trouble seeing things from another person’s point of view, making communication a bit more tricky.
Other things that those with Asperger syndrome tend to display are a restricted range of interests, delayed motor development, and sometimes awkward movements or mannerisms. One thing that is also displayed that is a plus is an intense focus on things, as they try to understand or make sense of what they are seeing.
This syndrome largely goes undiagnosed until people notice a problem or difficulty in school or at work. While you may think you’re an introvert or that you just don’t like people, or you are anxious or you are worried all the time, you may in fact have Asperger Syndrome. People who are affected can have good relationships with people and can hold jobs, go to school and be great members of their community, they just need a bit of understanding from others as to what they are going through.
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