What is Asperger's disease?
Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness and involve excessive fear or anxiety. Anxiety in particular also refers to anticipation of a future concern and is associated more with muscle tension and avoidance behavior. These disorders can cause people to avoid situations and places that might cause them to feel trapped, helpless, panicking, embarrassed, and scared. Job performance, school work, and personal relationships can be affected. Anxiety disorder is the most common of mental disorders affecting majority of population. For people who have it, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming. Asperger's Disease is a serious mental illness, but proper treatment helps most people lead normal and productive lives.
What are the symptoms of Asperger's Disease?
The signs that commonly appear in a person suffering from Asperger's Disease are:
- Facing a lot of difficulty making friends with people of the same age. Children may only feel good with adults, or anyone younger to them.
- Engaging in one sided conversation, without knowing if the listener is really listening to or is trying to change the subject.
- Displaying nonverbal communication, such as lack of eye contact or awkward gestures.
- Insensitive to the feelings of a person, or having a hard time reading other's mood or understanding the other person's humor.
- Always self absorbed
- Speaking in a voice that is jerky or abnormally fast.
- Having a difficulty in understanding the nuances and depth of language, despite having a great vocabulary.
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1. What is the cause of Asperger's Disease?
The cause of asperger's disease is unknown. According to researchers, genetics remain to be one of the major factors. In some cases the following were accounted as the cause for Asperger's disease:
2. Who is at risk for Asperger's Disease?
The following could be taken as risks factors of Asperger's disease:
3. What are the possible ways to prevent Asperger's Disease?
- As there is no concrete reason for Asperger's Disease, there is no way it could be prevented. However early diagnosis can prevent further complications.
4. How is Asperger's Disease diagnosed?
- In case of children, Asperger's Disease cannot be diagnosed until the child reaches a certain age between 4 - 11 years. If the child has reached the proper age, Asperger's Disease can be diagnosed by behavioral patterns only.
If you notice signs in your child, see your pediatrician. He can refer you to a mental health expert who specializes in Asperger's Diseases, like one of these:
The condition is often treated with a team approach. That means you might see more than one doctor for your child's care.
5. How is Asperger's Disease treated?
This treatment is an effective programme that builds on the interests of the child, offering a schedule that is predictable. It includes teaching tasks as a series of simple steps by actively engaging the attention of the child in highly structured activities, and also providing regular reinforcement of behavior. It may also involve some social skills like training, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication for co-existing conditions. Other measures may include:
Every child is different, so there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. Your doctor might need to try a few therapies to find one that works.
Treatments can include:
Social skills training
In groups or one-on-one sessions, therapists teach your child how to interact with others and express themselves in more appropriate ways. Social skills are often best learned by modeling after typical behavior.
This helps improve your kid's communication skills. For example, he'll learn how to use a normal up-and-down pattern when he speaks rather than a flat tone. He'll also get lessons on how to keep up a two-way conversation and understand social cues like hand gestures and eye contact.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
It helps your child change his way of thinking, so he can better control his emotions and repetitive behaviors. He'll be able to get a handle on things like outbursts, meltdowns, and obsessions.
Parent education and training
You'll learn many of the same techniques your child is taught so you can work on social skills with him at home. Some families also see a counselor to help them deal with the challenges of living with someone with Asperger's Disease.
Applied behavior analysis
It's a technique that encourages positive social and communication skills in your child and discourages behavior you'd rather not see. The therapist will use praise or other "positive reinforcement" to get results.
There aren't any drugs approved by the FDA that specifically treat Asperger's Disease or autism spectrum disorders. Some medications, though, can help with related symptoms like depression and anxiety. Your doctor may prescribe some of these:
With the right treatment, your child can learn to control some of the social and communication challenges he faces. He can do well in school and go on to succeed in life.