It often begins this way; a parent notices something different with their child. The child is often inquisitive, sometimes to a fault, and for some reason has problems expressing himself. This child has problems making friends and sometimes does not seem to understand the emotions of others. They are often smart, sometimes called “Little Professors”, and will talk about a subject they are interested in for hours. They can be obsessive, but at the same time, they can have trouble focusing. Sometimes the child many complain of loud noises, and may have problems with the way some clothing feels. They can become upset easily, and sometimes will become extremely upset if introduced to change. Often these children will be tested in the school system and labeled Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Often medications will be introduced, and will result in the child’s disengagement from the world. Not all symptoms are “cured” by the medication, and the parents are at a loss of what to do. Chances are, this child does NOT have ADHD, but has Asperger’s Disorder, a form of Autism.
What is Asperger’s Disorder?
Asperger’s Disorder is a form of Autism by which the child has problems interacting with the world. The child often exists within his or her own mind and has problems disengaging from themselves. To that end, this child may have problems focusing on others, and can appear obsessive. The main component of Asperger’s Disorder is problems with socialization. A child with Asperger’s does not often understand the mindset of others, and may assume all are the same as them. As a result, when another child acts differently, they do not understand and do not know how to respond. Children with Asperger’s have been called “rude” and “blunt” as they often speak what is on their mind, and do not consider how emotion plays into their words.
Most people with Asperger’s are highly logical. They want to understand how something works, and often break things down into parts. As they can be obsessive, this can seem abnormal to others, especially peers. For example, instead of playing with a toy truck like most children, a child with Asperger’s may try to take apart the truck to see how it works. This may annoy the other children, causing problems in the peer group. When working with someone with Asperger’s, try to explain things logically, and leave out emotion.
With the example above, Asperger’s is often misdiagnosed as ADHD. A child with Asperger’s often will hyper-focus on something they find interesting. As a result, they may “tune out” everything else around them. This causes others to assume they are not paying attention, and often will lead to conclusions of ADHD. In addition, when expressing interest in a topic, the child may become hyperactive and have difficulty disengaging. Conduct problems are also common with Asperger’s, as the child often will ignore rules or norms for ones they find “logical” or appealing. Most have problems seeing outside viewpoints, and will not understand and may question many rules and commands given.
Can Asperger’s be Cured?
The short answer is no. Asperger’s is a form of Autism, which is a developmental disorder. Developmental disorders cannot be cured, as this is how the child is. However, the child can learn ways of interacting in the world, and ways to think differently. This is what counseling provides. In my practice, I work to help teach social skills and help change the thoughts of the child. I help the child view the world differently, and learn how to communicate and act around others. In time, a child with Asperger’s can interact in the world, and many have been able to be independent and lead highly successful careers.
I think my Child has Asperger’s, What do I do Now?
If you are in the Houston area, I recommend you Contact Me and schedule an appointment. I will talk to you and your child, and will determine if Asperger’s is a possible diagnosis. Regardless of the diagnosis, I can help you and your child by teaching him or her socialization, coping skills, and how to better interact with your child. I will work with your child to utilize the strengths of Asperger’s.
Do Not Give Up
Asperger’s Disorder is NOT a death sentence. Many hear the words “autism” and think there is no hope for their child. Asperger’s is a form of Autism but is a High Functioning Form. Many with Asperger’s Disorder live normal lives. Chances are there are adults in your life with Asperger’s, who may not even know it. Asperger’s Disorder has it’s strengths, as most with it are highly intelligent, and are great problem solvers. I work with my clients to utilize the strengths of Asperger’s and to work around the negatives. Do not give up on your child, as your child can learn how to have a productive, happy life.
You can reach me at my website or call me directly at 832-559-3520 if you have any questions. Thank You!
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