What is Asperger’s Syndrome?
Asperger’s Syndrome is a mild form of high-functioning autism more common in males than in females. Though, by definition, people with Asperger’s Syndrome have no significant delay in language or cognitive development, they often have difficulty with social interaction and sensory reception. As such, many adults, who may have never received any type of diagnosis or services as a child, are being diagnosed as adults.
Two core features are social issues, communication issues and fixated interests. The issues will present differently in one person to the other, particularly in adults who have adapted by hiding the symptoms.
Certain characteristics include lack of normal eye contact, odd body language, facial tics, difficulty with relationships, fixed interests, repetitive behaviors, attachment to routines. People with Asperger’s Syndrome may have certain sensory issues too, needing an environment that is suited to his or her requests.
With early diagnosis and therapy, most people with Asperger’s Syndrome live regular lives.
Symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome
Underdeveloped Social Skills
Those with Asperger’s Syndrome often have impaired social skills resulting in sometimes being unable to form friendships. In addition, people with Asperger’s Syndrome may find it difficult to act in a socially appropriate manner. As a result, people living with Asperger’s Syndrome befriend people who are younger or older and find it challenging to have conversations with people they don’t know.
Most people with Asperger’s Syndrome find social situations difficult and struggle to understand social cues and the perspectives of other people. Generally, it is difficult to empathize with other people and they may not respond appropriately when someone is outwardly happy or sad.
Difficulty with Non-Verbal Behavior
Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome are often uncomfortable with non-verbal behaviors (eye contact, hand gestures and facial expressions).
Trouble Expressing Emotions
People with Asperger’s Syndrome often fail to present their emotions in a way others understand. Often, this is because they find it hard to give socially appropriate responses when interacting with others.
Lack of Coordination
Many people with Asperger’s Syndrome walk with a stilted gait, are awkward and/or clumsy. They may trip, fall, and drop things frequently, actions often mistaken for ordinary carelessness or inefficiency.
Fixation on Rituals and Routines
Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome often have a preoccupation with rituals, routines and set patterns of living. Their routine is often set to a fixed schedule, such as always eating the same thing first. Agitation may occur if these rituals and routines are disrupted.
Limited Range of Interests
Those with Asperger’s Syndrome sometimes have a genuine interest in limited things and may appear obsessively invested in pursuing only these interests.
People with Asperger’s Syndrome may speak or perform actions repetitively and be unpredictable.
People with Asperger’s Syndrome may appear self-absorbed. They often are not interested in the conversations/thoughts of other people and have problems showing empathy for others.
Unusual Communication Styles
People with Asperger’s Syndrome sometimes speak in a flat tome.
Extraordinary Cognitive or Creative Ability
Most people with Asperger’s Syndrome have normal or above normal intelligence and exhibit extraordinary abilities. These individuals excel at creative pursuits such as painting or music or have extremely sharp memories.
Therapy Options for
Social Skills – Developing social skills is an important task for people on the spectrum. Providing Social Skills include classwork and real-world experiences to assist the client in learning how to cope with daily encounters.
Clinical Therapy –Individual and/or group therapy helps an individual feel confident to succeed in a work environment and/or social environments. Classes include IOP, PHP, DBT and EMDR.
Social Skills Treatment – Developing social skills is the most important task for someone on the spectrum. Our therapists work with the clients to help them understand how to interact with friends, family and people in the workforce.
Mental Healthcare – Those with Asperger’s Syndrome are more likely to suffer from mental health disorders. Therefore, having access to good quality mental healthcare is vital.
Career Counseling – Finding employment that fits the need of a person with Asperger’s Syndrome is sometimes difficult. Career counseling should be provided.
EMDR – Current research suggests that EMDR is a workable option for both managing stress disorders in people diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and as a basic therapy tool to curb some of the standard symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome.
Gardens – Our gardens include a physical therapy garden, Yoga Pavilion Garden (along a creek bed), PTSD garden, a meditation garden and 20 raised boxes for growing herbs and vegetables.
Bright Path Program (sister company to The Cottages on Mountain Creek, LLC) has created an environment that allows our clients to feel comfortable. Our main campus in Sandy Springs, provides programming and housing in single-family homes making it easier for the clients to feel comfortable and to settle in quickly.
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