Asperger’s Syndrome is named after a Viennese pediatrician who described certain behavioral patterns in 1944. Hans Asperger noticed many of his patients, mostly boys, had severely impaired social skills and couldn’t communicate efficiently with others. Although they had poor coordination, they were of normal intelligence and their language development was unaffected. Asperger’s Syndrome is classified as one of the autism spectrum disorders, but has no significant oddities or delays in language or cognitive development.
AS, for short, is characterized by difficulty forming and maintaining friendships, trouble communicating effectively, and inability to understand many social rules. Most individuals with AS are unable to read body language or express emotions through body language themselves. This prohibits them from fully understanding others emotions or conveying their own.
Symptoms of this syndrome include becoming obsessed with one object or topic, presenting excessive facts of this interest, failing to recognize when the audience has lost interest in discussions, and very narrow areas of interest. Asperger’s Syndrome will want to know all of the history, facts, and statistics of one single subject and will often talk of only that. Many individuals form daily routines around their point of interest and if this is disrupted it can often cause high levels of stress and anxiety.
Physical symptoms of AS include motor delays, clumsiness, fine motor difficulty, walking abnormalities, and odd movements. Individuals may not be able to make eye contact directly or maintain proper body posture. He or she may not recognize when it is appropriate to change the volume of their voice due to different settings. AS individuals may also cover their ears to block loud sounds in the environment that may make them feel uncomfortable.
Although there is no cure for Asperger’s Syndrome, many are able to function well in most aspects of life, only seeming somewhat “different” to peers. Depending on what their strengths and weaknesses are different people may benefit from treatments including parental education or training, social skills training, sensory integration, and psychotherapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy may also be effective. In more extreme cases, certain medications like Aripiprazole, Guanfacine, and Risperidone may be available to aid irritability, hyperactivity, inattention, or reduce repetitive behaviors.
The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 407-574-5190 for more information.