Asperger Syndrome and Children



Asperger syndrome is an autistic disorder. However unlike other forms of autism Asperger is not marked by severe delay in language acquisition before the age of three. The cognitive development of Asperger children before that same age is not delayed either. In fact most of them have advanced language and intellectual development. This is why most children can attent mainstream schools. They might need some preparations prior to their school entry.

Due to their relatively good behavior children with Aspergers are not easily qualified for supportive services. However they are too impaired to go without support and I strongly believe they are entitled to it. Teaching children with Asperger has to be taken seriously by parents, teachers and schools. Most parents wonder how to tell their child it has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. This can be a hard thing to do but it's very important to be as open as possible on this to the child involved. The sooner the better! His or her self esteem will benefit from knowing it has Asperger instead of wondering what is wrong with them all the time or blaming himself for not being able to make friends in school.



Symptoms of Asperger Syndrome in Children


Even though this disorder may be hard to diagnose, in many cases there are very clear Asperger symptoms in children. Children as young as toddlers can show signs of autism. A strong indication can be when they arrange their toys in lines (or other patterns) instead of really playing with it.

The following characteristics are considered symptoms of Asperger:




Social interaction

• A dislike to any change in their routine

• They lack empathy so feelings of other people go unnoticed

• Try to avoid eyecontact

• Preoccupations for one particular subject or interest

• Social withdrawal

• Lack of interest in other people

• Lack of initiating

joint attention




Communication

• Social clues go unnoticed

• No pick up on non verbal signs such as body language

• Unable to take turns talking

• Trouble in maintaining a conversation or starting one

• Advanced formal style of speaking

• One sides conversations

• Subtle differences in speechtone go unnoticed

• Their own speech can be flat because it lacks accents,pitch and tone

• Verbalisation of their internal thoughts

• At young age: echolalia (the repetition of phrases and words)




Motor skills

• Their facial expressions and posture may be unusual

• Clumsiness

• Uncoordinated motor movements

• Repetitive movements of body parts such as arms, hands or fingers.

• Their motor development is delayed.


When their motor development is delayed this means children with Aspergers have trouble learning how to swim or ride a bike without training wheels. Some of them have trouble tying their shoelaces, catching a ball or using a fork and spoon during dinner.

Apart from all this children with disorders in the autistic spectrum can be very sensitive. Their senses are developed so well and they seem unable to filter sounds and other stimuli. They can become over stimulated by loud noises such as singing on a birthday party, strong lights, sudden movements, strong taste and textures. Go to sensory overload for more information.

Good news!

The good news is: from all the people with autism disorders, children with Aspergers typically take more action into making friends and make more effort in engaging themselves in activities with others.


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