Asperger’s Syndrome is a developmental disorder that affects communication, social adaptation and social reasoning skills, which are included in the spectrum of pervasive developmental disorders.
Characteristics of Children with Asperger’s Syndrome
* Communication: Children with AS have difficulties in verbal and nonverbal communication. They have difficulty in understanding the spoken language, especially the metaphor. Unlike autistic people, they start talking on time, but their communication is poor. They are incapable of initiating and maintaining speech. Voice tones are unnatural. Conversational styles are often pedantic.
* Social Interaction: Social interactions of children with AS are generally weak. They have trouble understanding the complex rules of social interaction. They are fragile. They are egocentric. They may not like physical contact. They have a hard time understanding jokes and jokes. They have inappropriate looks and body language. They are not flexible in thinking.
* Persistence in Sameness: Children with AS have difficulty coping with change. Their inability to cope with changes makes them emotionally fragile and easily exposed to stress. They like things fixed and routine. Their inability to think flexibly also affects their imagination and creativity. They enjoy doing the same thing over and over.
* Limited Interests: Children with AS have odd interests, obsessive hoarding of unusual things. They may have excessive knowledge on a very limited subject, for example, horses. They tend to give lectures on their interests. They ask repetitive questions on topics of interest. Their memories are very strong. They like to memorize dates and timetables. They usually have one very close friend. It is seen that these friends also have narrow and limited areas of interest.
* Poor Concentration: Children with AS often get away from the work they are doing with their inner warnings. They cannot be organized. They have a hard time staying focused on activities (this is mostly due to their focus on something odd rather than a lack of attention. Adults with AS can’t figure out what’s relevant, so attention is focused on irrelevant stimuli). They tend to withdraw into their own complex inner worlds. They have difficulty learning in groups.
* Poor Motor Coordination: Children with AS are physically clumsy and clumsy. They walk stiffly and clumsily. They are unsuccessful in games that require motor skills. Problems such as holding a pencil, slow writing speed and affecting drawing abilities may be seen.
* Academic Challenges: Children with AS generally have average to above average intelligence. However, they lack the ability to think and understand at a high level. They tend to be straight and lean. Problem solving skills are weak. They repeat what they read or hear like a parrot. They often benefit from regular education with support.
Age and Frequency of Asperger’s Syndrome
It can usually be diagnosed around the age of 5 years. It is stated that it is seen 2 to 4 times more in boys than girls, with a frequency of 1 in 1000.
Asperger Syndrome and Genetic Relationship
In Asperger’s Syndrome, genetic transmission is thought to be between father and son. In particular, similar characteristics are seen in grandfather and father.
Asperger’s Syndrome and Adult Life
Individuals with AS are known in their adult lives as cold, aloof, and strict adherents to rules and principles. They are particularly prone to depression during adolescence. They cannot tolerate making mistakes. They prefer occupations that do not require social contact and have routine jobs.
Here are some practical suggestions that will make life easier for you and your child with Asperger’s Syndrome. These may not be applicable to every situation and every child, but they are basically suggestions that will make life easier.
Talk to him in a way he can understand.
Use simple directions when speaking.
Do not use metaphors, idioms or irony in your speeches.
“Why did you do that?” Avoid vague speech such as
Check if what you are saying is understood.
If necessary, break the story into small steps.
Inform about changes in advance.
Try to establish some flexibility in your routines.
Make things difficult for him easier, shorten, change, offer alternatives, allow time.
Do not give punishments that will reduce your self-confidence or increase your distress.
Present the materials visually, in writing, with pictures, or with audio.
Model him for good behavior.
Be prepared to know what will bother him.
Don’t expect him to act his “age”.
Encourage him. Reward him for the smallest achievement.