Archive | Terminology RSS feed for this section

Asperger’s Characteristics

27. April 2010

1 Comment

Asperger syndrome (AS) is one of the autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), which are a spectrum of psychological conditions that are characterized by abnormalities of social interaction and communication that pervade the individual’s functioning, and by restricted and repetitive interests and behavior. Like other psychological development disorders, ASD begins in infancy or childhood, has a steady course without remission or relapse, and has impairments that result from maturation-related changes in various systems of the brain. ASD, in turn, is a subset of the broader autism phenotype, which describes individuals who may not have ASD but do have autistic-like traits, such as social deficits. Of the other four ASD forms, autism is the most similar to AS in signs and likely causes, but its diagnosis requires impaired communication and allows delay in cognitive development; Rett syndrome and childhood disintegrative disordershare several signs with autism but may have unrelated causes; and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) is diagnosed when the criteria for a more specific disorder are unmet. The extent of the overlap between AS and high-functioning autism (HFA—autism unaccompanied by mental retardation) is unclear. The current ASD classification is to some extent an artifact of how autism was discovered, and may not reflect the true nature of the spectrum; methodological problems have beset Asperger syndrome as a valid diagnosis from the outset. One of the proposed changes to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-), to be published in May , would eliminate Asperger syndrome as a separate diagnosis, and fold it under autistic disorder (autism spectrum disorder), which would be rated on a severity scale. Like the diagnosis of Asperger syndrome, the proposed change is controversial, and it has been argued that the syndrome’s diagnostic criteria should be broadened. Asperger syndrome is also called Asperger’s syndrome (AS), Asperger (or Asperger’s) disorder (AD), or just Asperger’s. There is little consensus among clinical researchers about whether the condition’s name should end in “syndrome” or “disorder”.   Characteristics A pervasive developmental disorder, Asperger syndrome is distinguished by a pattern of symptoms rather than a single symptom. It is characterized by qualitative impairment in social interaction, by stereotyped and restricted patterns of behavior, activities and interests, and by no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or general delay in language. Intense preoccupation with a narrow subject, one-sided verbosity, restricted prosody, and physical clumsiness are typical of the condition, but are not required for diagnosis. Social interaction Further information: Asperger syndrome and interpersonal relationships The lack of demonstrated empathy is possibly the most dysfunctional aspect of Asperger syndrome. Individuals with AS experience difficulties in basic elements of social interaction, which may include a failure to develop friendships or to seek shared enjoyments or achievements with others (for example, showing others objects of interest), a lack of social or emotional reciprocity, and impaired nonverbal behaviors in areas such as eye contact, facial expression, posture, and gesture. People with AS may not be as withdrawn around others as those with other, more debilitating, forms of autism; they approach others, even if awkwardly. For example, a person with AS may engage in a one-sided, long-winded speech about a favorite topic, while misunderstanding or not recognizing the listener’s feelings or reactions, such as a need for privacy or haste to leave. This social awkwardness has been […]

Continue reading...

Asperger syndrome

27. April 2010

1 Comment

Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger’s syndrome or Asperger disorder, is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported. The syndrome is named after the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger who, in 1944, studied and described children in his practice who lacked nonverbal communication skills, demonstrated limited empathy with their peers, and were physically clumsy The modern conception of Asperger syndrome came into existence in 1981 and went through a period of popularization becoming standardized as a diagnosis in the early 1990s. Many questions remain about aspects of the disorder For example, there is doubt about whether it is distinct from high-functioning autism (HFA); partly because of this, itsprevalence is not firmly established. It has been proposed that the diagnosis of Asperger’s be eliminated, to be replaced by a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder on a severity scale. The exact cause is unknown. Although research suggests the likelihood of a genetic basis, there is no known genetic etiology and brain imagingtechniques have not identified a clear common pathology. There is no single treatment, and the effectiveness of particular interventions is supported by only limited data Intervention is aimed at improving symptoms and function. The mainstay of management is behavioral therapy, focusing on specific deficits to address poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, and physical clumsiness. Most children improve as they mature to adulthood, but social and communication difficulties may persist. Some researchers and people with Asperger’s have advocated a shift in attitudes toward the view that it is a difference, rather than a disability that must be treated or cured.   From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Continue reading...