Asperger Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Asperger Syndrome or Asperger's Disorder— is one of five neurobiological pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) that is characterized by deficiencies in social and communication skills. It is differentiated from other PDD's in that a person with Asperger Syndrome also has normal or even above normal intelligence, as well as normal language development when compared with persons with classical autism. The diagnosis of Asperger syndrome is further complicated by the lack of a standard diagnostic screen.  Asperger Syndrome is diagnosed using several different screening tests as well as different sets of diagnostic criteria. The exact cause of Asperger Syndrome is unknown, and the prevalence is not yet firmly established, due in part to the use of different sets of diagnostic criteria.

Repetitive behaviors was named in honor of Hans Asperger, an Austrian psychiatrist and pediatrician, by researcher Lorna Wing, who first used the eponym in a 1981 paper.[3] In 1994, Asperger Syndrome was recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as Asperger's Disorder.

Asperger Syndrome is normally diagnosed during childhood, but many persons will not be diagnosed until much later, even as late as adults. Assistance for core symptoms of Asperger Syndrome  consists of therapies that address poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, and physical clumsiness. Most individuals with Asperger Syndrome can learn to live with their differences, but many times will continue to need ongoing support in order to maintain an independent lifestyle.

Some Asperger Syndrome Charactaristics are....

  • Limited interests or preoccupation with a subject to the exclusion of other activities;
  • Repetitive behaviors or rituals
  • Peculiarities in speech and language
  • Socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior and interpersonal interaction
  • Problems with nonverbal communication
  • Clumsy and uncoordinated motor movements.

The most common and important characteristics of Asperger Syndrome can be divided into several broad categories:

  • social impairments,
  • narrow but intense interests,
  • and peculiarities of speech and language.

Other features or characteristics are commonly linked with this Asperger Syndrome, but are not always regarded as necessary for diagnosis. Unlike most forms of pervasive developmental disorders or PDDs, Asperger Syndrome is often camouflaged, and many people with the disorder blend in with those that do not have it. The effects of Asperger Syndrome or Asperger's Disorder depend on how an affected individual responds to the syndrome itself.

For more information about autism and the autistic community be sure to check out the resources available at answers-about-autism.

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