Understanding Asperger’s 

How much do you know about Asperger’s? Asperger’s is a mild form of Autism Spectrum Disorderand some experts believe it’s present in at least one in every 250 people. Many historical figures, like Mozart, Einstein, Marie Curie, and Thomas Jefferson, have shown symptoms of Asperger’s, and yet the condition is not something that most people really understand. Recently, Josephine Mele, whose grandson has Asperger’s, came up with an ingenious way to help people understand Asperger’s, using this ABC guide.  

  • A: Aloof. Kids with Asperger’s are often perceived as aloof, when in fact, it’s just that they lack social skills. They’re not always good with abstract concepts, so they’re better at games with step-by-step rules.  
  • BBehavior. Sometimes people perceive children with Asperger’s or another type of Autism Spectrum Disorder as having behavioral problems, but it’s actually a medical problem.  
  • C: Conversation. Conversations can be awkward for a child with Asperger’ because they don’t understand small talk. Instead, they use talking simply to share information. 
  • D: Different. A child with Asperger’s typically becomes aware of his or her differences from other kids at around age 7.  
  • E: Eye contact. Children with Asperger’s tend to avoid eye contact, even as infants. They may have trouble concentrating on what someone is saying if they are looking into a person’s eyes.  
  • F: Favorite subjects. A child with Asperger’s will want to talk about every detail of a favorite topic, whether or not the other person is interested.  
  • G: Groups. Groups are often a problem for kids with Asperger’s because they have an unusually strong sense of hearing. Overwhelmed by the noise level of a large group, they may act out.  
  • H: Hyperactive. Hyperactivity is a common symptom of Asperger’s. 
  • I: Impulsive. Because of an inability to see things from another person’s perspective, kids with Asperger’s often display impulsive behavior that can be embarrassing for parents in public.  
  • J: Jokes. Kids with Asperger’s tend to absorb information literally, so they often have trouble with pretend play or jokes.  
  • K: Kindergarten. Kindergarten can be challenging for a child with Asperger’s because everything is new, unfamiliar, and confusing.  
  • L: Listening. Kids who have Asperger’s can be good at listening, even if they don’t seem to be paying attention. When they’re not interested in the topic, though, they may not listen. 
  • M: Motor skills. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder tend to have difficulty with muscle control, which impedes their motor skills.  
  • N: Naïve. Because kids with Asperger’s are honest, with good intentions, and expect others to be the same, they’re often the target of practical jokers and bullies. They take things at face value and believe things without question.  
  • O: Order. Kids with Asperger’s function better when everything is in the same place all the time: order is important. 
  • P: Patience. Like other kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder, children with Asperger’s lack patience when they need something, but have a lot of patience with babies, animals, older people, and people with special needs.  
  • Q: Questions. Lacking a social filter, kids with Asperger’s may ask questions at inappropriate times and don’t respond when told to stop.  
  • R: Routine. Routines are absolutely necessary, and kids with Asperger’s may have trouble coping with changes to the schedule or rules. 
  • S: Sitting. Sitting still can be difficult with Asperger’s, because cramping, twitching muscles can pose a physical problem. 
  • T: Tantrums. Tantrums thrown by a child with Asperger’ can be out of control, and often seem to lack cause.  
  • U: Understanding. Kids with Asperger’require extra understanding because they learn differently than other children.  
  • V: Voice. Children with Asperger’s may have trouble reading aloud, because their voices often sound like they lack intonation or emotion, and each word is spoken as stand-alone information rather than part of a story. 
  • W: Weight. Full-length body contact, perhaps from a heavy blanket or a strong hug, can calm down an overactive brain. 
  • X: X-ray. Doctors are using x-rays and brain scans to gather more information on Asperger’sThis is how they know that the brain of someone with Asperger’s works differently than a neurotypical brain.  
  • Y: Young. The younger a child can be diagnosed with Asperger’s, the sooner he or she can get the help needed to be successful. That’s why all children should be screened for developmental delays at 18 and 24 months old.  
  • Z: Zone. Children with Asperger’s can get so deeply involved in what they’re doing that it’s often hard to get them out of the zone and help them focus on something else. Setting a time limit, requiring breaks, and giving a warning may help.  

Learning about Asperger’s and Autism Spectrum Disorder is the first step towards understanding and being able to help a child with ASD navigate the world. If your child has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, STAR of CA is here to offer support. Founded in 2006, we provide behavioral and psychological services to people with ASD and related disorders in a nurturing environment that offers support for the entire family. We love what we do, and are devoted to improving lives through focused, caring services. You can contact us through our website or by calling 805.588.8896.

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