Asperger’s Syndrome can be distinguished from autism because of the child’s strong verbal and intellectual skills. Asperger’s Syndrome is no longer a diagnosis on the autism spectrum, but forms part of the Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5).
Children with Asperger’s Syndrome can face challenges like difficulty with having conversations and with handling non-verbal conversations. Non-verbal conversations include physical interaction, facial expressions, body language, gestures, and eye contact. They can also find it more difficult to predict a consequence of their own or with predicting someone else’s actions. Their five senses may be hypersensitive and they can experience light, sound, touch, taste and smell in a different way.
Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome often have exceptional focus and they will be more oriented to detail than focusing on the bigger picture and this can also be due to their limited executive and cognitive skills. Some of the executive and cognitive skills that they might lack can include:
- Handling and identifying different emotions. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome may have a more difficult time with handling disruptive emotions and impulses and may also experience levels of anxiety, especially with a change in routine or daily sequences. They may also experience anger and sadness in an overwhelming way and it can be due to a limit in coping strategies and dealing with emotions.
- Being open to social flexibility which include the ability to handle changes in social systems as well as changes in environmental conditions.
- Processing information may also be more difficult for them and to remember detail that they did not find important. They also find it difficult with encoding, decoding, organising information and retrieving stored information because they process information in different ways.
- Understanding the concept of time and this leads to having trouble with waiting and the constant wondering when something will happen. Struggling with understanding the concept of time is also due to a poor working memory and forms part of reasoning and decision making
Like all kids, children with Asperger’s Syndrome not only face challenges but they can also be identified for their strengths. Their strengths can include, but are not limited to, their exceptional attention to detail; they may notice errors that didn’t occur to others or notice small things within a bigger picture. They have a natural tendency to rules and can have more trouble with handling situation when these rules are bend or when others do not follow the same rules. They also value logical order as well as patterns.
Interpreting visual information and remembering facts are also known strengths of their exceptional memory. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome can also be known for their exceptional focus and having narrow interest about a certain topic.
We as Board Certified Autism technicians are trained in Applied Behaviour Analysis to help your child learn the skills they are lacking to overcome their daily challenges.