The Asperger syndrome is mainly characterized by weaknesses in social interaction and communication: In particular, the ability to recognize verbal signals from other people is severely impaired. The contact and communication disorder is noticeable around the age of four.
The causes of this developmental disorder are not yet fully understood. A genetic variant is suspected because the Asperger syndrome occurs familial. Furthermore, neurological and biochemical causes are assumed. There are abnormalities especially in the brain areas, which are important for empathy ability. For example, those affected by Asperger's Syndrome rarely show their own emotions, cannot empathize with other people's thoughts and cannot read their moods from their facial expressions. In addition, they are extremely detail-oriented but have difficulty recognizing relationships and seeing and understanding the details as a whole.
Often the appearance is deceptive
In contrast to children with early childhood autism, children with Asperger's syndrome are diagnosed relatively late, sometimes only during school age. At first glance, they also seem quite normal, and abnormalities are initially attributed to a variety of causes. Quite often, their disorder is not taken seriously. Therefore, these children are made requirements that they cannot meet. In return, the conspicuous behavior is mistakenly interpreted as "unwilling", as an expression of the desire to be the center of attention, in the worst case as malignancy.
With great knowledge of their special interests and the tenacity with which they pursue these interests, children with Asperger's Syndrome can perform very well. In general, they have very special qualities: accuracy, perfection, a strong sense of justice, the absolute love of truth, logical thinking. As these traits are promoted and steered, children with Asperger's Syndrome can become very conscientious and accurate employees, as well as outstanding scientists, inventors or artists.
Children with Asperger's Syndrome are relative "mildly" affected by the autistic spectrum. However, they need special understanding and help, but it must be the right kind of help. With the right guidance, they can learn social behaviors. Then the chances that they will later be able to pursue a profession and lead a largely independent life are quite good.
Integration is crucial the symptoms vary in intensity among adults. While some master their lives on their own, others depend on constant help, because they find it difficult to find their way around. Due to the lack of empathy, they are often a difficult or limited relationship. As early as childhood, those affected by Asperger's Syndrome find it difficult to integrate; they seem egocentric, behavioural, introverted, distant, ruthless and socially isolated. In addition, there is a motor clumsiness, lack of emotion and the sometimes rigid adherence to usual daily routines.
Experts in autism research are keen to see people with Asperger's Syndrome not as patients, but as people who see the world and its happenings from a different point of view and perspective (... and there is no right versus ill attitude) - there are many waiting!). People with Asperger's Syndrome simply have a different way of looking at objects. They have insights, perceptions, reflections etc. that others do not share with them. But if you have access to messages from people with Asperger's Syndrome, you can understand their behavior and learn a lot from them. They can also lead us into a world we do not know.
Today experts assume that many a formula without people with Asperger syndrome never discovered, so many inventions never made, some music never composed or many a book would never have been written. Asperger personalities have the gift to penetrate in their activities hours over, days over days in the smallest detail. Certain discoveries and works in the first place became possible through this special concentration ability.
In therapy, Asperger personalities should therefore not take their "other view of things", but the therapy should only allow a better mutual understanding. The Austrian physician Hans Asperger himself - due to its publication in 1943, the disease was named after him - described this phenomenon not only as a disorder. On the contrary, he was also fascinated by these people and their original experience and behavior.
Asperger syndrome has not healed so far. One can only try to support those involved in their everyday lives with the right support and, for example, help them to improve their social skills. However, not every Asperger syndrome is "pathological" and needs to be treated. Crucial for this is the extent of the symptoms and the suffering of the affected person.
Asperger syndrome therapy is usually composed of various therapeutic components, especially behavioral therapy. These are adapted to the individual needs of the patient:
• Individual treatment, such as the clarification of one's own perspectives and coping with everyday problems.
• Training of social skills in the group with the aim of motivating people with Asperger syndrome more for social interaction and making them understand social rules. In addition, training in the group offers social experiences and opportunities.
• People with Asperger's Syndrome should avoid occupations with intensive social contact. Adapted to the individual possibilities, however, suitable occupations can be found or use their own special skills specifically in a profession.
For certain symptoms and behavioral problems (severe attention deficit disorders, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, etc.) some people with Asperger's Syndrome receive appropriate medication. The medication must always be part of a comprehensive therapy concept.
Difference between Asperger's Syndrome and ADHD
It is striking that a whole range of symptoms in autism and ADHD, so in both disorders occur. Recent studies indicate that an overlap of autism and ADHD is present in about 50 percent. Significant differences were observed in neurobiological studies, but in both disorders, the frontal brain is involved. Clinically, many children with an autism spectrum disorder also notice that they also suffer from ADHD symptoms. Conversely, some children with ADHD have autistic behavioral problems. Medical professionals therefore rightly point out the importance of looking for any child with the diagnosis of autism for the presence of ADHD symptoms. Conversely, in children diagnosed with ADHD, the possible presence of autistic features should be clarified.