Asperger's syndrome is a disorder that affects how an individual develops. This means an individual with Asperger's syndrome will have trouble socializing and commutating effectively. This condition falls under autism spectrum disorders, but is different from most other autism-related disorders. It is considered a high functioning type of autism and the mildest form of autism. Symptoms are not as severe as other types of autism. Asperger's syndrome appears in childhood and more commonly afflicts males. However, sometimes adults are diagnosed with this condition because it was not correctly diagnosed in childhood. There are many options for treating Asperger's syndrome. Get to know them now.
Since Asperger's syndrome is diagnosed in children at a young age, it is critical for the parent to be educated on the condition and learn ways to help their child. Individuals who has Asperger's syndrome typically do not know how to show emotions and have a difficult time deciphering social cues that are obvious to others. For instance, the child in question may not smile even if they're happy or telling jokes, and they may not know when someone is sad or angry even if the gestures are very apparent. Therefore, it is important for parents to learn social skills techniques to help teach them. It is also beneficial to work with the school and the special education teachers to develop an individualized education plan for the child with Asperger's syndrome. Parents should set long-term goals for their child and think about what they want their child to accomplish in five to ten years.
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Social Skills Training
Individuals with Asperger's syndrome need a lot of social guidance, and the best way to develop their social skills is to expose them to many types of individuals and environments. They can learn more about what is socially appropriate in daycares, schools, camps, and clubs. Parents can set up play dates and get-togethers with other kids regularly, and can also observe what their child needs help with and work on it with them. For example, if their child has trouble making eye contact with others, parents can teach them concrete skills with instructions and prompts before they interact with others. Every child learns differently, even when Asperger's syndrome is not present, so it is important to be patient when teaching them social skills. When individuals with Asperger's syndrome receive social skills training, they can benefit in many ways, including learning how to handle winning and losing, as well as how to read facial expressions.
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Weighted Blanket Therapy
Weighted blanket therapy is the utilization of a special blanket to alleviate the symptoms of Asperger's syndrome. These special blankets are made up of polypropylene pellets, which add weight to the body. The weighted blanket applies gentle pressure on the body and helps to relax it, and when the body is relaxed, it decreases feelings of anxiety and stress.
Individuals with Asperger's syndrome often feel anxious and nervous. When an individual with this condition puts on a weighted blanket, it produces a calming effect and enhances levels of serotonin in the body. There are, however, a few things to consider when purchasing weighted blankets. Parents should look for a blanket made with strong and good quality fabric, and make sure the blanket is breathable and machine washable. Ideally, they should pick a blank made of one hundred percent pure polypropylene pellets.
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Develop A Routine
Since individuals with Asperger's syndrome are not natural observational learners, they need to be trained to do even simple tasks. The development of a routine can help individuals with Asperger's syndrome become more independent and capable of doing things for themselves, or even hold down a steady job in the future. When an individual with Asperger's syndrome has a set routine to follow, they have a safety net to fall upon if confronted with uncertainty in daily life. Following a routine makes them less likely to become depressed and anxious. As such, parents of a child with Asperger's should develop a routine and encourage their child with Asperger's syndrome to follow it. Making a daily chart and posting it on the wall can help the child know what to expect.
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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective form of psychotherapeutic treatment that helps individuals recognize destructive and negative behaviors and cope with these feelings constructively. It works to change negative thought patterns and improve rational thinking. Group cognitive behavioral therapy is quite advantageous when treating Asperger's syndrome patients. When individuals with the same condition get together, they form a bond with each other because they talk about the struggles that they often experience and have to overcome. Friendships and social support groups are fostered and promote individualized healing. Family cognitive behavioral therapy is another treatment option for individuals with Asperger's syndrome and their families. This type of therapy involves using cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to bring about positive changes in everyone's life. Parents reinforce the techniques taught in cognitive behavioral therapy sessions and help their child with Asperger's syndrome confront real-life issues.
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Physical therapy may be used for some cases in which a person with Asperger's syndrome has trouble coordinating their movements. Physical therapists are experts who help individuals develop their body strength. An occupational therapist might also be employed to help patients learn how to do fine motor tasks like buttoning shirts and writing. The therapist might help the patient with hand-eye coordination and independent eating and dressing. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder often have atypical and delayed motor functioning. Though research is being done regarding the efficacy of physical therapy on motor function in patients with some form of autism, more evidence is necessary. There is evidence indicating physical therapy may be helpful for the muscular development of children with Asperger's syndrome and autism, particularly when the intervention occurs early. Physical and occupational therapy might also be used to help individuals cope with their sensory issues, although the effectiveness of this also needs to be examined.
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No medications have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the specific treatment of Asperger's syndrome and autism. However, certain medications might help with the treatment of related symptoms. The population of individuals with autism has a high prevalence of psychiatric conditions like depression and anxiety. For these issues, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) might be prescribed. These medications affect serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) might also be prescribed for anxiety and depression, particularly when the conditions have been resistant to SSRIs. SNRIs affect serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain, rather than only affecting serotonin. Certain antipsychotic medications might be used for patients who deal with psychosis. There's a high rate of co-occurrence with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism as well. If patients have ADHD in addition to Asperger's syndrome, the symptoms may be treated by using stimulants, which help increase an individual's focus, concentration, and ability to make mental connections. Some of them can be habit-forming, though, so patients need to first talk to their doctor about the right medication choice for them.
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Speech And Language Therapy
Speech and language therapy can be helpful for teaching children with Asperger's syndrome to communicate. However, it's important to meet them halfway. Some children may struggle to form verbal sentences but pick up sign language or written communication fairly easily. As long as parents and health professionals are trying to teach them how to communicate, they should also make the effort to figure out what communication styles work best for them. Patients with autism tend to develop speech differently from neurotypical individuals. It's common for them to be nonverbal, hum, make harsh noises, struggle to use inflection, repeat others, or struggle to find vocabulary. Studies show one in three individuals with autism may have trouble producing speech. Patients with Asperger's syndrome don't tend to have delayed speech development, but they may have trouble with inflection and expression. Speech therapy can help with learning to communicate. A speech therapist might also help children who have trouble with communication skills like gesturing, making eye contact, and coming up with creative language. They can help the child understand what is being said around them.
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Art therapy is often used as a treatment for Asperger's syndrome and other autism spectrum disorders. There are many reasons this treatment works well as a creative therapy. In addition to helping with sensory regulation, art therapy can also help children with motor coordination and development, and it can help patients communicate. Individuals with Asperger's syndrome might not have delayed verbal communication, but they may also have nonverbal communication methods that come more easily to them. Art therapy is a creative medium that uses visuals for self-expression rather than words. Art materials and methods come with multisensory experiences. In addition to painting with paintbrushes, art therapy might involve the use of finger painting, sculpting clay, or using other mediums. Art therapy is also used to help with patient emotional and psychological wellbeing. It may be used to treat co-occurring psychological conditions like depression and anxiety, which may develop alongside autism spectrum disorder. Other creative therapies like music therapy have also shown promise in treating autism.
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Applied Behavioral Analysis
Applied behavioral analysis is a group of techniques and approaches meant to help children with autism. However, there is a considerable amount of controversy surrounding the practice. The biggest problem is that applied behavioral analysis focuses on teaching children with autism how to act like neurotypical children, rather than teaching the individuals around them how to communicate with them. This can often lead to children with autism and patients with Asperger's syndrome swallowing their discomfort and allowing themselves to experience pain because it makes others happy. Another criticism is that some applied behavioral analysis practices don't use positive reinforcement exclusively, instead employing a combination of positive reinforcement for desired behaviors and punishment for self-harming ones. Negative reinforcement is not generally considered acceptable in today's treatment practices, but it was once a common component of the practice. Many of today's forms of applied behavioral analysis are based in play rather than forcing children to sit at tables. If applied behavioral analysis is used for treatment, it should be a positive program based on building skills rather than simply eliminating unwanted behaviors.