What Is Asperger Syndrome?

Asperger Syndrome is a neurological disorder that is classified as an autism spectrum disorder. Autism Spectrum Disorder or better know as autism are disorders of the nervous system that affect a person's ability to interact and communicate with others. Asperger's syndrome has little difference with other autism spectrum disorders, such as autistic disorders. In patients with autistic disorders, there is a decline in intelligence (cognitive) and mastery of language. Whereas people with Asperger's syndrome, they are intelligent and proficient in language, but look awkward when communicating or interacting with people around them.

This syndrome attacks children, and persists until they are adults. Although no cure has been found, Asperger's syndrome, diagnosed and treated early, can help sufferers to increase their potential and ability to communicate and interact with others.

Symptoms of Asperger Syndrome 
Pediatricians agree that Asperger's syndrome has symptoms that are not too severe compared to other types of autism. Behind the intelligence possessed by people with this syndrome, there are some typical signs or symptoms, namely:
  • Difficult to interact. People with Asperger's syndrome experience awkwardness in carrying out social interactions, both with family and other people. Let alone communicating, even making eye contact is rather difficult.
  • Not expressive. Patients with Asperger's syndrome rarely display facial expressions or body movements related to expressions. When happy, people with Asperger's syndrome will find it difficult to smile or not laugh even though they receive a funny joke. Patients will also speak in a tone that is flat, not unlike a talking robot.
  • Insensitive. When interacting with other people, patients with Asperger's syndrome only focus on telling themselves and have no interest in what the other person has. Patients with Asperger's syndrome can spend hours discussing their favorite hobbies, for example talking about clubs, players, and soccer matches he likes to the other person.
  • Obsessive, repetitive, and not like change. Routine doing the same thing repeatedly (repetitive) and not accepting changes around it is a characteristic of sufferers of Asperger's syndrome. One of the most visible signs is to like to eat the same type of food for some time or prefer to keep quiet in class when the break takes place.
  • Motor disorders. Children who suffer from Asperger's syndrome experience delays in motor development, when compared with their age children. Therefore, they often appear to have difficulty when carrying out ordinary activities, such as catching a ball, riding a bicycle, or climbing a tree.
  • Physical disorders or coordination. The physical condition of patients with Asperger's syndrome is classified as weak. One of the signs is the patient's gait tends to be stiff and easily shaken.
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Causes of Asperger Syndrome 
The cause of Asperger's syndrome is equated with the causes of autism spectrum disorders. The exact cause is unknown until now, but experts believe that inherited genetic abnormalities play a role in the occurrence of autism spectrum disorders and also Asperger's syndrome.

In some cases, Asperger's syndrome is also thought to be triggered by:
  • Infection during pregnancy
  • Exposure to agents or factors that cause changes in shape in the fetus.
In 1999, the thimerosal content in some vaccines was thought to cause children to suffer from autism, until then almost all vaccines were produced without this chemical substance. But in 2004, the allegation was broken because thimerosal was not proven to cause autism in children. This is also reinforced by the continued increase in the number of people with autism after thimerosal is no longer used in making vaccines.

Diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome 
The symptom of Asperger's syndrome that is easily detected by parents or teachers in schools is the difficulty of children in communicating and interacting with people around them.

Patients with Asperger's syndrome often experience a wrong diagnosis, by being considered to suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is a long-term disorder that causes children to have difficulty concentrating and being too active (hyperactive). To prevent this mistake, the doctor will evaluate the child in depth in terms of social interactions, attention during communication, use of language, facial expressions while talking, and muscle and behavioral coordination, in order to get the right diagnosis.

Asperger Syndrome Treatment 
Like autism, the occurrence of Asperger's syndrome in children cannot be prevented. However, some efforts can still be made to increase the potential and ability of patients. The handling of Asperger's syndrome will be focused on dealing with three main symptoms, namely the lack of communication skills, obsessive-repetitive habits, to the weak physical condition.

This form of treatment is given through therapy in the form of:
  • Language therapy, speech and socialization. People with Asperger's syndrome are actually good at mastering language and speaking. It's just that this ability cannot be done to other people. This therapy tries to get people to talk to others, make eye contact when interacting, and discuss topics that are also desired by the other person.
  • Physical therapy. Physical therapy or physiotherapy aims to train the strength of the members of the body. A number of routine exercises that can be applied are running, jumping, going up and down stairs, or cycling.
  • Occupational therapy. Therapy is quite complete by combining physical, cognitive, and sensory exercises. This therapy aims to improve and improve cognitive, physical, sensory, motoric abilities, as well as strengthen awareness and appreciation of oneself.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy provides teaching to children about ways to express their feelings and get along with peers or those around them. Patients will be trained to control stimuli received by the body's senses, fear, anxiety, desire, rejection, and emotional outbursts.
In addition to the above therapies, drugs can be given to control symptoms in Asperger's syndrome. The drugs usually given are:
  • Aripiprazole - relieves the desire to be angry.
  • Olanzapine - suppresses overactive (hyperactive) properties.
  • Risperidone - reduces anxiety and insomnia.
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) antidepressants - reduce the desire to do repetitive activities.

Complications of Asperger Syndrome 
Although not all sufferers experience it, the complications of Asperger's syndrome can be:
  • Anxious
  • Easy to get angry
  • Aggressive
  • Too sensitive to the surrounding environment, for example noise
  • Depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • The tendency to hurt yourself.

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