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Asperger’s Syndrome is an Autism Spectrum Disorder often characterized by considerable trouble in social situations. In 1944, an Austrian pediatrician named Hans Asperger took note of four children in his practice that experienced difficulty with social integration. “AS became a distinct disease and diagnosis in 1992, when it was included in the tenth published edition of the World Health Organization’s diagnostic manual, International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), and in 1994 it was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic reference book” .
There is a wide array of symptoms making each child with Asperger’s unique. The first symptoms become apparent in childhood when observing the child at school interacting with other children. For example, a child with Asperger’s may exhibit a lack of empathy, limited eye contact or staring, and talk excessively, often about a favorite subject. In addition, they might repeat routines and rituals, speak in an overly formal manner, and appear clumsy and uncoordinated. As years go by, teens with Asperger’s continue to face struggles and frequently become socially withdrawn. Anxiety and depression are commonly coupled with this social isolation.
Asperger’s Syndrome is an enduring condition that can last a lifetime. Fortunately, it tends to develop stability over time and lead to marked improvement. As an adult with this disorder, it is easier to understand their strengths and weaknesses and gain knowledge of the necessary social skills to succeed. Many people with Asperger’s are able to get married and start families of their own.