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What is Asperger's Syndrome?

What is Asperger's Syndrome? What are the symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome?

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There has been a lot of study done on autism, its symptoms and manifestation. One known condition of autism is Asperger's syndrome. The cause of this neurobiological disease isn’t known, but there are indications that genetics can be a factor. Asperger's syndrome has been known to hit people from all walks of life, with men being affected more than women. It’s also known as Asperger’s, Asperger's disorder or simply AS.

Most of those suffering from AS have started showing certain symptoms of the disease during childhood, but were only diagnosed as adults. One common trait people with Asperger’s disorder were noted for were their unique interests that more often than not, resulted in their being bullied or made fun of. But since this is a common experience among children, it makes diagnosing the problem more difficult.

Simply put, people with Asperger’s are known to act eccentric or wacky. Some famous personalities that some experts say exhibit signs of Asperger’s are Al Gore, Bill Gates, Bob Dylan, Jim Henson, Keanu Reeves and Woody Allen. Evidence also points out that key historical figures like Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton have suffered from it too.

One core symptom of Asperger’s is the patient’s limited reaction to social situations. People with AS often have difficulties in developing and maintaining significant relationships with other people. They find it hard to grasp the subtle nuances of communication that are often used. Some even have no concept of the meaning of the different body languages, eye contact or facial expressions and they themselves rarely show deep feelings towards other people. Since they can’t understand the social niceties and are usually unaware of how other people feel, they are often considered as boorish or disrespectful. It’s often said that those with Asperger's syndrome can’t reciprocate feelings or conform to society.

Even though it has been linked to autism, people with AS do not exhibit the usual developmental problems often seen in autism. Most have normal to above average IQs and don’t exhibit the usual symptoms that are present in an illness affecting a person’s development. Contrary to what most people think, those with AS often have excellent mathematical and scientific abilities. They’re also highly logical thinkers and are also known for their intense concentration and focus.

Unfortunately, there’s no medicine for Asperger's. However, there are several treatments that have been proven effective in dealing with AS’ more problematic symptoms. Counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy and specialized speech therapy have all been helpful in controlling AS. Asperger’s isn’t a death sentence. People with the disease can still find good jobs, get married, have kids and lead generally productive and independent lives, as long as they learn ways to cope with it.

The past few years have seen a vital change in the treatment of Asperger’s and how people diagnosed with it are treated. More and more people diagnosed with Asperger’s have come out with their condition. Some are even calling themselves “Aspergians” or “aspies” in order to help others understand them and to do away with the stigma and other misconceptions associated with AS. There’s even a host of websites that focus on Asperger's syndrome. They aim to set Asperger’s as one model of neurodiversity and not a disease that has to be cured.

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