Aspergers

Aspergers is a pervasive developmental disorder, a neurological disorder that affects a child’s ability to communicate, understand language, play, and relate to others. 

Pervasive developmental disorders such as autism are generally evident by the age of three, but Aspergers may not be diagnosed until the age of nine or ten.

Aspergers  is characterized by communication problems, difficulty relating to people, repetitive body movements, difficulty with changes in routine, obsessing about certain topics or items, and unusual play with toys or other objects. 

The causes of Aspergers are currently unknown, but as a neurological disorder, it may result from an injury to the brain. 

There is current research that also suggests it may run in families, giving it a genetic basis. Aspergers is more common in boys than in girls. 

Children with Aspergers typically have a normal IQ, and many children possess exceptional skills or abilities in one area.

Early intervention is important in order to get them on the right path and provide parents and teachers with the opportunity to develop a plan.   

Routine is critical to the child with Aspergers. 

If there are changes in their typical routine, they may experience a great deal of anxiety, which may be when they display challenging behaviors, repetitive behaviors, or obsess about a particular topic.   

Social skills are particularly challenging for the child with Aspergers. 

They find it difficult to recognize and/or interpret body language. 

Interacting with other children may also cause anxiety. 

Children with Aspergers are generally unable to transfer social knowledge and information from one setting to another.

This means they have to learn a new set of rules for each and every new situation which is very tiring and demanding for them.

Many children with Aspergers experience sensory integration issues, or sensory dysfunction. 

They may be easily over-stimulated by sensory activities, or they may withdraw because they are hypersensitive to sensory stimulation. 

An occupational therapist is able to make an assessment and provide a specialized program in order to minimize the effects on their daily lives. 

A lack of coordination or general clumsiness is common in children with Aspergers. 

Again an occupational therapist can also assist in this area, to determine if there are specific activities that may be useful in developing or strengthening areas related to physical activities.

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